The Universities of Australia Ecological Development Charter
The UAED Charter was developed by the National Union of Students and initially launched in 1999, at which time RMIT University became a signatory. The Charter was relaunched in 2001 as part of the National Union of Students, Sustainable Universities Campaign.
“We, the Vice-Chancellors of universities in Australia, acknowledge that protection of the environment is an area of critical concern for, not only the education community, but the entire community.
We understand that universities, as centres of education and research, have a leading role to perform in striving for environmental best practice and formulating strategies for ecologically sustainable development.
We note that a range of environmental problems have beset the species extinction; from water, soil and air degradation to toxics accumulation; from natural resource depletion to non-sustainable development practices; and realise that these problems require the urgent attention of the research, teaching and administrative sections of all Australian universities.
We recognise that ecologically sustainable development goals can only be achieved through the co-operative efforts of universities, industry, government and the wider community.
We respect the indigenous peoples’ custodianship of the Australian environment and agree that indigenous issues should be a consideration in all ecologically sustainable development initiatives.
We acknowledge the principle of inter-generational equity and recognise our environmental obligations to both present and future generations.
Accordingly, we agree to implement the following initiatives:
- Formulate and implement university wide environment policies including detailed strategic plans to energy, waste, water, purchasing, natural & built environment, transport and curriculum.
- Adequately resource the implementation of these policies, including the employment of specific personnel to assist with the establishment, monitoring and evaluation of environmental programs within the university.
- Actively promote the urgent need for governments, industry and community to address environmental issues, including university participation in co-operative projects with non-government and student organisations.
- Develop, maintain and encourage information sharing between all Australian universities in relation to issues of ecologically sustainable development.
- Develop, maintain and encourage links with primary and secondary schools around issues of environmental sustainability.
- Seek to ensure that principles of ecologically sustainable development are incorporated into all areas of education, training and research within the university with a view to improving the environmental literacy of all students and staff.
- Sponsor ongoing discussions with appropriate representatives of local indigenous groups with a view to reaching consensual agreement on land use issues.
- Work with other Australian universities to establish an independent body, which monitors and evaluates the implementation of the principles and under-takings in this charter and, further, facilitates communication and co-operation between universities on matters relating to ecologically sustainable development.”