Regional Center for Expertise
Greater Burlington
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About


The Greater Burlington Sustainability Education Network (GBSEN) in the state of Vermont, USA, is a Regional Center of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Development, recognized by the United Nations University.

A member of a global network with over 168 RCEs from around the world, GBSEN promotes education, training, and public awareness to create a sustainable future for the greater Burlington region through the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Our goal is to promote the work of sustainability practitioners in the region and encourage collaboration to strengthen existing and new sustainability initiatives.

Our network is comprised of educators, students, non-profits, government leaders, businesses, and community members. If you are interested in joining the network, Please contact Jen Cirillo at Shelburne Farms jcirillo@shelburnefarms.org or Walter Poleman at the University of Vermont wpoleman@uvm.edu.



The United Nations University selected GBSEN to host the 8th Americas Regional RCE Meeting from September 22 - 25, 2019.

The honor of hosting the Americas meeting alternates between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, with the previous three meetings taking places in Posadas, Misiones, Argentina; Vancouver, BC, Canada; and Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil.

Delegates from RCEs across South, Central, and North America will be attending. GBSEN will provide accommodations at Shelburne Farms, and elements of the meeting will take place at the University of Vermont, Shelburne Farms, and in the City of Burlington.

The theme of this year’s meeting is Human Health and the Environment, which highlights the intersection of SDG #3 (Good Health and Well-Being), SDG #4 (Quality Education), SDG #6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), and SDG #11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities).


Partners

Sustaining Partners

University of Vermont

Shelburne Farms

City of Burlington


Contributing Partners

FAQ


What is the geographic region of the Greater Burlington RCE?
The Greater Burlington region is defined as the Vermont portion of the Lake Champlain watershed.
 
What is ESD or Education for Sustainable Development?
Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) empowers learners to make informed decisions and take responsible action for environmental integrity, economic viability and a just society, for present and future generations, while respecting cultural diversity. It is about lifelong learning, and is an integral part of quality education. ESD is holistic and transformational education which addresses content and learning outcomes, pedagogy and the learning environment. It achieves its purpose by transforming society.
 
Sustainable development cannot be achieved by technological solutions, political regulation or financial instruments alone. We need to change the way we think and act. This requires quality education and learning for sustainable development at all levels and in all social contexts. Education for Sustainable Development is about enabling us to constructively and creatively address present and future global challenges and create more sustainable and resilient societies. (UNESCO)
 
What is Sustainability?
The world's population of over 7 billion is likely to increase to 9 billion by 2050. The demand for diminishing natural resources is growing. Income gaps are widening. Sustainability calls for a decent standard of living for everyone today without compromising the needs of future generations.
 
This means finding better ways of doing things. Such as:
  • How can we help people move out of poverty and get livable wage jobs, while protecting the environment?
  • How can we provide access to clean energy for everyone, and make sure that the energy we produce doesn’t contribute to climate change?
  • How can we make sure that everyone can get the water, food and nutrition they need?
  • How can we shape our cities so that everyone can enjoy a decent quality of life?
  • How can we build better transportation systems that allow us all to get where we want to go, without causing too much congestion and pollution?
  • How can we make sure that our oceans are healthy and that marine life is not threatened by pollution and climate change?
  • How can we make sure that our communities are resilient in the face of natural disasters?
Solving these challenges is a start to building the future we want.
 
What is the United Nations University?
The United Nations University (UNU) is a global think tank and postgraduate teaching organization launched in 1975 and headquartered in Japan. The mission of the UN University is to contribute, through collaborative research and education, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems of human survival, development, and welfare that are the concern of the United Nations, its Peoples and Member States.
 
The overarching theme of UNU's work is sustainability: ensuring that today's problems are addressed in a manner that fulfils the needs of present generations without endangering the needs of future generations.
 
UNU's current activities are focused within five interlinked, interdependent thematic clusters:
  • peace, security and human rights;
  • human and socio-economic development and good governance;
  • global health, population and sustainable livelihoods;
  • global change and sustainable development; and
  • science, technology, innovation and society
For more information, visit https://unu.edu/.

Contact


Email questions to either:

Jen Cirillo jcirillo@shelburnefarms.org or
Walter Poleman walter.poleman@uvm.edu