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World Environment Day – The Role of FE in Tackling Sustainability Issues

Melanie Brown Exclusive

Melanie Brown, Stakeholder Engagement Manager for The Skills Network, looks at how FE can play a key role in tackling sustainability issues this World Environment Day.

The Importance of World Environment Day

Today is World Environment Day (5th June), a day dedicated to raising awareness and taking action to protect our planet. According to the UN environment programme, we are using the ‘equivalent of 1.6 Earths to maintain our current way of life, and ecosystems cannot keep up with our demands, they state individuals and civil society must play a key role in raising awareness and urging governments and the private sector to make large-scale changes’. It’s not sustainable and we all have a role to play in tackling the problem.

Cultivating Knowledge and Skills for Sustainability

We also understand the importance of cultivating a learner’s knowledge, skills and understanding of a range of topics relating to sustainability and promoting environmental sustainability in all aspects of our lives. As educators, we have a responsibility to instil in our learners a sense of stewardship towards the environment and inspire them to take action to preserve our future generations. We do not need more people to simply know more things, but rather to feel able, empowered and ready to do more and be that positive change.

The Need for Action and Empowerment

That is the thing, with the current crisis we face with the global climate, we need to do more than just protect the environment, we need to work together to ensure current and future generations have the information, skills and will to tackle these big issues, and fast!

Young people in particular are more engaged with themes of environmentalism than ever before and see this as an issue where those that have gone before have failed them badly – and they are not wrong. We need to make sure that these new thinkers and decisionmakers have access to the resources they need to succeed.

Aligning with UN Sustainable Development Goals

Through incorporating sustainability into our curriculum and aligning with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) we are helping make a practical difference in addressing the shared global challenges we face as a country and a planet – including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity and maintaining peace and justice.

Empowering Learners for a Sustainable Future

We need to trust the next generation and empower our learners to become environmentally conscious citizens and future leaders, who will make the right decisions where those that have gone before have not. At The Skills Network, our training programmes empower learners to make informed decisions that benefit both the environment and society; whilst equipping them with the tools they need to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Education can play a crucial role in shaping a sustainable future and we are committed to making it more sustainable and accessible for everyone. Educating learners about the importance of sustainability hopefully will mean that we can help create a more environmentally conscious workforce that is prepared to tackle the challenges of today, as well as the future.

A Call to Action on World Environment Day

On this World Environment Day, let us all commit to taking small steps towards a more sustainable future. Whether it’s reducing our carbon footprint, supporting progressive initiatives, or advocating for better Environmental Protection, together we can make a difference and ensure a sustainable future for all.

Happy World Environment Day!

By Melanie Brown, Green Skills specialist, The Skills Network

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