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Eye on Earth Summit 2015

UNEP's Environmental Education and Training Unit (EETU) recently particpated in the Eye on Earth Summit, held in UAE's capital, Abu Dhabi, from 6th to 8th October 2015. Guided by the theme for Informed Decision-Making for Sustainable Development, the Summit was attended by over 700 participants from over 60 countries comprisng of representatives of governments, scientific and research centres, universities, youth, technology companies, donors, regional and international organisations, UN major groups and stakeholder and UN agencies, funds and programmes.

The Summit was convened under the gracious patronage of the President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and organised by the Eye on Earth Alliance with generous sponsorship from the Government of Abu Dhabi.

UNEP-EETU provides technical support in the implementation of the Eye on Environmental Education Special Initiative (EoEESI) projects. The EoEESI consolidates and builds on existing environmental education initiatives so as to collectively and effectively contribute towards sustainable development through all the educational arenas. EoEESI is one of the three foundational initiatives that support and facilitate knowledge transfer through effective environmental and societal data and information sharing, vital for other thematic SIs (Eye on Biodiversity, Eye on Community Sustainability and Resiliency, Eye on Disaster Management, Eye on Oceans & Blue Carbon and Eye on Water Security). The other two foundational SIs are Eye on Access for All and Eye on Global Network of Networks.

Objectives of the EoEESI events at the Eye on Earth Summit 2015:
- Highlight the importance of education, training and support as essential cross-cutting components to the Eye on Earth Initiative;
- Showcase achievements of the EoEESI through its seed-funded projects, including In-Service ICT Training for Environmental Professionals (ISEPEI) and Arab States Green University Network;
- Promote Low Carbon Universities, Green Campus Networks and GUPES;
- Provide an overview of global trends in education as it relates to sustainable development and data driven decision-making;
- Explore novel opportunities in promoting South-South and North-South cooperation amongst Universities;
- Leveraging GUPES for greater impact for the Eye on Earth community; and
- Formulate the future vision of the EoEESI, based on a variety of stakeholder perspectives, from a range of geographical areas and across a range of sectors among others.

Eye on Earth Summit Outcomes

EoEESI Related Event Summaries:

UNEP ED Speech at Opening of 2015 Eye on Earth Summit

"Our task is indeed one of convening, converging and collaborating." - UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner delivers a speech on the importance of data, science, the environment and sustainable development.

Youtube link

Education for Sustaining the Planet Breakout Session - 8 October

The session provided an overview of global trends in education as a cross-cutting pillar, how it relates to sustainable development and data driven decision-making, especially SDG 4, target 7 (environmental education) and the achievements of the EoEESI through its seed-funded projects.

More info and event summary

Side Event on Global Universities Partnership on Environment for Sustainability (GUPES) - 7 October

GUPES recognizes the vital roles universities play in promoting effective use of environmental data and information and thereby instilling environmental best practices and developing capacity of environmental professionals.

More info and event summary

Implementing Eye on Earth - Creating Common Educational Perspectives Side Event - 6 October

The side event highlighted importance of environmental education and training as an essential cross-cutting component to all other aspects of the Eye on Earth Special Initiatives; and emphasized why education is vital in effective policy development and implementation.

More info and event summary