Whose Sustainable Development? A Pacific perspective on education for sustainable development

My paper problematises the notion of sustainable development that underpins the current discourse on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which focuses on “development without environmental costs, and unsustainable development being associated with a model of growth and capital accumulation that ultimately serves to undermine the planet’s life support system” (Whitclift, 2004:4).

This mainly economic perspective of Sustainable Development is often difficult for many indigenous Pacific communities to appreciate, since their notion of sustainable development generally reflects a more holistic, inclusive and connected view of the world that does not necessarily separate the economy from the environment and from society.

The implications of such differences in perspectives, especially for Pacific education, will be explored and suggestions made as to how teachers might benefit from using indigenous pedagogies in their role of enhancing learning for sustainable Pacific futures.