International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 1 April 2000



Leal Filho, W. and Clugston, R. (2000), "Editorial", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 1 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijshe.2000.24901aaa.001



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited


We are delighted to introduce the "International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education" (IJSHE), which is the first scholarly journal focusing on sustainability in a higher education context. This first issue of IJSHE contains a wide range of papers on sustainability initiatives at higher education institutions in Australia, the USA, Germany and Switzerland. It also introduces a case study of an ecological game emphasising the global relevance of sustainability. An overview of misconceptions concerning the meaning of sustainability is also provided, helping us deal with the widespread and often negative connotations of the term in higher education.

This journal indicates a maturing of the sustainability field. Milestones in the past 15 years include Our Common Future, the report of the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), Agenda 21 and other outcomes of the UN Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and the series of UN summits since then. Many of the developments highlighted in this journal will reflect evolving approaches to sustainable development - including capacity building, which started well before the Rio Conference. Reference documents and declarations such as the Bologna Charter, the Talloires Declaration, and the Action Plan for Sustainable Development prepared by the Copernicus program represent some further examples of the body of work done in the field of sustainability in higher education institutions.

Such documents and ongoing developments will continue to influence and shape the debate on sustainable development well into the twenty-first century. The strategic directions of Agenda 21 are as much a reflection of these continuing trends as they are a cause. This journal intends to provide a concrete contribution to the sustainability debate and the dissemination of the results of studies in this field. Although the theoretical basis of sustainability is fairly well-known, much has yet to be done with respect to the challenges faced in the practical implementation of sustainability in both industrialised and developing countries.

We hope that readers will find IJSHE both informative and entertaining. By acting as an impartial, peer-reviewed outlet, IJSHE aspires not only to provide a forum for information dissemination, but also to catalyse even more the development of this area. Because this journal is available in both electronic and print format, it is hoped that it will reach a broad audience and bring information to those involved in the debate or in the practical implementation of sustainability in the context of higher education institutions. We look forward to your contributions to this journal.

Walter Leal Filho and Rick Clugston

Professor Walter Leal Filho teaches environmental management and environmental technology at the Technical University Hamburg-Harburg (Germany) and The Royal Insitute of Technology (Sweden) where he is in charge of European projects on environmental conservation. He is the editor of the award-winning series "Environmental Education, Information and Sustainability" (Peter Lang Scientific Publishers), editor of the journal Environmental Management & Health and a member of the board of various scientific journals. Professor Leal Filho is Editor of The New Environmental Management Internet Research Register and received MCB University Press's Leading Editor Award for 1999.

Dr Richard Clugston is Executive Director of the Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future (ULSF) and the Center for Respect of Life and Environment (CRLE), based in Washington, DC, USA, as well as publisher and editor of the journal, Earth Ethics. Prior to this he was a faculty member with the College of Human Ecology at the University of Minnesota, and later a strategic planner in Academic Affairs, Continuing Education and the Office of the President. Dr Clugston is on the steering committees of the Higher Education Network for Sustainability and the Environment (HENSE) and the Forum on Religion and Ecology.

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