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2.3.4. KYOTO DECLARATION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PDF Print Write e-mail

Following the Ninth IAU Round Table, in Tokyo, Japan, Participants adopted, on 19 November 1993, the following Declaration :

1. To urge universities world-wide to seek, establish and disseminate a clearer understanding of Sustainable Development – «development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations» – and encourage more appropriate sustainable development principles and practices at the local, national and global levels, in ways consistent with their missions.

2. To utilize resources of the university to encourage a better understanding on the part of Governments and the public at large of the inter-related physical, biological and social dangers facing the planet Earth, and to recognise the significant interdependence and international dimensions of sustainable development.

3. To emphasize the ethical obligation of the present generation to overcome those practices of resource utilisation and those widespread disparities which lie at the root of environmental unsustainability.

4. To enhance the capacity of the university to teach and undertake research and action in society in sustainable development principles, to increase environmental literacy, and to enhance the understanding of environmental ethics within the university and with the public at large.

5. To cooperate with one another and with all segments of society in the pursuit of practical and policy measures to achieve sustainable development and thereby safeguard the interests of future generations.

6. To encourage universities to review their own operations to reflect best sustainable development practices.

7. To request the IAU Administrative Board to consider and implement the ways and means to give life to this Declaration in the mission of each of its members and through the common enterprise of the IAU.

It is recommended that each university, in its own action plan, strive to:

1. Make an institutional commitment to the principle and practice of sustainable development within the academic milieu and to communicate that commitment to its students, its employees and to the public at large;

2. Promote sustainable consumption practices in its own operations;

3. Develop the capacities of its academic staff to teach environmental literacy;

4. Encourage among both staff and students an environmental perspective, whatever the field of study;

5. Utilise the intellectual resources of the university to build strong environmental education programs;

6. Encourage interdisciplinary and collaborative research programs related to sustainable development as part of the institution’s central mission and to overcome traditional barriers between discipline’s and departments;

7. Emphasize the ethical obligations of the immediate university community – current students, faculty and staff – to understand and defeat the forces that lead to environmental degradation, North-South disparities, and the inter-generational inequities; to work at ways that will help its academic community, and the graduates, friends and governments that support it, to accept these ethical obligations;

8. Promote interdisciplinary networks of environmental experts at the local, national and international level in order to disseminate knowledge and to collaborate on common environmental projects in both research and education;

9. Promote the mobility of staff and students as essential to the free trade of knowledge;

10. Forge partnerships with other sectors of society in transferring innovative and appropriate technologies that can benefit and enhance sustainable development practices.

In adopting this Declaration, delegates underlined specifically the following points:

1. That sustainable development must not be interpreted in a manner that would lead to «sustained undevelopment" for certain systems, thus blocking their legitimate aspiration to raise their standard of living.

2. That sustainable development must take into consideration existing disparities in consumption and distribution patterns, with unsustainable over-consumption in some parts of the world contrasting with dramatic states of depravation in others.

That global sustainable development implies changes of existing value systems, a task UN which universities have an essential

1. mission, in order to create the necessary international consciousness and global sense of responsibility and solidarity.

2. That university cooperation for sustainable development must also assure that universities from countries with insufficient proper resources may play an active role in the process.

That IAU, through the intellectual and organisational potential of the Association, its clearinghouse, catalyst and network function, has a major role to play in the implementation of this Declaration.