David Bell receives 2014 EECOM Award for Excellence in International Environmental Education
Comments on the EECOM Award
David V. J. Bell
Throughout the balance of this century humankind will face increasingly profound and
complex sustainability challenges, the responses to which will likely determine the fate of
our species on this planet. Over the past 2 decades I have increasingly come to the
conclusion that the challenge of sustainability is fundamentally educational, in the
broadest sense of the term: In effect we need to learn to live sustainably on this planet.
While attending to the basic needs for food, water, energy and shelter of a population that
will exceed 9 billion within 30 years, we must ensure that we do not undermine the natural
environment’s capacity to provide the “natural services” that make human life on this
planet possible. Designing and implementing educational systems that will help meet
these challenges is the focus of ESD – Education for Sustainable Development.
This award is especially gratifying because it comes from a group of educators across
Canada who are passionately committed to strengthening environmental and
sustainability education. They are concerned about making a difference for present and
In pursuit of our mission “to promote, through education, the knowledge, skills,
perspectives and practices essential to a sustainable future,” I have been fortunate to
work with the excellent staff and devoted fellow Board members of the NGO Learning for
a Sustainable Future, which is headquartered here at York.
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