Primary and secondary schools to broaden educational curricula to include environmental literacy, human rights and financial education, as well as peace and mediation skills, to foster environmental awareness and cross-cultural understanding. In higher education, an understanding of how to invest in the care of people and nature, to be mandatory for economics and business school graduates.
Since the industrial revolution, our carbon-based economic beliefs have disconnected us from the importance of a flourishing natural environment on which our lives and livelihood depend. We urgently need to revitalise the human connection to our planet in order to leave a legacy of hope and prosperity, rather than fear, to our future generations.
Educating our young people about the world in which they live can teach them how to preserve healthy ecosystems, ensure climate stability, maintain peaceful societies and improve their financial literacy will facilitate a transformation in the way we interact with each other and use our planet’s resources. Tomorrow’s leaders will be equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to implement transformational change in business, society and culture.
Introducing sustainability principles to children is therefore key to enhancing their understanding and development throughout adolescence and on to adulthood for the cultivation of a mature society. In 2012, a report from Greenpeace in Germany reported that only 40% of young people could claim to have had some form of sustainability education at school [in German].
It is essential to anchor long-term thinking in our educational systems and policy-making. The Global Policy Action Plan should be considered a supporting educational tool to facilitate such change.
WFC Honorary Councillor Jane Goodall
Roots & Shoots is an education programme for young people run by WFC Honorary Councillor Jane Goodall which encourages young people to map their community to identify specific challenges their neighborhoods face. From there, they prioritize the problems, develop a plan for a solution, and take action. Click here to find out more.