Exploring ESD in coastal communities

May 31, 2024 | by magnews24.com

The Erasmus+ Blended Intensive Programme (BIP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) at Nord University in Nesna was a whirlwind of learning and experiences. From a fishing trip with local fishermen to preparing and cooking local fish cakes, we with other students and lecturers from France, Germany, Poland, Spain, and Norway came together for an enriching journey. Outdoor education by the ocean, keynote speeches, beach cleanups, and EkoArt sessions added layers of insight and action. This BIP helped us delve deep into practical skills for sustainability. A truly enriching learning experience that was set in motion through the Centre for Environmental Education and Research at the University of Malta together with Nord University and the University of Gdansk.

Keynote speeches by experts shed light on ESD and as well the literature’s role in it. Fieldwork included a beach cleanup and EkoArt activities to promote action skills in ESD. At the end of our journey we presented our multimedia sustainability projects in a SEA-EU CafĂ© event, sharing our narratives with local community members and school pupils. In Nesna, we were immersed in the unique context of the town, focusing on sustainability storytelling within coastal communities. Some groups chose to create a picture book based on the narrative of a fisherman, others used Bjorn’s perspective, a former teacher from a fishing family, to highlight the complex relationship between environmental, social, economic, and cultural sustainability pillars to develop a multimedia product.

Through interviews, fieldwork, and engagement with local experts, we gathered experiences and data to create a sustainability narrative.

We also had workshops that combined storytelling and art with ESD, allowing us to create meaningful art pieces using natural materials found outdoors. This hands-on experience not only deepened our understanding of sustainable development but also highlighted the creative potential of integrating art with ESD principles. Overall, our plan emphasized engaging storytelling and artistic expression to send sustainability messages effectively. This experience allowed us to explore and apply ESD principles in a real-world coastal setting, emphasizing the importance of narrative and community engagement in fostering sustainable practices.

The Maltese contingent was led by Prof. Mark Mifsud and Dr Censu Caruana and included Master students Naomi Mifsud Scicluna, Shirley Anne Zammit, Ramona Mercieca, Katrina Lee Dedun and Lisa Martin Crooy.


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