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´╗┐Early Childhood Education for Sustainable Development

from: The first world conference meeting on Education for Sustainable Development was held Berlin, Germany from April 21-22, 2008. Fourteen experts on education discussed the objectives of the program. The Education for Sustainable Development program is headed by the UN Department of Economic Affairs; the program offers a platform to promote education, dialog and change in an effort to reduce poverty around the world. For the education for sustainable development to really make a difference children must be included in the change.

Children are our future; education for sustainable development needs to start with the children. By educating the children about sustainable development they learn about human rights and how to prevent the individual's human and civil rights from being violated. They learn how to take care of the planet to prevent loss of the earth's natural and environmental resources.
It is easier to teach children the concepts of change, than trying to teach adults. Adults often resist change; therefore, teach the children when they are young and they will grow up with an attitude that everyone deserves equality. They will learn that the planet is alive and needs to be taken care of, rather than allowing it to degrade to become an uninhabitable planet. It is easier to teach children about the effects of global warming and how to stop it through the use of renewable energy, rather than continuing to use forms of energy that create greenhouse gases. Children accept change easier than adults, and they often help to educate their parents. The old adage that education starts in the home is true, and the premise is no different in education for sustainable development.
Young children learn an interdisciplinary approach to education for sustainable development through real life hands-on projects, and other learning tools. Through education for sustainable development, children learn how global warming has affected the polar bear population in the arctic. The ice is melting so fast that polar bears are losing their habitat; and by the year 2040 the arctic will be completely free of ice which means that the polar bear will become extinct.
Many adults are still in doubt that global warming is a reality. They believe that this warming trend is nothing more than a natural cycle. In order to change the way the world thinks about our planet is to educate the children. Education for sustainable development has shown that the highest warming trends have taken place in the 20th century to the present time. Due to climate change glaciers are melting, and in the oceans some of the coral reefs are dying. Due to extreme temperature changes forest fires start up spontaneously, and wildlife suffers as a result. Through education for sustainable development, it will be the children of today who will make the changes that will save their planet for the generations that follow them.




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