UNU-IAS expands its cooperation with ASEAN in Education for Sustainable Development

The consultative workshop to review the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Environmental Education Action Plan (AEEAP 2014-2018) was held in conjunction with the 8th Meeting of the ASEAN Working Group on Environmental Education (AWGEE) in Singapore 11-12 April 2016.

The United Nations University – Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) and specifically its Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Programme has a long history of cooperation with ASEAN in the development and implementation of the ASEAN Environmental Education Action Plans 2014-2018 and 2008-2012.

Mario Tabucanon, senior research fellow for UNU-IAS attended the meeting that focused on the development of a new broader ASEAN Strategic Plan on Environment (ASPEN). In addition to UNU-IAS’ contribution since 2008, particularly in the offering of the ASEAN+3 Leadership Programme on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP), two potential areas of collaboration were identified:

The ASEAN green higher education programme

ASEAN plans to review the state of green campuses across higher education institutions in its Member States. Universities in these countries are to network with other academic and research networks such as ProSPER.Net1 and GUPES2 . UNU-IAS could potentially assist ASEAN by sharing ProSPER.Net joint project outputs and collaborate in certain activities such as piloting of sustainability-oriented curricula, capacity building and influencing policymaking.

Empowering youth in promoting environmental protection

ASEAN intends to collaborate with UNU-IAS’ Regional Centres of Expertise on ESD located in the region. The RCE youth network for example could be instrumental in supporting regional youth initiatives such as the ASEAN Youth Environment Forum, and in developing a recognition scheme for youth eco-champions. The Global RCE Service Centre and the Asia-Pacific RCE Coordinating Committee are expected to further explore potential contributions of RCEs with ASEAN.

During the meeting, the 9th ASEAN+3 Leadership Programme on SCP under the leadership of UNU-IAS, and the UNEP/EU-supported SWITCH Asia Workshop on SCP, were also confirmed. The events will run under the theme “Advancing SCP through corporate social responsibility of businesses” to be hosted by Vietnam’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in Nha Trang, Vietnam on 13-16 September 2016.

[1] ProSPER.Net stands for Promotion for Sustainability in Postgraduate Education and Research, a network of higher education institutions in the Asia-Pacific Region, one of UNU-IAS flagship projects.

[2] GUPES stands for Global Universities Partnership on Environment for Sustainability, one the flagships of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)