Residents, businesses and government agencies are working together to make Tasmania the most sustainable state in Australia.
The vision of RCE-Tasmania is to advance Tasmania as an interconnected and diverse sustainable island state that is able to adapt to and is empowered and resilient to respond to environmental, economic and social challenges. By using Tasmania as an experimental test bed to explore new models of sustainability principles and practice, RCE-Tasmania will create a healthier, more literate, environmentally sustainable and more equitable Tasmanian community. In doing so, RCE-Tasmania will be able to make a significant contribution to the global learning space for Education for Sustainable Development.
The Regional Centre of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development in Tasmania has been established to enhance networking and partnerships between Tasmanian organisations and initiatives with an educative role. The Centre will promote and champion local examples of cutting edge innovation and success in sustainability education. It is unbiased and independent, held to account by a diverse membership constituency and known for commitment and expertise in its staff and Steering Committee.
Education for sustainable development fosters the knowledge, skills, values and world views necessary for people to act in ways that contribute to more sustainable patterns of living. It equips individuals and communities with the skills and opportunities to interpret and engage with the world in an informed manner, focusing on protecting environments and creating a more ecologically and socially just world. It empowers students entering a competitive World.
Sustainability education is futures-oriented and acknowledges the interdependence of environmental, social, cultural and economic systems. For this reason, education for sustainable development is not just content within a specialised sustainability course taught by sustainability experts. Rather, it is:
- A lens through which we see and interact with the World and strive for a more sustainable existence.
- A form of pedagogy that interweaves everything we do and all areas of knowledge, to support more sustainable patterns of living.
- A way to find a renewed and balanced approach to the way humans interact with each other and the environment.
- A way to combine individual and collective endeavours across local and global communities.
Through the Regional Centre of Expertise, we aim to:
- Transform Tasmania into a living laboratory to explore ways to work towards sustainability, with education as a central tool.
- Identify, validate, highlight and leverage excellent Tasmanian work addressing sustainable development challenges.
- Provide meaning and context for research, discussion, decision making and reform regarding sustainable development.
- Bring together the construction, mining, healthcare, forestry, fishery, agriculture, tourism, renewable energy sectors.
- Use education as a central tool to promote, link and leverage the lessons learnt.
- Work with business and industry to identify key skill and training needs.
- Create a healthier, more literate, environmentally and culturally sustainable and equitable community.
- Place Tasmania as a world leader in the field of education for sustainable development.
- Showcase sustainable development in the Pacific region.
Sustainability challenges in Tasmania include:
- Our dispersed population and the sustainable transport challenges this presents.
- Our historical reliance on extraction activities such as logging and mining.
- The damage to aboriginal culture and heritage and the loss of indigenous traditional ecological knowledge.
- Our high liquid fuel imports.
- The socioeconomic disadvantage present including joblessness, poor health, mental illness, violence and low skills.
- Our ageing population.
- The security of the supply of food, water and energy.
- Illegal track cutting, logging and arson.
- Invasive species (e.g. phytophthora, rabbits, etc).
- Increasing tourism and visitor activities.
- The need for more renewable power generation.
- Climate change (inundation, weather, agriculture, runoff, invasive species).
Broad scale solutions:
- Implementing innovative and effective approaches to address needs related to understanding sustainability within all components of the community.
- Ensuring the next Tasmanian generation is learning the values, skills and knowledge necessary to secure a sustainable Tasmania.
- Becoming a leader in the incubation of learning, innovation, research and action for a sustainable, resilient future that shares these learnings globally.
- Nurturing partnerships and collaborations to help remote communities.
- Creative and focused investment in teaching people the skills of resilience.
- Investment in place-based programs. Engaging the whole community in identifying their priority issues and developing sustainable solutions that involve all spheres of government, business and community working together.
- Respecting and promoting indigenous knowledge.
- Encouraging others to 'do the right thing' and report illegal activity.
- Raising awareness of invasive species.
- Good practice guidelines for eco-tourism and agro-tourism - leave as little trace as possible.
- Encouraging Tasmanian people to stand up for what they believe.
- Instil enquiry-based pedagogies to enable institution-wide relevance.
- Provide professional development - this is a major factor for success among institutions and organisations that are attempting to implement more sustainable practices.
View our action plan for facilitating the spread of education for sustainable development initiatives in Tasmania.