The mandate for the UNESCO chair is to implement a research-informed, and inclusive ecological education framework for education. In doing so, the chair develops diverse and varied proposals for research and teaching in the fields of Environmental and Sustainability Education that have broad implications for the fields of initial teacher education, in-service teacher education, informal education, and postgraduate education (in Canada and the Global south).
The concept of bio-cultural diversity is dynamic in nature and takes the local values and practices of different cultural groups as its’ starting point for sustainable living. For educators, the issue is not only to work to preserve or restore important practices and values, but also to modify, adapt and create diversity in ways that resonate with a broad range of learners in both urban and rural settings.
Bio-Cultural diversity is made up not only of the diversity of species, habitats and ecosystems, but also of a diversity of human cultures and languages. While important associations have been described between biological diversity and linguistic diversity, this research agenda focuses centrally on social factors: such as modes living and educational/cultural practices, as these are key influences on bio-cultural diversity.