The final report from the Sixth International Conference on Adult Education has now been published.

The event which took place on the 1-4 December 2009 in Brazil saw 1,125 participants gather together to discuss policy and advocacy in adult learning and non formal education at a global level.

The conference aimed: -

In the build up to the event ECA representatives were instrumental in the origination of a letter to be sent to Confintea VI stating the need to address issues around environmental sustainability through adult learning. We are glad to see that the conference took these messages on board and that environmental sustainability was one of the thematic issues that framed discussions at the conference.

In his keynote address the Chairman of the International Council for Adult Education, Paul Bélanger referred to the approaching Climate Summit in Copenhagen saying “If the Copenhagen Summit succeeds, adult education will become inevitable everywhere to transform the way we live, produce and consume. If the Summit fails, adult education will become even more necessary everywhere to enable the human community of the twenty-first century to get back on course, to learn and to participate actively in civic life in order to safeguard the planet’s future for our children and our grandchildren. The planet will only survive if it becomes a learning planet.”

Learning for sustainability was also discussed in a workshop organised by International Journey on Environmental Education and the Food and Agriculture Organisation. Entitled ‘Education for sustainable societies and global responsibilities’ it looked at the importance of educating adults as a means to address the crisis of sustainable development and environmental sustainability.

The ECA’s experience as a leading player in the English Every Action Counts initiative shows us just what the challenges are in promoting sustainability in a developed country. Globally populations will need to contextualise their actions in the light of local circumstances and it seems urgent that all across the world educators should be planning their strategies to address those issues in a local context. The economic crisis must not lead us to ignore the fundamental issues relating to the future of the planet.

Native Amazon species of trees were planted at the opening of the event and representatives of all the delegations planted more native trees at its end, making a small ‘Wood of the Nations’. Further native regional trees will be planted to offset the significant emissions of greenhouse gases that Confintea VI has generated, accompanied by the planting of trees in each country with numbers proportional to the impact generated.

To read the final report please click here.

Date Added: July 14th 2010