Monday, November 10, 2014

UNESCO: Education for Sustainable Development in Nagoya

Another large international conference in Japan, this time about education. How do we teach kids about environmental issues, health, energy, biodiversity, sustainable development?

Are you a teacher reading Kurashi? How do you teach these issues to your students?

The conference will take place from 10-12 November 2014 in Aichi-Nagoya, Japan. Under the banner of “Learning Today for a Sustainable Future”, the Conference will celebrate the achievements of the Decade, identify lessons learnt while setting the stage for the future of ESD.

It will also showcase initiatives, key players, networks and ideas that the Decade has stimulated. Such examples from all over the world will help to generate future action under the Global Action Programme.

ESD describes the teaching of key related issues — including climate change, disaster risk reduction, biodiversity, poverty reduction and sustainable consumption — in forms of education.
Crown Prince Naruhito, who attended the meeting Crown Princess Masako, said he expects young people engaged in ESD to support the future of the Earth.
ESD, which aims to allow every human being to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to shape a sustainable future, was originally proposed by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in 2002 to build a prosperous and safe society through education.
The United Nations has designated the 10-year period between 2005 and 2014 as a decade to promote ESD and the Nagoya conference is expected to serve as a milestone for pointing the way ahead.

The outcomes of the World Conference will inform the deliberations of the World Education Forum to be held from 19 to 22 May 2015 in Incheon, Republic of Korea.


UNESCO is the lead agency for the UN Decade of Education for SustainableDevelopment (2005-2014).

News


UNESCO presented the Final Report for the Decade at the Opening Plenary, entitled Shaping the Future We Want.  It assesses the impact of the Decade on all levels and areas of education and draws out the major lessons that will inform future work. The study was based on questionnaires sent to Member States, UN Agencies and other stakeholders as well as extensive additional research.
The report identifies 10 key findings.  Among them is increased global recognition that education is a critical tool for moving societies towards sustainable development. Countries and jurisdictions from Manitoba to Mauritius have made education more relevant to the social, environmental and economic challenges that the world faces now and in the future.  The report also finds that two thirds of countries responding to the questionnaire already have a national ESD strategy or plan in place and that half have integrated ESD into relevant policies.


NHK: UNESCO ESD conference opens in Nagoya

A UNESCO-sponsored international conference on Education for Sustainable Development opened in Nagoya on Monday.

UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova said in a speech that education to realize sustainable growth is needed more than ever to deal with deepening impact of natural disasters and climate change.

Japan's Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura said Japan has been committed to the Education for Sustainable Development ideal and that it will promote the drive around the world.

Under the program, children carry out research and hold discussions to resolve environmental issues and ethnic conflicts, rather than being taught by teachers.

The participants gain experience from working with other people and learn about different cultures.

About 1,000 people from 190 countries including ministers and researchers are attending the conference which closes on Wednesday.
A UNESCO-sponsored international conference on Education for Sustainable Development opened in Nagoya on Monday.
UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova said in a speech that education to realize sustainable growth is needed more than ever to deal with deepening impact of natural disasters and climate change. Japan's Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura said Japan has been committed to the Education for Sustainable Development ideal and that it will promote the drive around the world.
Under the program, children carry out research and hold discussions to resolve environmental issues and ethnic conflicts, rather than being taught by teachers.
- See more at: http://newsonjapan.com/html/newsdesk/article/110188.php#sthash.VugDdRzT.dpuf
A UNESCO-sponsored international conference on Education for Sustainable Development opened in Nagoya on Monday.
UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova said in a speech that education to realize sustainable growth is needed more than ever to deal with deepening impact of natural disasters and climate change. Japan's Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura said Japan has been committed to the Education for Sustainable Development ideal and that it will promote the drive around the world.
Under the program, children carry out research and hold discussions to resolve environmental issues and ethnic conflicts, rather than being taught by teachers.
- See more at: http://newsonjapan.com/html/newsdesk/article/110188.php#sthash.VugDdRzT.dpuf
A UNESCO-sponsored international conference on Education for Sustainable Development opened in Nagoya on Monday.
UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova said in a speech that education to realize sustainable growth is needed more than ever to deal with deepening impact of natural disasters and climate change. Japan's Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura said Japan has been committed to the Education for Sustainable Development ideal and that it will promote the drive around the world.
Under the program, children carry out research and hold discussions to resolve environmental issues and ethnic conflicts, rather than being taught by teachers.
- See more at: http://newsonjapan.com/html/newsdesk/article/110188.php#sthash.VugDdRzT.dpuf

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

If You Like Soy Milk And Tofu...

...You will be glad to hear that there will be a new international standard for these "non-fermented" soybean foods, agreed today in Tokyo by the Codex Alimentarius, at the 19th CC Asia meeting held this week. Final words on Friday, then the text will be sent to the global food standards body that will put it in the rules books sometime next year. Important both for protecting consumers from fraudulent products and for companies that want to make the stuff.

Of course, we want such products to be supplied in a pure form, without unnecessary chemicals!

It's like watching paint dry, but the past couple of years provided results. For example, "plain" soy milk will not be allowed to contain any artificial food additives or colourings at all. That's progress as some countries initially tried to water down the standard and delayed the work. Also today, Indonesia almost put a spanner in the works for tofu, by insisting that turmeric or annatto, i e yellow colours, should be allowed. Their rationale, opposed by everyone else, was that in the past, Indonesia made soy bean curd this way, because such substances could help preserve the product, and consumers have gotten used to "yellow tofu" and even though the country now has refrigeration to better preserve the stuff, so turmeric is no longer necessary, they still want to continue its use... Well, you get the general picture. Debates like this between government officials are all part and parcel of the Codex system. The solution, this time? Allow Indonesia to do what it wants, but other countries may keep their ban on all such substances. Unless that caveat is clearly stated in the text, it could become a trade barrier under the WTO.

So, keep tofu pure.

The text that the 25-plus Asian countries agreed on also contains an interesting labelling provision: if genetically soybeans are used, the soy milk or tofu should carry a label with that information, if countries have such labelling laws. Again, it is important to get agreement on such matters to avoid trade wars.

Other work this week includes a new text that is supposed to provide hygiene guidance for street food vendors, and proposals from Korea about some of their traditional foods. "Laver" or nori may get a standard, but my guess is it will take a major effort. Japan also wants a standard for natto.

Officials from WHO and FAO are in town, and gave many insights into how the world's food system is evolving. On Friday, by the way, Japan's government will have to try to explain how it has dealt with the radioactive contamination of food since March 11, 2011. Many countries still ban foods from Fukushima and the neighbouring prefectures.

As usual, you can learn a lot during these meetings, but I also suffered from all that sitting in uncomfortable chairs in a stuffy meeting room with an interpretation headphone hanging on my ear.

Still, glad to be able to report that this particular little piece of the larger puzzle went the right way, this time.

On the other hand...

...You may be justified in wondering why a totally obscure body of government officials are making rules about foods that... you like. 

Codex website here

Photo from the 18th CC Asia meeting in 2012.