Princess Lalla Hasnaa, President of the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection, called, Monday, on the international community to make a firm commitment, during this decade, to establish education for sustainable development as an absolute priority, underlining the urgency of this action.
“Let us make a firm commitment, during this decade, to establish education for sustainable development as an absolute priority. This is urgent. This is vital!” insisted Princess Lalla Hasnaa, youngest sister of King Mohammed VI, in a video message to the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development, held virtually this May 17-19.
In this video message broadcast during a plenary session, held under the theme “Creating the change we need in the time of planetary crisis – ESD for 2030”, Princess Lalla Hasnaa affirmed that the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection has been working, for more than two decades, to develop various programs aimed at reducing or eliminating the negative impact of man on nature.
She indicated, in this regard, that King Mohammed VI, whose interest in the subject goes back to his youth, has always encouraged the development of the most ambitious approaches, rooted in the present and resolutely turned towards the future. The Sovereign has repeatedly recalled that the school is at the very heart of these development issues and of the environmental challenge in particular, she said.
“Tasked with the provision of instruction and the transmission of knowledge, the school is, more broadly and perhaps even more importantly, a place for education and the transmission of values. Educating young people to respect the environment means believing in the promise of a new, more harmonious and sustainable world,” Princess Lalla Hasnaa stated further.
“Education for sustainable development (ESD)- the theme bringing us together today – is the key to success,” she added, stressing that “for this reason, we wanted our Foundation to focus on raising awareness and training young people in these issues”.
“In that way, we believe we are sowing the seeds of environmental awareness so that we may ultimately contribute to the emergence of a society that is aware of the natural environment in which it lives, and that is capable of adopting appropriate, eco-friendly behavior.”
She recalled that the Foundation she chairs has been working in partnership with the UNESCO since 2020 to mainstream environmental education into school curricula at all levels, from primary to high school, noting in this regard that Morocco is one of three countries in the world that are conducting a pilot experiment for the UNESCO Global Schools program.
“Mobilization for environmental issues can only have a lasting effect if it becomes a natural part of initial training: education from an early age is therefore an essential priority,” she said.
Noting that “a generation separates us from the Rio Summit,” Princess Lalla Hasnaa stressed the imperative need to examine the reasons that may have slowed down the introduction of education for sustainable development in school curricula.
Given the very special current context, she underlined the need for all “to build, together, a new, indispensable consensus, by defining the priorities we set for ourselves as human beings bound by a common destiny.”
“The covid-19 crisis reminds us, in particular, of the urgent need to achieve global, equitable sustainable development that serves everyone,” she insisted, stressing that the protection of the environment and the preservation of our planet – “which is our common home” – are fundamental elements of this approach.