Sustainability Report 2015
ESD(Education for Sustainable Development)
Professor in the Department of Human Developmental Sciences at the Faculty of Education. He served as an instructor at the University of Copenhagen’ s Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences and as the Director of the Research Unit at Denmark’ s Ribe County Hospital before assuming his present post in April 2006. He specializes in muscle physiology and physical fitness sciences. His publications include “Human Skeletal Muscle Training and Evaluation of Adaptation to Inactivity” and “Elucidation of Cardiopulmonary Function/Skeletal Muscle Response and the Mechanism behind Adaptation to Physical Exercise and Training in High-altitude and Low-altitude Hypoxic Environments.”
ESD (Education for Sustainable Development)
The Japanese National Commission for UNESCO at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology defines education for sustainable development (ESD) as follows: “The world today faces a myriad of problems, such as environmental degradation, poverty, human rights violations, and issues in peace-building and development. The term ESD refers to teaching and activities intended to create new values and encourage behavior that will help to resolve these problems and ultimately create a sustainable society. To this end, students are prompted to consider today’s societal issues for themselves and to begin tackling local problems (a concept referred to as think globally, act locally). In other words, ESD fosters the development of individuals who will create a sustainable society.
The ESD Campus Asia Project as turning Asia into a unified campus
Hokkaido Unviersity’s School of Education launched the ESD Campus Asia Project in 2011, promoting international student exchanges with the aim of turning Asia into a unified campus. Professor Masao Mizuno at the Faculty of Education described the program for this report.
“Global human resource development is a major pillar of H U’s efforts to produce leaders who will contribute to the resolution of global issues. Linguistic ability is important for effective communication, but the content of what people say is even more important. The School of Education launched the ESD Campus Asia Project to provide undergraduate students with opportunities to engage in discussions with others in Asia on how a sustainable society can be built. Participants take lessons in English and are part of an interactive overseas study arrangement known as the Buddy Program. Each exchange is 10 days long, and begins when HU students meet 20 counterparts from elsewhere in Asia at the airport. During their stay, students are encouraged to consider the future through discussions on wide-ranging matters in day-to-day life rather than only in classrooms. A total of 20 students from HU’s School of Education are subsequently dispatched to four Asian universities in autumn, meaning that 5 students go to each one.”
This program began in 2011 with exchanges involving five students from HU’s School of Education and five from Korea University. In 2012, Seoul National University in Korea and Beijing Normal University in China joined the program, and Chulalongkorn University in Thailand also joined in 2013. A total of 40 students (20 from HU and 5 each from the other Asian universities) have so far taken part in the program, which is improved annually. Participants in 2014 d id fieldwork in the Hidaka region, where they learned about town revitalization initiatives amid decline caused by population aging. The students also visited a museum in Hidaka’s Biratori Town and learned about Japan’s indigenous Ainu people. The program is expected to promote exchanges among students and faculty m embers alike, and will be further improved so that leading Asian schools can work together more to provide international joint education programs.
Consideration of next-generation strategic ESD
After the summer program of the ESD Campus Asia Project for students, faculty members from partner institutions are hosted at HU in autumn to discuss program improvements. On October 25, 2014, the 5th International E SD Symposium (theme: Strategic E SD in the Next Generation) was held during the opening part of the 2014 Sustainability Weeks program. Its Plenary Session featured key note speeches on strategic ESD for the next decade by educators who had played active roles in Asia, and the Parallel Sessions included discussion of regional activities and presentations by students.
The first ESD-related initiatives were implemented in Japan. Professor Mizuno remarked: “Knowing that Japan is the cradle of ESD initiatives, we should make conscious efforts and collaborate with high schools, public elementary and junior high schools, and others. Lots of teachers are doing everything they can within their own spheres, so I think universities must work with these leaders as part of collaborative efforts to think globally and act locally.
The ESD Campus Asia Project could ultimately be developed into an ESD Campus World Project with the removal of the Asian framework and additional collaboration with institutions in Hawaii, Sakhalin, Finland and elsewhere. Ideally, people in Asia will eventually come to collaborate more and act as one before a global scale is adopted for the project.