Education was a key issue at the Rio+20 conference last June. Education is referenced six different times in the Rio+20 draft text known as “The Future We Want.” Here is a summary of those references:
11. We reaffirm our commitment to strengthening international cooperation to address the persistent challenges related to sustainable development for all, in particular in developing countries. In this regard, we reaffirm the need to achieve economic stability and sustained economic growth, promotion of social equity, and protection of the environment, while enhancing gender equality and women’s empowerment, and equal opportunities for all, and the protection, survival and development of children to their full potential, including through education.
51. We stress the importance of the participation of workers and trade unions to the promotion of sustainable development. As the representatives of working people, trade unions are important partners in facilitating the achievement of sustainable development in particular the social dimension. Information, education and training on sustainability at all levels, including in the workplace, are key to strengthening workers’ and trade unions’ capacity to support sustainable development.
62. We encourage each country to consider the implementation of green economy policies in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, in a manner that endeavours to drive sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth and job creation, particularly for women, youth and the poor. In this respect, we note the importance of ensuring that workers are equipped with the necessary skills, including through education and capacity building, and are provided with the necessary social and health protections. In this regard, we encourage all stakeholders, including business and industry to contribute, as appropriate. We invite governments to improve knowledge and statistical capacity on job trends, developments and constraints and integrate relevant data into national statistics, with the support of relevant UN agencies within their mandates.
109. We recognize that a significant portion of the world’s poor live in rural areas, and that rural communities play an important role in the economic development of many countries. We emphasize the need to revitalize the agricultural and rural development sectors, notably in developing countries, in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable manner. We recognize the importance to take the necessary actions to better address the needs of rural communities through, inter alia, enhancing access by agricultural producers, in particular small producers, women, indigenous peoples and people living in vulnerable situations, to credit and other financial services, markets, secure land tenure, health care and social services, education and training, knowledge, and appropriate and affordable technologies, including for efficient irrigation, reuse of treated waste water, water harvesting and storage. We reiterate the importance of empowering rural women as critical agents for enhancing agricultural and rural development and food security and nutrition. We also recognize the importance of traditional sustainable agricultural practices, including traditional seed supply systems, including for many indigenous peoples and local communities.
114. We resolve to take action to enhance agricultural research, extension services, training and education to improve agricultural productivity and sustainability through the voluntary sharing of knowledge and good practices. We further resolve to improve access to information, technical knowledge and know-how, including through new information and communication technologies that empower farmers, fishers and foresters to choose among diverse methods of achieving sustainable agricultural production. We call for the strengthening of international cooperation on agricultural research for development.