Sustainable Development for Whom? A view from Oceania

Konai Helu Thaman


Sustainable development, like climate change, has become the new rave globally, regionally, and nationally. At the University of the South Pacific (USP), where I work, it is in your face when you open its website: “Excellence and sustainability in higher education”. It is also assumed that most people in the world today know what the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are and most educators know about Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). Many people who talk about, teach, and do things related to ESD know that ESD is not straightforward or as easy as they would like or had expected. In this presentation, I problematize the notion of ESD by first providing a brief background of what ESD means to the international community by discussing the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD 2004-14). I then examine selected Pacific notions of ESD and their implications for formal education.


ESD; DESD 2004-14; Paific pedagogies; Pacific research

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