YEAR VII - Nº 300
February 13, 2009


ICAE at World Social Forum

- Environmental Education for the construction of sustainable societies and global responsibility – Presentations at WSF and beyond - GEO at the World Social Forum: Towards CONFINTEA VI and FISC - The International Civil Society Forum – FISC - "Stories of Possible Worlds" - WIDE Conference 2009 - Care Economy & Care Crisis - Gender

Environmental Education for the construction of sustainable societies and global responsibility – Presentations at WSF and beyond

By Ana Agostino ICAE

One of the workshops registered by ICAE at the WSF was the one on "Environmental Education for the construction of sustainable societies and global responsibility", co-organised with the International Commission in charge of preparing the Second Journey of Environmental Education and the Institute Paulo Freire. ICAE also co-organised with these two organisations a workshop on the Second International Journey of Environmental Education.

1. Some background information on ICAE's

Involvement with the Treaty on Environmental Education for Sustainable Societies and Global Responsibility "In the context of Rio 92, ICAE had a very important role building the participatory process of the Environmental Education Treaty, when it organised the "International Journey on Environmental Education" together with other international, regional and local institutions during one year. The historical Rio event had as its highlight the participatory preparation and later the approval by consensus of the Treaty on Environmental Education for Sustainable Societies and Global Responsibility ( (external link) . It was one of the 36 Treaties from the NGO and Social Movements Forum participating at the Global Forum parallel to the UN Conference.

Published originally by ICAE in five languages (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic), the Treaty on Environmental Education was firstly distributed among the centres and councils linked to ICAE. At the same time it started to travel a long route. Besides being launched at international events (e.g. ECOED/Canada, 1993) it was the subject for international research (IDRC/OISE, 1995) and topic for doctoral thesis and masters dissertations. It also became a reference for municipal policies on environment and education and for initiatives and programmes from NGOs and environmental movements.

An evaluation of the Treaty started in 2005-2006, during the process of the 5th Iberoamerican Congress on Environmental Education, with participation from countries in the American continent, Europe and Portuguese speaking Africa. The Congress confirmed its historicity and contemporariness and the need of including its principles and values in formal and non formal spaces of education for children, young and adult people". (Abstract from Moema Viezzer´s presentation at the workshop on Environment, Education and Sustainable Development at the ICAE 7th World Assembly, Nairobi, January 2007).

2. Second International Journey of Environmental Education

The Second Journey is planned for 2008-2012 as an educational process in which to have a dialogue around the progress made in terms of environmental education and how to place it at the centre of environmental management in these times of climate change and other environmental challenges. The main content of the Journey is the Treaty on Environmental Education for Sustainable Societies and Global Responsibility.

It is expected that as a result of the journey (i) there will be a dialogue with other internationally agreed documents such as the Earth Charter and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (external link) , among others; (ii) an international participatory process that will lead to environmental education policies at national, regional and global levels; (iii) an effective and permanent involvement of environmental education, based on the principles and values of the Treaty, in various national, regional and international events; (iv) the production, promotion and exchange of eco-pedagogic material to support the construction of sustainable societies with global responsibility; (v) an updated version of the Treaty's Action Plan based in its principles and values; (vi) the establishment of an International Commission on the Treaty that will do the follow-up of the proposals emerging from the Second Journey and will support the international environmental educators network.

3. Events at WSF

- Workshops

The World Education Forum (WED) and the World Social Forum (WSF) were privileged spaces to present information on the Journey and the Treaty. The activities presented in which ICAE took part were the following:

- Workshop on the Second International Journey of Environmental Education, 29 January

- Workshop on Environmental Education for the construction of sustainable societies and global responsibility, 31 January

The first activity consisted of "Circles of Culture on the Treaty". There were four working groups that debated on the principles of the Treaty and suggestions were collected to update it for its better implementation. A video with the history of the treaty was shown. Almost 500 people, mainly educators, attended this event.

The second event was a workshop with various presentations by several of the members of the commission and others: ICAE, Institute Paulo Freire, Ministry of Education of Brazil, Institute ECOAR for Citizenship, ESALQ-USP, ITAIPU Binacional, ComSol?, the educator Carlos Brandao as well as the advisor to Senator and former Minister of Environment in Brazil Marina Silva. This event was also very well attended and generated great interest in the participation in the coming events of the Journey.

