Conference Paper
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Grassroots Approaches to Education for Sustainable Consumption/Lifestyles: Experiences from the Regional Centres of Expertise (RCE) in Asia-Pacific

In Paving the Way for the Future We Want in Asia and the Pacific: Conference Package: The 11th Asia Pacific Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production 2014-05

A shift towards an economy that is green, resource efficient, more socially just and able to enhance the quality of life within the limits of ecosystems health in the quest for sustainability is needed. This will require the capacity to make conscious, pro-sustainability choices individually and collectively in daily life for transformative changes in the production and consumption systems at all levels of society across spatial scales. Such changes call for development of new values, competencies and knowledge embedded in education for sustainable development (ESD) principles and outcomes in policy and practice in all relevant sectors of society to inform and provide perspective on sustainable (green) growth. Furthermore, this educational pathway towards sustainable consumption and production (SCP) (that is) embedded in sustainable livelihoods (SL) will require active participation and multi-stakeholder engagement of different entities linked horizontally through networking, and vertically particularly to government and industry. The Regional Centres of Expertise (RCE) on ESD can provide such a platform. The study presents cases of best practice on education for sustainable consumption and lifestyles (ESC/L) in daily living at the local level from the RCEs and demonstrates effective ways in which ESC/L policy can be translated into practice. Selected multi-stakeholder, participatory ESC/L initiatives of six RCEs in the Asia-Pacific region (RCE Penang (Malaysia), RCE Phnom Pehn (Cambodia), RCE Yogyakarta (Indonesia), RCE Kitakyushu, RCE Chubu, and RCE Okayama (all in Japan)) and the approaches used to realize the objectives are presented. The projects constituted several aspects of ESC/L and the significance of learning is underscored. To look for what the principles underlying sustainable lifestyle practices are, data from the cases were selectively coded to enable a comparative evaluation supported by grounded theory The findings highlight several features of leaning processes that underpin effective, sustainable lifestyle practices. Secondary data on other RCEs (RCE Delhi (India), RCE Lucknow (India), RCE Greater Sendai (Japan), and RCE Greater Western Sydney (Australia) is used to further the discussion by providing a wider scope and a variety of perspectives on the concepts and constituents of ESC/L including consumer education and sustainable lifestyles/livelihoods, innovative practices for a green economy, and sustainable entrepreneurship.

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