Research and Policy Manager Liz Cooper summarises the Learning for Sustainability Scotland AGM on Tuesday 8th December 2015.
Learning for Sustainability Scotland (LfSS) held its AGM at the University of Edinburgh on 8th December, bringing together members from across Scotland to hear about progress made over the year and to discuss future plans. LfSS is a United Nations Recognised Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), and is an open network for organisations and individuals to come together to collaborate on learning at all stages in life, both formal and informal, both locally and globally.
LfSS has a secretariat, a steering group, and a number of task groups led by members to collaborate on specific issues together (members are welcome to propose new task groups that relate to things they are working on).
During the session, several things were highlighted that are timely for LfSS to influence and implement: the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the current CoP 21 negotiations, the UNESCO Global Action Plan on ESD, a current Scottish Government conversation on a Fairer Scotland, and the Scottish elections coming up next May.
After attendees were distracted by the sight of two complete rainbows connecting Calton Hill and Arthur’s Seat (!), workshop sessions were held to discuss the SDGs and CoP in more detail. The SDGs were described as the philosophical framework, while the CoP would be the binding agreement needed (on the climate change aspect of sustainable development at least). May East from CIFAL Scotland (United Nations Institute for Training and Research’s local development training centre in Northern Europe), recently back from Paris, explained how 150 heads of states had arrived at the negotiation site this week, despite security threats, and that ‘we must, we can, we will’ had become a slogan during the discussions. Despite many different parties bringing different viewpoints, including governments, business and civil society, a draft document has been produced to be translated into the six UN languages, albeit with 1000 bracketed bits that still need to be agreed. We heard that a key focus of civil society discussions has been on the need for communities to own energy schemes, rather than corporates. May also welcomed members to contact her to get involved in a working group that is currently discussing Scotland’s implementation of the seventeen SDGs (contact LfSS for info).
For more updates on CoP 21 as it progresses visit our dedicated videos and blogs page.
Watch the 2015 Our Changing World lecture by Prof Peter Higgins and Prof Charles Hopkins on UN Sustainable Development Goals, Learning for Sustainability and government policies
Photos: LFSS Twitter account