- Meetings in preparation of the Second Journey Besides these open activities the group in charge of the Journey had two meetings in Belem during the days of the WSF in preparation for the activities to be presented then and beyond. The list of organisations attending these meetings which are part of the organising group of the Journey follows:

- Ministry of Education, Brazil - Ministry of Environment, Brazil - UNESCO - ICAE - CEAAL - Instituto ECOAR para a Cidadania, Sao Paulo, Brazil - Instituto de Comunicacao Solidaria - ComSol? - Instituto Polis - Escuela de Planificación, Venezuela - Siglo XXII, El Salvador - NEREA – Network for Research on Environmental Education, Portugal - OCAE – Lab for Environmental Education at USP/Sao Paulo - UNICAMP (University of Campinas) - REJUMA, Network of Youth and Environment

Moema Viezzer, coordinator of the Journey, presented a calendar of activities since 2006 up to 2010. CONFINTEA and the International Civil Society Forum (FISC) are high priorities in this calendar with presentations planned for both events.

Other plans include:

• Global communication - Update the website - Virtual forum - Virtual seminar in 2010 (to be coordinated by ICAE in three languages) - Dissemination and information through ICAE website and Voices Rising, plus a special issue of Convergence on Environmental Education with Marcos Sorrentino as guest editor (proposal has been sent to Bob Hill)

• Eco-pedagogic materials - Kit of materials - Manual on the Treaty for local activities - New CD of the Journey

• International Commission - It was agreed that several members of the current group constitute themselves as temporary International Commission. The members are: o ICAE o CEAAL o Siglo XXII o Institute Paulo Freire o Braham Kumaris o Ecoar o ComSol?

- The suggested structure is a space of decision making; working groups; and fund-raising efforts. - Working groups: (i) Executive; (ii) Communication (including media, translation and production of virtual material); (iii) Systematization; (iv) Face to face events. These working groups will focus on pedagogical aspects as well as on public policies.

- There will be a meeting of the International Commission one day before FISC starts and many of these suggestions will be finalised by then.

• Permanent work - Periodic meetings of the Commission - Articulation and identification of new stakeholder - Efforts to obtain financial resources - Preparation and implementation of different actions - Efforts to have three languages in all initiatives

• Specific activities - 10 to 14 May, Montreal, Canada: Fifth World Conference on Environmental Education. (external link) It is suggested that Paul Belanger attends on behalf of ICAE. - 16 to 22 May, Belem, Brazil: CONFINTEA / FISC. The plan is to present the circles of culture about the journey plus a panel, combined with permanent advocacy work. - September, Buenos Aires, Argentina: VI Iberoamerican Congress of Environmental Education. (external link) - It is suggested that ICAE attends this event

• Other proposals - ICAE suggested including events of Environmental Education at the Global Action Week. - Brahma Kumaris will put in place practices of EE during that week in Fortaleza, Brazil. - The representative of the Ministry of Education from Brazil informed that there is a network of youth working on the implementation of the Treaty. He referred to an intergenerational mobilisation strategy for the construction of sustainable societies, related to the Laboratory of sustainable societies. Some experiences took place at the WSF and it was agreed that it will be crucial to organise something similar for FISC and CONFINTEA. - The relationship with United Nations was seen as very important and it was suggested that ICAE, CEAAL and Siglo XXII are the ones to work on this.

4. Follow-up

The events at the WSF provided ICAE an opportunity to strengthen its involvement in the area of Environmental Education. Commitments were made towards ICAE participation in the Second International Journey and the group working on this is very much involved in preparations towards the participation at FISC and CONFINTEA VI. There are clear plans already for the presentation of workshops (including circles of culture, panels and others with information on the Journey and on the Treaty) with high involvement from various role-players. The response generated at the WSF (with attendance at event of almost 500 participants plus organisations actively involved which are key actors in the educational and developmental fields of their own countries) is certainly going to be reproduced in May in Belem.

Report prepared by Ana Agostino February 2009

-- GEO at the World Social Forum: Towards CONFINTEA VI and FISC

By Cecilia Fernandez ICAE

We have just come back from World Social Forum in Belem, a bit tired but very happy. The key protagonists of this forum were the young people and indigenous peoples from the Pan-Amazon? region as well as afro descendant communities and networks, particularly at the Rural University where discussions were held and where the youth camp was located.

