Choose the Future: Environmental Education for a Culture of Change
International Peace Garden, Manitoba
August 25-28, 2016
This page of conference information in PDF format
Choose the Future is co-hosted with our Manitoba Partners, the Manitoba Education for Sustainable Development Working Group (MESDWG) and the International Peace Garden (IPG)
Our choices today will determine the future we leave for our grandchildren and their grandchildren. COP21 in Paris was about Climate Change and, ultimately was about the change(s) we are prepared to make to provide hope for future generations.
Environmental / Sustainability Education will play a key role in affecting the culture of change needed to meet the commitments set in Paris.
EECOM 2016 will provide educators with new hope and ideas, new tools and resources, and will look at the choices we can make to make this culture of change a reality.
EECOM 2016 is purposefully taking place in the Heart of the Turtle Mountains in the geographic centre of Turtle Island (North America). For three days you will be able to experience a place without boundaries. Situated on the 49th parallel, the International Peace Garden recognizes no boundaries – a perfect setting to “think outside the box”.
EECOM 2016 abides by Green Conference Guidelines. Conference related activities and events generate significant amounts of solid waste and other waste products such as air emissions. In an effort to ensure EECOM conferences are planned as green conferences, we have adopted these guidelines.
EECOM 2016 will feature keynote addresses and a variety of panel discussions, workshops, round tables, and presentations.
Presentations and workshops support the following learning outcomes regardless of the theme strand one chooses. These principles are embrace the resolution of the UN General Assembly of September 2015 which adopted the outcome document for Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
First Peoples: The work of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission demonstrates the issues affecting not only indigenous peoples but also all of us. The emergence of new agreements, which will see First Nations stories become part of the school curriculum, highlights the importance placed on education as a key to true reconciliation. What part can environmental educators play in making true reconciliation a reality?
Peace and Social Justice: Without peace there can be no reconciliation here, in Canada, on Turtle Island, or around the world. How can educators and community members affect a culture of change that will see our nations move away from the politics of fear to the politics of peace and collaboration?
Hands-on Learning: Helping students learn through interactive and engaging approaches such as inquiry based learning and problem-based learning can be an excellent pathway to develop environmental and sustainability literacy.
Youth Engagement: Providing students opportunities to explore STEM (Science Technology Energy and Math) fields of study and engaging them, as active researchers are critical experiences. Students will develop leadership skills and roles assuming ownership of their learning through 21st Century Leaning Models.
Research: Based Practice in Environmental Education – Sharing knowledge where practitioners and researchers are able to build on their capacities to develop and refine education programs including engaging new and under represented audiences.
Holistic Education: Holistic education models are opportunities for environmental educators to look at creativity in its many forms, engaging mind, body and spirit.
Four themes, representing the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations have been selected:
Waste Minimization: We have all made great strides to prevent and recycle waste. Schools, municipalities, industries, businesses, institutions and the public have all embraced waste prevention and recycling, helping to reduce the amount of solid waste going to landfill. Despite our efforts, there is still much work to be done! How can we change our culture to reduce our consumption, reuse, recycle, compost?
UN Goal 12 : “Sustainable consumption and production aims at “doing more and better with less,” increasing net welfare gains from economic activities by reducing resource use, degradation and pollution along the whole lifecycle, while increasing quality of life. It involves different stakeholders, including business, consumers, policy makers, researchers, scientists, retailers, media, and development cooperation agencies, among others.”
Climate Change and Energy: COP23 in Paris was about Climate Change and, ultimately was about the change(s) we are prepared to make to provide hope for future generations. How can we educate citizens to reduce our energy consumption to reduce our carbon footprint? How do we challenge people to seek out energy-efficient strategies in their own lives, at home, in their businesses and in the schools?
UN Goal 13: “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.”
Food Security: Access to healthy, affordable food is an important issue that can greatly affect the health of families. How can we support healthy lifestyles, communities, and environments? We have done so by growing our own food, eating local foods, by supporting farmers who use sustainable practices, and by increasing food education. How can we change our culture to help children, youth and citizens learn about and take action toward good food for all? How can we encourage food security education in your communities?
UN Goal 2: “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.”
Water Security: Water issues are big issues! Without water there would be no seas, lakes, rivers, grasslands, or forests. We would have no fish or wildlife. There would be no hydro power, manufacturing, crops, jobs, or food. Without water there would be no cities, towns, cultures, families, or people. There would be no life without water. What can we do in communities to promote water conservation, awareness and action? We have done water audits. We have installed water-efficient devices and we have eliminated unnecessary water use. What can we do change our culture to value water more and promote conservation and efficiencies?
UN Goal 6: “Ensure access to water and sanitation for all.”