Biodiversity Education (2006)
Recommendations of the meeting of the European Platform for Biodiversity Research Strategy held under the Finnish Presidency of the EU Helsinki, 17th-19th November 2006, concerning:
The participants in this meeting acknowledge the importance of life-long learning, in particular schools, as a concept for communicating biodiversity and biodiversity research in the context of sustainable development. To further improve biodiversity education we need:
- 1. Research on the impact and effectiveness of biodiversity education (including different pedagogical methods, use of different media and innovative technologies) on the values of society, on the level of awareness on biodiversity related problems and on perceptions.
- 2. Research on the use of biodiversity as an interdisciplinary educational resource.
- 3. Research on assessment methods to evaluate and measure the effect and effectiveness of biodiversity education.
- 4. Research on the active participation of schools in gathering and delivering biodiversity related data and information in cooperation with the biodiversity research community.
- 5. Promote the involvement of the educational community in inter- and transdisciplinary biodiversity research.
- 6. Improve access to biodiversity related data and information, ensuring that data can be used in education; using and further developing existing facilities, including the CBD Clearing House Mechanism, GBIF, CORDIS, EIONET, ILTER, and the Academic learning network.
The participants of this meeting also agree that education as such plays an essential role in communicating biodiversity and biodiversity research. To optimize the impact education has on the understanding of biodiversity, responsible authorities should:
- 1. Further increase the impact of scientific research by fostering cooperation between scientists and formal, non-formal and informal education institutions.
- 2. Support development of curricula, pedagogical methods and innovative tools to facilitate education on biodiversity and biodiversity research.
- 3. Establish participatory mechanisms for effective education and active involvement of multiple biodiversity stakeholders to ensure sustainable use of biodiversity.
- 4. Strengthen educator training concerning biodiversity.
- 5. Promote the involvement of families in biodiversity education.
- 6. Promote the involvement of pupils, students and their families in biodiversity monitoring, management and conservation, including urban areas, as a pedagogical strategy.
- 7. Develop and promote education related aspects within a concept of a “UN Decade of biodiversity”.
These research priorities were derived from the following considerations:
- Biodiversity is an integral part of sustainable development (CBD).
- The UN has declared a Decade of Education for Sustainable Development for the years 2005-2014.
- The Council of the European Union emphasizes that education is a prerequisite for promoting the behavioral changes and providing all citizens with the key competences needed to achieve sustainable development.
- The EU countries have decided to implement the UNECE Strategy for Education for Sustainable Development adopted in Vilnius in 2005.