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United Nations University ,Tokyo, Japan acknowledged the operation of a Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE-Tirupati) on ‘Education for Sustainable Development’ under the Chairmanship of Prof.R.Ramamurthi. The Foundation is being launched at Orion Hall of Hotel Pai Viceroy on Oct 1st 2015 at 7.30 pm.

Why this Foundation?

Gandhi’s thoughts and philosophy inspired several generations of people the world over. His views and utterances on science, society, environment and development are ageless and relevant in the past, present, future and forever. Some of his quotes such as ‘Mother Earth takes care of your needs but not greed’, ‘Peace cannot prevail where hunger rules’, If you give me rice I will eat today but if you teach me how to grow rice I will eat every day’ are unforgettable and time less. Rallapalli Ramamurthi who has been his admirer from the childhood salutes him while conceptualizing the foundation. The money he received from various awards forms the nucleus for the foundation.

Development leaves a trail of degradation and environmental deterioration. Society needs a very comprehensive understanding of nuances of development in order to be able to instill sustainability of development. Developed countries on account of their profligate life styles over the last few decades  created ecological  imbalance due mostly to excessive energy consumption and release of green house gases .Every region has a carrying bio capacity with a well defined limits called as  Ecological foot print. When the developmental activity exceeds the ecological capacity there occurs an imbalance called Ecological Over shoot. Principles of sustainable development when practiced prevent habitat destruction and restore Eco-balance.
Development is an integral component of a nation’s path towards progress with passage of time and is an absolute corollary for human welfare. In order to achieve sustainability of development we need to have a convergence and coalition of interdisciplinary knowledge. Once this happens a new discipline is born namely “SUSTAINABILITY SCIENCE” which encompasses inputs from Economics, Ethics, Sociology, Law and Environment including Biodiversity. Mark my word-Environment is a word accepted by by every one  as household word -but not biodiversity though it is the very essence of environmental paradigm.
We do remember that the great movements of ‘Green revolution’ fatigued due profligate life styles of people with least concern to biocapacity and hence a new concept of ‘Evergreen revolution’ is introduced by Prof.M.S.Swaminathan the crusader of movement to make the world hunger free with Environment friendly and sustainable livelihoods.
Prof.R.Ramamurthi when he headed Indian Science Congress in 2007-08 conducted a special session on sustainability science in which Dr. McNealy of Switzerland and Dr.Swaminathan shared their views on developing an action plan for sensitizing communities on Sustainable development.
Prof. Ramamurthi Rallapalli who has been associated for several decades with studies on Ecology and Biodiversity started thinking in terms of starting an organization totally devoted to promoting awareness and research on education for sustainable development. He is further inspired by the efforts of United Nations University -Institute of Advanced Studies, Tokyo which took some land mark initiatives in cooperation with UNESCO to start Regional Centres of Expertise- on Education for sustainable Development in different parts of the world. The present foundation encompasses the RCE-Tirupati under the Chairmanship of Prof.R.Ramamurthi which has been recently acknowledged by UNU-IAS.
The objectives of the RFSD do overlap with those of some the partners cooperating in the task of implementation of its agenda.
Sustainable Development refers to every aspect living systems and their ambience. Sustainability can be taught as a subject of field science. In the natural field situations most the systems like Water
,Biodiversity, Forests, Soil and interconnecting factors of Ecology are in balance well with in the scope of Ecological print unless or until anthropogenic interference tilts the balance.
Before the intervention the systems are in sustainable mode what ever may be the sector - Sustainable agriculture, Sustainable forestry, Sustainable water systems, Sustainable energy, Sustainable  social development and Sustainable land use pattern. When there is an Ecological over shoot things start going haywire  with cascading disasters.
of drought or deluge. In the current Urban scenario during the past several decades Sustainable management of land and water took a heavy toll leading to points of 'no return' .Outstanding examples are the Kedarnath horror, Huduth cyclone,floods in Jammu and Kashmir, unprecedented rains ,floods and deluge of South coastal Andhra Pradesh and Chennai and northern Tamilnadu.

Whether it is Tirupati or Nellore or Chennai sheer neglect of catchment areas, conversion of wetlands into concrete habitation jungles with impunity and lack of foresight of reservoir management  caused untold suffering To humans and all forms of life.
In Chennai alone during the last four decades area under built up category has gone up by 15% while area under vegetation came down by 22% and the areas of open space, wetlands and plains were reduced by 18%. Projections show that 2026 the built up area will rise by 37% and marshy and wetland areas will be reduced by 33% creating major apprehension to Urban managers.
Developmental process for any society or country has to be orderly and sustainable. The process should not adversely impact the environment and resources both living and non living. For this to happen communities rural or urban, younger or older have to come together and work.This work is beyond the realms of faith, order or language. The concept of ‘togetherness’ to achieve sustainable development should be developed as a mission the world over and the base for this is the education formal or non formal.

‘The United Nations University Education for Sustainable Development programme at the Institute of Advanced Studies is working to advance the field of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) through a series of multi-stakeholder initiatives. Its goal is to help transform the way the world views education and sustainable development, ensuring that sustainable development is incorporated into curricula at all levels of education and in all levels of society. At the same time, the programme is working to increase general knowledge of ESD-related issues globally, while improving international actions related to ESD.’
This process involves horizontal, vertical and lateral linkages between institutions such as schools, colleges, nature parks, local Government,
Tribal communities inland and coastal.

To create long lasting impression on the minds of people methods of transformative education modules have to be developed and implemented.
Audio-Video and biocultural performing arts are to be used to promote traditional knowledge of the communities.

            RCE-ESD of Tirupati has been launched to work on this agenda which is part of a flagship initiative of United Nations University,Tokyo.


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