Promoting Education for Sustainable Development: Challenges and Issues for Higher Education Institutions in Pakistan

Shahid Hussain Mughal, Nasim Qaisrani, Ghulam Mohuyuddin Solangi, Sumaira Faiz



Education is critical agent of transformation in terms of changing life styles, attitude and behavior.  The role of education in pursuit of Sustainable Development is indispensable. The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (1987) used the term Sustainable Development. According to UN Commission (known as Brundtland Commission) Sustainable Development is “development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the needs of future generation.” Sustainable Development talks about environmental problems and its solution in a broader perspective. It takes into account social, political, cultural and economic aspects. The United Nations has declared 2005-2014 as the decade for Education for Sustainable Development. Since the 1993 Kyoto Declaration on Sustainable Development, the role of higher education has become vital.

The recent trend in the depletion of natural resources, energy, water and food crises, has increased and challenged the role of higher education institutions in Pakistan. The question arises “To what extent our higher education & research institutions are playing their role in order to ameliorate the situation?  The other questions that come to mind are “how higher education institutions can respond to prevailing intricate situation? And what role can these institutions play for promoting education for sustainability?

This research study intends to critically examine the role of higher education institutions for the promotion of education for sustainability and to explore the opportunities for the integration of education for sustainability considerations in the existing courses being offered in the universities of Pakistan. This study intends to analyze the National Conservation strategy (NCS) of Pakistan with reference to the promotion of education for sustainability.


Key Words: Education for sustainability, Higher Education, National Conservation Strategy, Integration

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