Professor Ilga Salite discusses the issues of ESD at an international conference in Bern


Professor of the Institute of Sustainable Education Ms Ilga Salīte attended a European experts’ conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) which was held at the University of Bern (Switzerland) on 3-4 September 2012. The conference was focused on analysing indicators for ESD.

At the conference, the issue of educational indicators was viewed against the backdrop of an analysis of outcomes from a project designed and jointly implemented by a team from Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The first project outcomes were proposed to the experts in attendance through a serial publication by the Interdisciplinary Centre Education on the Path to Sustainability: Proposal of an indicator set to evaluation education for sustainable development. High on the agenda of follow-up activities to the conference is the intended refinement and publication of the indicators designed by the project team in order to encourage their application and set the grounds for potential modification. The current edition of the publication is available at the Institute of Sustainable Education.

The 40 experts in attendance at the conference represented countries such as United Kingdom, Denmark, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Finland and Latvia besides the project participants from universities in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The experts' opinions on the varied contexts identified around the proposed set of indicators highlighted the need to design indicators that would allow for a greater ontological diversity, broader contexts and openness to variability.

The team of experts who contributed their insights to the conference featured esteemed members of BBCC consortium professors Ulla Harkonen (Finland), Marika Veisson (Estonia), Laima Galkute (Lithuania), Ilga Salīte (BBCC president, Latvia) and Charles Hopkins (Honorary Member of Daugavpils University and UNESCO Chair on reorientation of teacher education to address sustainability at York University, Toronto). Daugavpils University became involved in the UNESCO Chair project in 2000. Its joining the project to a great extent contributed to the establishment of the Institute of Sustainable Education (2003) and BBCC consortium (2005).