Current human populations are facing serious problems and challenges of sustainability, linked to our lifestyle and which give priority to development in consumer economy terms, rather than the other equally important determiners for a sustainable future (social, cultural, environmental and political). The United Nations Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development provides a guide to cope with the most urgent environmental challenges linked to economic, social and environmental sustainability, and for the development of human beings in our present world. The guide is based on the 17 Objectives and numerous goals, which cover a wide range of social, economic and environmental challenges, whose coordinated achievement in all population sectors and countries will require important political decisions to ensure programmed progress for 2030, and which allow us to obtain the necessary indicators (qualitative and quantitative) for evaluation.
The cultural biodiversity present among the human populations which inhabit our planet shows a rich variety of life forms and relationships with our surroundings, which allow us to reflect on and propose models of action for a sustainable future. From our perspective and research experience as human ecologists and bio-anthropologists, we offer a biocultural approach to face these problems and to raise awareness in a simple but thorough way.
The Association for the Study of Human Ecology (ASHE) uses its Virtual Museum of Human Ecology (VMHE) to offer an open teaching tool with a wide range of pedagogic options, to achieve a lasting change for the future behaviour of present generations and those to come.
Inclusion of the Sustainable Development Agenda at all levels of education
The role of education in the urgent and necessary environmental transformation is explicitly recognized in objective four of the SDGs as an axis for action linked transversely with all the other SDGs. In order to transform our world in the right direction and in the foreseen time, it is necessary that the 2030 Agenda be successful on a global scale, which requires the collaboration of all social sectors.
Universities should play a prominent role in this process, in coordination with other educational and social institutions, museums, NGOs, political managers and businessmen, to successfully include the 2030 Agenda in all educational stages.
Consequently and given that the culture of sustainability begins in childhood, one of the priority objectives of the MVEH is to turn it into an effective didactic tool, open to proposals, reflections and activities from researchers, experts, teachers, citizen associations and the students themselves, adjusting courses and activities to the different proposals.