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Kalathaki M1, Schoinoplokaki E2, Zaneka S.3

Ph.D., Med, School Advisor for Secondary Science Teachers of West Crete, Greece
Teacher of Castelli Kissamos Lyceum, Chania, Crete, Greece
Ph.D., Med, Teacher of 1st Lyceum of Chania, Crete, Greece

The term “Sustainability”, etymologically, derives from the eternal and bring, that will
bring forever, indicated in the exploitation of natural resources in ways that ensure their
existence in the future as they are today. In Treaty of Amsterdam (1997), the principle of
Sustainability formulated as Sustainable or Viable Development that respects the
environment, but today, the concept of Sustainability has expanded the concept of the
environment as a whole framework of human activities. Connection to the Sustainability,
today, include employment, awareness and finding solutions to the problems of poverty,
health, food security, democracy, human rights and peace.
Sustainable Development (SD) is defined as the development that is made with eyes
on the future, the development that is trying to meet the needs of the present generation,
without compromising the effort and the future generations to meet their own needs. This
concept of viable development first appeared in the text of the World Commission on
Environment and Development, the "Brundtland Commission", of the name of Norwegian
Chairwoman. It is “a global agenda for change” “Our Common Future, From One Earth to One
World”, an overview formulated as an urgent call by the General Assembly of the United
Nations to propose long-term environmental strategies for achieving sustainable
development by the year 2000 and beyond. Recommend ways that may be translated into
greater co-operation among developing countries and between countries at different stages
of economic and social development, leading to the achievement of common and mutually
supportive objectives that take account of the interrelationships between people, resources,
environment, and development. The report considers ways and means by which the
international community can deal more effectively with environment concerns and define
shared perceptions of long-term environmental issues and appropriate efforts needed to deal
successfully with the problems of protecting and enhancing the environment, a long term
agenda for action during the coming decades and aspirational goals for the world community
(Brundtland Commission, 1987).
ESD is fundamentally related to values. Seeks to respect the dignity and human rights
of all people around the world and a commitment to social and economic justice for all and
for future generations, together with a commitment of responsibility towards them (Huckle,
2006). The Earth Charter is an ethical framework for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful
global society in the 21st century. It seeks to inspire in all people a new sense of global
interdependence and shared responsibility for the well-being of the whole human family, the
greater community of life, and future generations. It is a vision of hope and a call to action. It
is a universal expression of ethical principles to foster sustainable development, ensuring
earthly generosity and beauty for present and future generations (Wikipedia). The document
opens with a Preamble: “We stand at a critical moment in Earth's history, a time when
humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and
fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must
recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one
human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to
bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights,
economic justice, and a culture of peace (Earth Charter, 2000). The four pillars and sixteen
principles of the Earth Charter (2000) are the Respect and Care for the Community of Life, the
Ecological Integrity, the Social and Economic Justice, the Democracy, Nonviolence, and Peace
(Earth Charter, 2000).
Over the last 35 years, UNESCO is the leader and moderator at international level, in
matters of SD. At all United Nations conferences, regardless of the subject matter
(environment, population, social development, human rights, democracy), SD has become
commonplace and that Education is a driving force for the changes needed. Promoting AA,
according to the decisions of the UNESCO's and European Union’s Conferences and
Declaration requires global cooperation, given the fact that the local element is character
universal and decisions of local communities form an overall economic and social policy
The global cooperation and acquiescence will seek the means for solutions to global
problems such as health, education and environment, based on a healthy economic
development. Ancient Greeks had chosen to be concentrated in Olympia all the races
together, as brothers siblings, every four years, in the Olympic Games, and, in interaction with
the landscape, they filled with the meanings and multiplied the peace and the reconciliation’s
submission (N. Kazantzakis, Report to Greco). In the meeting of the World Health Organization
in Ottawa, Canada in 1986, and the following years, it has developed a new, holistic,
framework for health perceptions and attitudes, which is no longer defined as the absence of
disease but as the all-round physical, mental and spiritual development of the person.
Sustainable future served by healthy people living in healthy communities, in opportunities
and possibilities offered by a healthy natural environment (The Ottawa Charter for Health
Promotion, 1986).
At the UNESCO World Conference (1997) identified as pillars of sustainability,
Education, Legislation, Economy and Technology. It was considered that the best approach to
environmental problems is the area of Education, through which it is necessary to promote
sustainable perception and action. The basic principles of ESD is the care of the environment,
anti-consumerist Model Development, Promotion of Traditional Way of Living, Global
Dimension Local Issues (UNECE, 2005).
The World Conference on ESD “Learning Today for a Sustainable Future” (UNESCO,
2014) marked the end of the ESD Decade, as well as constituted an important milestone for
pointing the way ahead. It highlighted the role of ESD for the transition to green economies
and societies and as a catalyst for cross-sector planning and implementation of programs in
areas such as climate change, biodiversity and disaster risk reduction. The World Conference
also addressed how ESD can help move SD policy and action forward, to meet different global,
regional, national, and local needs. The Global Action Program (GAP) on ESD, launched in
Nagoya (Japan), reorients education and learning so everyone has the opportunity to acquire
the attitudes, knowledge, skills and values to empower them to contribute to sustainable
development; and strengthen education and learning in all activities, agendas and programs
that promote SD. The GAP will focus on five areas: advancing policy; integrating sustainability
practices into education and training; increasing educators' and trainers' capacity;
empowering and mobilizing youth; and encouraging municipal authorities and local
communities to develop community-based ESD programs.
“In The Way Forward” (Earth Charter, 2000), as never before in history, common
destiny beckons us to seek a new beginning with change of mind and heart, a new sense of
global interdependence and universal responsibility, deepen and expand the global dialogue
Every individual, family, organization, and community has a vital role to play. The arts,
sciences, religions, educational institutions, media, businesses, nongovernmental
organizations, and governments are all called to offer creative leadership. Our cultural
diversity is a precious heritage and different cultures will find their own distinctive ways to
realize the vision, they will find ways to harmonize diversity with unity, the exercise of
freedom with the common good, short-term objectives with long-term goals (Earth Charter,
2000).. As Mahatma Gandhi had said “Let my life to be my message” as the journey is the goal
we are aiming at!!! (Breiting S. et al, 2005).

Breiting S., Mayer M. and Mogensen F. (2005), Quality Criteria for ESD-Schools, Guidelines to
enhance the quality of Education for Sustainable Development, SEED, Socrates/Comenius
Project, Austria, , retrieved 20-7-2007
Bruntland Commission (1987) Report of the World Commission on Environment and
Development: Our Common Future, available 7/2/2016 on http://www.un-
Earth Charter (2000)
Earth Charter Wikipedia
The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, First International Conference on Health
Promotion, Ottawa, 21 November 1986, available 7/2/2016 on

Treaty of Amsterdam (1997) Treaty f Amsterdam, amending the Treaty on European Union,
the Treaties Establishing, the European Communities and certain related acts, signed in
Amsterdam on 2 October 1997, available 7/2/2016 on

UNESCO (2014) Shaping the Future we Want, UN Decade of Education for Sustainable
Development (2005-2014) Final Report, DSD Monitoring and Evaluation, Nagoya,

UNECE (2005) UNECE Strategy for Education for Sustainable Development, the High-Level
Meeting of Environment and Education Ministers, Vilnius, March 17-18