RMIT became a signatory to the Talloires Declaration - University Leaders for a Sustainable Future in February 1995. The Declaration has been signed by universities throughout the world. The information presented below outlines the aims of the Declaration.
The Talloires Declaration - 7 October 1990
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 and water pollution; accumulation and distribution of toxic wastes; destruction and depletion of forests, soil, and water; depletion of the ozone layer and emission of "greenhouse" gases all threaten the survival of humans and thousands of other living species, as well as the integrity of the earth, 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.
University leaders must provide the direction 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 openly 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 have the awareness and understanding to be ecologically responsible citizens.
- Create programs to develop the capability of university faculty to teach environmental literacy to all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.
- Set an example of environmental responsibility by establishing institutional ecology policies and practices of programs of resource conservation, recycling, waste reduction and environmentally sound operations.
- Encourage the involvement of government, foundations, and industry in supporting interdisciplinary research, education, policy formation, and information exchange in environmentally sustainable development. Expand work with community and nongovernmental organizations to assist in finding collaborative solutions to environmental problems.
- Convene university faculty and administrators with environmental practitioners to develop curricula, research initiatives, operational systems, and outreach activities to support an environmentally sustainable future.
- Establish partnerships with primary and secondary schools to help develop the capability for interdisciplinary teaching about population, environment, and sustainable development issues.
- Work with national and international organizations to promote a worldwide university effort toward a sustainable future.
- Establish a secretariat and a steering committee to continue this momentum and to inform and support each other's efforts in carrying out this declaration.