2024 Education for Sustainable Development Forum Conference

On the 9th May the Education for Sustainable Development Forum Conference took place at NICVA in Belfast. The first conference to meet in person since lock down – the theme of the event was EARTH Hub.

Chaired by Charlene McKeown, KNIB, the proceedings were started by Max Bryant CEO Northern Ireland Environment Link paying tribute to the work of Jennifer Fulton, CEO of Ulster Wildlife following her sudden passing.

Max thanked everyone for attending stating: “It’s wonderful to see so many environmental advocates gathered for this education for this sustainable development forum conference. The first in person, since pre covid.

Northern Ireland Environment Link (NIEL) is the networking and forum body for organisations interested in the natural and built environment of Northern Ireland. As you know, a core part of NIEL’s work is to advocate education for all in environmental sustainability. We fundamentally believe that improving sustainability literacy and knowledge is vital for driving real progress on the immense environmental challenges we face locally and globally.

Whether it’s climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution or other pressing issues, we cannot create a valued, resilient and healthy environment without educated and engaged citizens. Evidence-based advocacy and smart policymaking must go hand-in-hand with educating communities about sustainable development goals. That’s why ESDF carries such importance in our work at NIEL.

We have some incredible expertise in this room as we work towards shaping the future of education for sustainable development across Northern Ireland. Today you will hear what we are working on to achieve this. Our work here can help build the foundation for much-needed environmental progress. An educated public is one of our greatest assets for turning the tide in what is an urgent landscape. Together we can drive meaningful change through advocacy and education.

Northern Ireland Environment Link supports dedicated professionals like yourselves to help lead the way in your specialist areas. Thank you again for your commitment to this vital ESDF work. I’m looking forward to an informative morning, as we continue strengthening our partnerships”.

Beth Frazer, EDSF Officer opened her presentation by thanking the previous staff member working on ESDF in NIEL, Iona Meyer, following her retirement. Beth gave an overview of the ESDF work including short medium and long term work, the sustainable development goals, website social media, opportunities, membership and acknowledgment of the committee. Beth highlighted the 2021 Strategy document and the key action to create a one stop hub for the environment which has evolved in to EARTH Hub. https://www.esdforum.org.uk/site/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/A-New-Strategy-Final-Summary-Document.pdf

EARTH Hub was presented by Rachael Thomas the Project Manager at KNIB. Giving an overview of the project from conception, Rachael presented on the concept, solutions and benefits for the users, partners and environment. Attendees had an insight in to the stages of development and timeline.

Claire Dundas introduced herself as the new Earth Hub Content Coordinator sharing a little about her role and the work and support she can give to support content creation.

We were delighted to invite David-Lee and Rachel from MXB, the branding company for Earth Hub, to present and launch the new logo. Together they explained the branding and thought process and how we have arrived at the final design as a team.

Finally and excitingly, we welcomed Data Intellect, the web build team, to show a demo of how the EARTH Hub site will look and function including the build to date and future plans.

Questions and answers finished the event with helpful feedback, input and suggestions from attendees. Thank you to everyone who attended the event. We look forward to engaging with you further as the Education for Sustainable Development Forum and the progress of the EARTH hub build. 

If you would like to access any of the presentations from the day please contact beth@nienvironmentlink.org

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