7th WEEC 2013 IS OPEN!
The 7th World Environmental Education Congress has been inaugurated on Sunday, June 9th, during an opening ceremony chaired by HRH Princess Lalla Hasna.
Over 1,800 participants are attending the Congress, a record number occuring on the 10th anniversary of this event!
The World Environmental Education Congress 2013 (WEEC 2013) opened its doors this Sunday, June 9th, in Marrakech, during a ceremony chaired by HRH Princess Lalla Hasna, President of the Mohammed VI Foundation for the Protection of the Environment. During the ceremony, HRH Princess read a message from His Majesty King Mohammed VI adressed to all participants in this Congress. His Majesty the King, indeed, put the WEEC under his patronage, demonstrating his interest in the environment and in the youth education in sustainable development.
"The Kingdom of Morocco is fully aware that a strong and sustained economic growth, coupled with a balanced social development requires the adoption of a proactive approach to environmental protection. A policy based on the mobilization of energy and the concentration of all national efforts to achieve sustainable development where economic and ecological dimensions go together, " recalled the sovereign and he added that the WEEC 2013 is an opportunity to "highlight the role of education and awareness in the achievement of sustainable development".
"There can be no sustainability without environmental education, which must be at the heart of the education strategy" stated Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, supporting the imperative strengthening of the education system, promoting teachers training and curricula reform, highlighting the education values and skills related to sustainability.
A view shared and developed by the Director General of ISESCO, Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Al Twaijiri, as well. Dr. Othman reiterated the role of environmental education in the development of societies, in improving populations living standards and in reducing the disparities between urban and rural areas. "Protecting the environment is a tricky business that relies on three elements: education, culture and the law," he said in his speech.
Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), also expressed the importance of environmental education, especially for the youngest. "Just to see the gleam in the eyes of a child who plants a tree," - he said – a “gleam” well knonw by Jan Eriksen, President of the Education Foundation for the Environment (FEE). The FEE develops many programs and some of them are developed in Morocco too by the Mohammed VI Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, as, for example, “The Young Reporters for the Environment”, “Blue Flag for clean beaches”, “Green Key”.
"Good job!" Wished Irina Bokova to all the participants coming from all over the world to share their experiences on environmental education and to discuss the best ways to raise awareness around these crucial issues. "When we meet face to face, we does not only share ideas or scientific researches, but we also share energies: our energies meet, focus energies and we increase energies" said Mario Salomone, General Secretary WEEC the network and master with the Foundation.
"We need to increase the opportunities for meeting and discussion. We need to share experiences and to coordinate: national and local government, international institutions, civil society, business, active forces in their diversity, in public and in private. This effort will contribute to the advancement of methodologies, to the enrichment and dissemination of educational materialsand improved structures" said Mario Solomone.
This is the WEEC 2013 program!