1 Education in planning for sustainable futures

The way people manage their demands on nature depends on their culturally defined value and belief systems. Education in planning for sustainability is needed to enable people to develop the values, knowledge, and skills to participate in decisions about the way we do things, individually and collectively, locally and globally, that will improve the quality of life now without damaging the planet for future generations. As an ongoing behaviour change it will need that kind of heroic effort in which all types of people join forces for the common good.

Living sustainably means people have to develop the knowledge, values and skills to participate in decisions about the way we do things, individually and collectively, locally and globally, that will improve the quality of life now without damaging the planet of the future.

Sustainability is not easy to define, but it implies maintaining humanity in a global ecological balance with the planet, both in present society and over time.This is not a destination to be reached, but a dynamic process requiring a fair balance between parts of society and between society and nature, and of the capability to maintain that balance in a steady state.

"Sustainability, is better seen as a measure of the relationship between the community as learners and their environments, rather than an externally designed goal to be achieved" (Sriskandarajah et al, 1991).

Efforts towards sustainability in any field are built on processes for communicating, learning, and sharing knowledge, engaging people in their multiple roles as individuals, and as members of communities and organizations.
(UK Panel for Education for Sustainable Development, 1998).