We, the presidents, rectors, and vice chancellors of universities from all regions of the world are deeply concerned about the unprecedented scale and speed of environmental pollution and degradation, and the depletion of natural resources. Local, regional, and global air pollution; accumulation and distribution of toxic wastes; destruction and depletion of forests, soil, and water; depletion of the ozone layer and emission of "green house" gases threaten the survival of humans and thousands of other living species, the integrity of the earth and its biodiversity, the security of nations, and the heritage of future generations. These environmental changes are caused by inequitable and unsustainable production and consumption patterns that aggravate poverty in many regions of the world.
We believe that urgent actions are needed to address these fundamental problems and reverse the trends. Stabilization of human population, adoption of environmentally sound industrial and agricultural technologies, reforestation, and ecological restoration are crucial elements in creating an equitable and sustainable future for all humankind in harmony with nature. Universities have a major role in the education, research, policy formation, and information exchange necessary to make these goals possible.
The university heads must provide the leadership and support to mobilize internal and external resources so that their institutions respond to this urgent challenge. We, therefore, agree to take the following actions:
- Use every opportunity to raise public, government, industry, foundation, and university awareness by publicly addressing the urgent need to move toward an environmentally sustainable future.
- Encourage all universities to engage in education, research, policy formation, and information exchange on population, environment, and development to move toward a sustainable future.
- Establish programs to produce expertise in environmental management, sustainable economic development, population, and related fields to ensure that all university graduates are environmentally literate and responsible citizens.
- Create programs to develop the capability of university faculty to teach environmental literacy to all undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students.
- Set an example of environmental responsibility by establishing programs of resource conservation, recycling, and waste reduction at the universities.
- Encourage the involvement of government (at all levels), foundations, and industry in supporting university research, education, policy formation, and information exchange in environmentally sustainable development. Expand work with nongovernmental organizations to assist in finding solutions to environmental problems.
- Convene school deans and environmental practitioners to develop research, policy, information exchange programs, and curricula for an environmentally sustainable future.
- Establish partnerships with primary and secondary schools to help develop the capability of their faculty to teach about population, environment, and sustainable development issues.
- Work with the UN Conference on Environmental and Development, the UN Environment Programme, and other national and international organizations to promote a worldwide university effort toward a sustainable future.
- Establish a steering committee and a secretariat to continue this momentum and inform and support each other's efforts in carrying out this declaration.
[Jean Mayer, President and Conference convener Tufts University, U.S.A. | L. Avo Banjo, Vice Chancellor University of Ibadan, Nigeria | Robert W. Charlton, Vice Chancellor and Principal University of Witwatersrand, Union of South Africa | Michele Gendreau-Massaloux, Rector l'Academie de Paris, France | Augusto Frederico Muller, President Fundacao Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso, Brazil | Calvin H. Pimpton, President and Emeritus American University of Beirut, Lebanon | T. Navaneeth Rao, Vice Chancellor Osmania University, India | Stewart Saunders, Vice Chancellor and Principal University of Cape Town, Union of South Africa | David Ward, Vice Chancellor Canipinas, U.S.A. | Pablo Arce, Vice Chancellor Universidad Autonoma de Centro America, Costa Rica | Boonrod Binson, Chancellor Chuialongkorn University, Thailand | Constance W. Curris President University of Northern Iowa, U.S.A. | Adamu, Nayaya Mohammed Vice Chancellor Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria | Mario Ojeda Gomez President Colegio de Mexico, Mexico | Wesley Posvar, President University of Pittsburgh, U.S.A. | Pavel D. Sarkisow, Rector D. I. Mendeleev Institute of Chemical Technology U.S.S.R. | Akilagpa Sawyerr, Vice Chancellor University of Ghana, Ghana | Carlos Vogt, President Universidade Estadual de Brazil | Xide Xie, President Emeritus Fudan University, People's Republic of China]
Thanks for providing this document go to: Heiko Weber