ERASMUS Intensive Program
on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Protected Areas

SUMMER SCHOOL, 6-19 July 2014, Amfissa, Greece
ESD in Protected Areas and Biosphere Reserves

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The summer school has resulted in the following list of recommendations, in view of the UNESCO Conference to mark the end of the UN Decade on ESD (10-12 November 2014, Nagoya Japan). 

The post graduate students of the Summer School on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Protected Areas and MAB Biosphere Reserves, 6-19 July 2014, having been informed about:

  • the evolution, objectives, methodologies and prospects of ESD,
  • the theory and practice of sustainable development management and in particular the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) approaches,
  • the scope of the forthcoming International Conferences
    i) on the completion of the UN Decade on ESD in Nagoya, Japan on 10-12 November 2014 and
    ii) the 7th World Water Forum in Korea 12-17 April 2015;

we would like to share our experience and submit some recommendations to be considered by the aforementioned Conferences.

Our experience:

The Summer School in Amfissa, Greece was a multidisciplinary, multicultural practice that allowed us to critically compare and analyse our approaches towards sustainability and ESD. This led to a broadening of knowledge and enrichment of our views on the issues underlining ESD. The experience gained and the observations of the natural processes in the ecosystem of Mt Parnassus has helped us understand the importance and the dynamics of sustainable development as well as the interconnections between local communities, their social and economic needs and their environment. From our field activities we became aware of the importance of responsible water management and the significance of a specialised education focusing on it. Effective water management cannot be achieved without the participation of well educated and critically thinking citizens. Overall we consider this experience as a useful tool through raise the awareness of future participants. We recommend that this practice continues increases and expands this type of activity.

Our recommendations:

  • Biosphere Reserves (BRs) and designated areas such as national parks, geoparks, etc are ideal places for developing, demonstrating and experiencing ESD. Special provision should be made to exploit their educational potential.
  • All ESD aspects, environmental, economic, socio-political and cultural are closely linked to the management of natural resources and in particular of water resources as it is clearly demonstrated in BRs and other designated areas.
  • Water issues and specific water management modules should be central in ESD approaches including the Whole Institute Approach at all educational levels. 
  • Amfissa, 29 July 2014
    Participants of the Summer School

    The ERASMUS Intensive Program (IP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Protected Areas and MAB Biosphere Reserves was organised by the University of Athens, in Amfissa, Greece, between 6 and 19 July 2014 with the participation of 8 Universities and other stakeholders from the Euro-Mediterranean region. The 2 week Summer School, provided an intensive training on how ESD can be applied in various types of designated areas to thirty nine (39) trainees, a blend of post-graduate students and junior professionals of Biosphere Reserves from 11 countries.

Under the auspicies of the hellenic National Comission for UNESCO