The quest for sustainable development, i.e. for a long-term, intergenerational, cross-sectoral and cross-border responsible relationship with the environment, nature and society, is both old and increasingly topical. The United Nations devoted a decade to literacy for sustainable development between 2005 and 2014 (UN DESD). The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) prepared its regional Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development as early as 2005. Knowledge for participation in sustainable development processes is gaining in importance and strengthened under the impact of climate change.
In June, three partner NGOs, Green Istria from Pula, Legambiente Lombardia Onlus from Milan and IPoP from Ljubljana, will successfully complete the Tools for Learning – Tools for Sustainable Development project, implemented with the support of the ERASMUS+ programme.
The aim of the project was to strengthen the capacity of the partner organisations to work innovatively with young people in the field of sustainable development (trainings for partners), to compile a toolkit for developing skills and knowledge for sustainable development (handbook) and to contribute to empowering young people to lead change for sustainable development (workshops). The organisations, according to their mission and practice, highlighted three thematic aspects of sustainable development in the project: waste management, climate change and spatial planning.
The partner organisations thus first strengthened their knowledge and skills in working with young people by exchanging experiences in the partner trainings. Each of the partner organisations thus organised a three-day training in 2021 to present in an interactive way their content and ways of raising awareness and disseminating knowledge for sustainable development. In the process, the partners also learned about the local/national specificities of how NGOs deal with the challenges of sustainable development and working with young people. IPoP highlighted sustainable spatial planning in its partner training seminar and presented its varied experience with non-formal education on sustainable spatial planning. We presented to the partners details of the programmes we have developed to work with schools (Workshops for Schools, Teacher’s Guide) as well as the Sustainable Development Reader and the tools we use to involve young people and other groups of citizens in sustainable spatial planning processes. We have highlighted in particular the activities we are carrying out to change travel habits and active mobility.
The Tools for Learning – Tools for Sustainable Development handbook brings together eight tools that teachers and youth workers can use to support their learning and develop young people’s knowledge and skills in an inclusive way. Each of the tools, including a global climate conference simulation, cooking with food scraps and an urban walk, is firstly set in a contextual context and supported by implementation guidance, including ways to test knowledge and a rough outline of the skills learnt.
The content of the handbook was presented by the partner organisations on a test basis to teachers and youth workers, who found the content interesting. The handbook is available in print and electronic versions in the languages of all three partner organisations (HR, IT, SI) and in English.
Each of the organisations has tested one of the new tools they have learnt through the other two organisations in the project through a workshop for young people. IPoP tested the Climate Conference Simulation in cooperation with Pekarna Magdalenske mreže and young activists from Maribor. The tool proved to be extremely interesting, and the young people did a great job of taking on the roles of country representatives and negotiators to reduce their carbon footprint and to manage a temperature rise of no more than 2 degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial period.
This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. Project is co-financed by the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs. The views expressed in this communication are the sole responsibility of Green Istria and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs.