Perspectives on UN DESD Draft International Implementation Scheme (October 2004)
It is not the UN DESD document that will change the world, but the process it has initiated must.

Through a widening process, we encourage others to make their contribution to this living document and the continuing processes it supports.

The UN DESD processes must include as many inhabitants of the world as possible, and must support people to develop the capacity and skills to engage with the issues and risks relevant to their situation and context.

The UN DESD must engage with the environment in its totality, including the pressing social, economic, political and biophysical challenges our planet faces, and help develop the capacity to overcome these.

The limits of the life support systems must be recognised, respected and accepted in economic decision-making.

The UN DESD must be guided by principles of the rights of all life on earth, justice and equity.

Issues related to health, discrimination and gender must be addressed in a spirit of respect and humility.

It must be recognised that while there are some basic universal values, there are many others which are culture-specific. ESD must empower communities to engage in an ongoing dialogue to decide which values or modifications in them will prevail.

Prevailing values which have promoted unsustainability are supported by existing systems. Therefore, these systems must be addressed through ESD.

Contents and methods of transacting values must be determined through dialogue and discussion, rather than by governments and experts.

The narrow log-frame approach to evaluation currently indicated in the document is limiting, and may even inhibit the potential of the Decade. The evaluation criteria listed to not do justice to the overall objectives of the Decade. We need to find new, different and creative ways to determine if the processes that we see as essential to ESD have, in fact, taken place.

The Ahmedabad Conference sees the need to reach out to other stakeholders and a wider audience so as to achieve the objectives of DESD.

We support the participation of youth in developing the implementation plan for the Decade, with the belief that they are uniquely equipped to do so, and urge the system to facilitate these inputs.

As the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development commences and we proceed on our widening journeys, we are aware of our responsibilities as inhabitants of Planet Earth. We recognise that we will be confronted by many diverse challenges and are determined to meet these in a spirit of commitment and goodwill, and encourage others to do the same.

Click here to view the UN DESD Draft International Implementation Scheme