This was one of the positive aspects of the evaluation of this ninth edition of World Social Forum, held in the Pan-Amazon? region, composed by 9 countries and prepared in advance through the organization of national and regional Pan-Amazon? forums.

Another positive factor which was considered an advancement in the forum process, that goes beyond the forum as an event, was the 6th. Day, where simultaneous thematic assemblies were held in the morning, in both universities, the Federal University of the State of Para and the Rural University. 29 assemblies were held, of different magnitude and characteristics, on different issues that enabled to gather diffezent action proposals foreseen for the year, by social movements, networks and organizations.

You will soon find in the Forum's website, information about all the actions, campaigns and mobilizations that will be organized by the participating movements and organizations that, as they were shared, turned out to be, somehow, the plan of all. Each one of us will participate according to our possibilities and areas of interest, but the common objective is to join efforts and struggles for another possible world that is more and more urgent and necessary.

The Education Assembly had the biggest audience, almost 1.000 participants, and ICAE and GEO were present. Materials were distributed about the forthcoming CONFINTEA VI that will also take place in Belem, among participants who received the information with great interest. The presence of local educators from the city of Belem and the state of Para, was very important and the information was distributed precisely in the appropriate time and place.

The call for participation in the International Civil Society Forum (FISC) found fertile land, so there will be good conditions to ensure that work lines towards CONFINTEA VI are taken in a context of diversity, and certainly linking global and local levels.

You will soon share the final document of the education assembly held at World Social Forum, where FISC was included as part of the process, for the right to education of youth and adults.

This is the time to be creative, bold, and to occupy the space in favor of diversity, inclusion and gender equity.

Who is willing to join us in this challenge? María Cecilia Fernández ICAE

The International Civil Society Forum - FISC

CONFINTEA VI Belém do Pará - Brazil May 19-22, 2009

CONFINTEA is an intergovernmental, international conference on adult education, organized by UNESCO every twelve years. It is a space, at international level, for political dialogue and the renewal of commitments on youth and adult education. It has a wide participation of civil society organizations, international organizations, unions and private sector actors.

CONFINTEA VI will be held from May 19 – 22, 2009 in the city of Belem, in the state of Pará, Brazil.

Its objectives are:

• To promote the recognition of youth and adult education as a key element.

• To highlight the essential role of youth and adult learning and education to achieve the current programs of education and development: the Education for All goals (EFA), the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), The United Nations Literacy Decade (UNLD), the Literacy Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE) and United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD).

• To gather momentum and renew the political commitments and develop the tools (benchmarks) for their implementation in order to move from rhetoric to action.

FISC Belém do Pará -Brazil May 16 -18, 2009

What is FISC? The International Civil Society Forum (FISC, by its Portuguese acronym) is a global event that will be held in Belém, capital of the state of Pará, Brazil, from May 16 to 18, 2009 to prepare the participation of civil society at the official International Adult Education Conference (CONFINTEA VI).

These International Adult Education Conferences (CONFINTEA) prioritize the involvement of governmental actors, but civil society organizations try to exert influence on the elaboration of national documents presented by the different countries as well as on the discussions that take place during the conference, with the purpose of doing advocacy on the final document and the commitments of governments.

This is why the International Civil Society Forum (FISC) appears as an open space where different people, entities, civil society organizations and movements, from different countries, gather to make further reflections, hold democratic debates of ideas, formulate proposals, freely exchange experiences and articulate effective actions for youth and adult education.

As a plural, non-denominational, non-governmental and non – partisan space, which is open to diverse identities and individuals, involved in practices of youth and adult education, it promotes the respect of human rights, through the practice of a participatory democracy and a development model that is sustainable and preserves diversity, through egalitarian, solidarity and peaceful relationships among people, ethnicities, genders and peoples, condemning all forms of domination and subordination of one human being to another.

FISC is a space for the construction of a world with solidarity, where participatory democracy is practiced based on the exercise of planetary citizenship.

FISC will be held from May 16 – 18, 2009 in the city of Belem, in the state of Pará, Brazil.

For more information, please contact: / (external link) --

"Stories of Possible Worlds"

Dear fiends,

From ICAE we would like to share this important initiative and invite you to participate in the project "Stories of Possible Worlds", international award for stories of struggles and social change, organized by the Popular University of Social Movements (UPMS, by its spanish acronym) and the Popular University of Rome (Upter).

