Learning for sustainability and ecological footprinting in schools

Our Earth has a limited amount of resources and we are not currently living within its resource capacity. The Ecological Footprint presents a measure of our impact on the planet, showing that humanity is currently consuming 25% more resources than our planet can sustain and that our use of resources is unfairly distributed between nations.

Since the Ecological Footprint was developed in the early 1990s there has been a recognition that it has great potential as an educational tool, enabling the complex concept of sustainable development –our impact on the planet- to be presented in a clear visual form and making connections to our everyday choices and life decisions as individuals.

Young people have a key role to play in finding solutions to environmental and sustainable development challenges at a local level. But how can a school best examine, measure and reduce its own impact on the world locally and globally? To support schools and local authorities WWF Scotland has developed the Schools Global Footprint web-based resource (www.LTScotland.org.uk/schoolsglobalfootprint), and is now supporting its use in schools throughout Scotland.

In the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005 - 2014) this participative workshop will use case studies and activities from Scottish primary and secondary schools that have used the Schools' Global Footprint resource, to explore the opportunities and challenges of using ecological footprinting as an education and awareness raising tool.

The objectives of the workshop are to

• introduce participants to the Schools’ Global Footprint resources

• share experiences of using ecological footprinting as an education and awareness raising tool.

• reflect on the opportunities and challenges of using different approaches

• explore the potential of ecological footprinting activity to build individual and collective capacity to take action for sustainability

• provide participants with access to materials that can be used in their organisation

• Contribute and learn from other participants.

Participants will be introduced to the Schools’ Global Footprint resource and will have the opportunity to experience, discuss and reflect on different approaches to using ecological footprinting as an education and awareness raising tool.