In order to participate in the project, you have to send your stories of struggle and social change, before March 8, 2009, in texts, videos, accounts through audio and photography and other means.

For more information visit: (external link) or contact: /

Please disseminate widely.

Regards, Adelaida Entenza

International award Stories of Possible Worlds A workshop - project for Stories of Social Struggle and Change

What are the practices, the experiences and struggles for social change that you have managed to achieve or are in the process of achieving? What has characterized or characterizes these experiences? What can these stories teach to us?

The UPMS, Popular University of Social Movements, and Upter, Popular University of Rome, invite all those involved in working for social change in the field of human rights and democracy to tell their experiences.

In order to participate in the 2007-2008 edition of the Award works must be submitted by March 8th 2009.


WIDE Conference 2009 - Care Economy & Care Crisis - Gender (external link)

WIDE is a European feminist network of women´s organisations, development NGOs, gender specialists and women´s rights activists. WIDE monitors and influences international economic and development policy and practice from a feminist perspective.

WIDE Annual Conference 2009 ´Care Economy and Care Crisis´

18­-20 June 2009, Basel, Switzerland

Care is a universal feature among all human beings, but the social organisation of care changes over place and time. The way care is organised in the society is decisive for gender relations and gender equality. In our modern societies, care work ­paid and unpaid ­is a practice and a reality for many women all around the world. However, it is characterised by enormous asymmetries between women and men, as a result of which the gendered division of labour and valuation of work have been central motives for critical feminist theory and feminist struggles since the 1970s. The care economy, even if a quantitatively predominant sector of economy, remains "the outlying other" of mainstream economics, and the dominant approaches of social and development policies misconceive its relevance.

In the context of the global financial crisis, growing poverty, food crises, climate change and HIV/AIDS, a care crisis is becoming more and more evident. The solutions to tackle the crisis proposed by the political, economical and humanitarian mainstream ­public austerity policies, monetisation of care and commercialisation of essential public services, (re-)privatisation of care into households while simultaneously forcing market access for women ­are challenging for feminists in many ways. By assuming that women are by nature dedicated to care, the mainstream is (re) constructing care work as women´s work. At the same time, alternative development concepts and economic structures such as the care- and provision-driven economy in which women have always been key actors are further marginalised. Moreover, global and local care regimes are establishing new unequal divisions of labour between women of different classes and origins.

What are the links between care crises, proposed remedies and gender inequalities? What kind of solutions do we have as feminists to challenge the intersectional structures of power, the binary gender order and the old and newly reshaped inequalities, and to promote alternative concepts of work, time, benefit, livelihood and well-being?

Care and unpaid work have been important topics for the new feminist movement for a long time. The way to discuss them, however, has changed. The WIDE Annual Conference 2009 will provide space for discussing the issues from different perspectives ­ North, East and South ­ and for learning more about paid and unpaid care work and about the current debates related to care, work, workers and working conditions. It will try to link the care economy to the other aspects of the economy, particularly to the global financial crisis and to the ongoing debates on development and welfare in which gender equality and social justice are at stake. The conference will also encourage debate on questions, lost in the process of gender equality mainstreaming, that we should pick up again.

About the programme

The aim of the first day of the conference is to learn more about the care workers, their working conditions and the institutional contexts in which care work is done, to understand the different dimensions and dynamics of the care economy, to specify and contextualise the actual care crisis and to explore and develop feminist approaches and practices. The UNRISD study on ´Political and Social Economy of Care´ serves as a source and basis for discussion.

The second day of the conference highlights three parallel thematic areas of care, and tracks different approaches to the care debates, which are important in strategising and designing WIDE´s future policies. The purpose of the second day is also to discuss and deepen feminist understandings, to plan actions and develop strategies. The third day of the conference will look at and develop strategies to address the care crisis as it is linked with other crises, such as the current global financial crisis.

The conference will be structured around plenary sessions, parallel sessions and workshops. And as part of the social activities there will be a cultural evening and a feminist walk through Basel.

To register and for more information

Information about how to register will be available soon. To pre-register or for more information, write to Patricia Meyer:; 0041-3130005060

ICAE International Council for Adult Education General Secretariat Av. 18 de Julio 2095 / 301 11200 Montevideo - Uruguay Tel/fax: (598-2) 409 79 82 E-mail: (external link)