The Weec network
The WEEC International Environmental Education Network: a worldwide network of debate and research. The Network was established to give the Congresses continuity. This will consequently favor discussions about the key issues in environmental education; the exchange of thoughts, experiences and proposals from one Congress to the next; and the creation of a worldwide community of research and practice in environmental education and sustainability.
The summoning of an international meeting on environmental education has been anticipated for a good many years. The idea first got underway at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, becoming a concrete reality in 2003 with the First World Environmental Education Congress (1st WEEC) held in Espinho, Portugal.
The NGOs that drafted an “Alternative Treaty on Environmental Education” in Rio in 1992 had pledged to hold a “Planetary Meeting of Environmental Education for Sustainable Societies” within 3 years, but nothing more was ever done.
The 3rd Congress in Torino (Italy) 2005 (3rd WEEC) brings the phase of consolidating the Congresses to an end and paves the way for the series of biennial Congresses to follow. Significantly, the 3rd WEEC in Torino in 2005 occurs during the inaugural year of the Worldwide Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD), proclaimed by the United Nations for the ten-year period of 2005-2014. With the Congresses in Espinho (2003) and Torino (2005), the great international assemblies on environmental education return to Europe after having been absent since 1997 (Thessaloniki Conference "Environment and Society: Education and Public Awareness for Sustainability").
The Congresses of 2007 in Durban (SouthAfrica), and Montréal (Canada) of 2009, confirm the continuity of the network. The topic of the Congress in Durban: "Learning in a chancing World" has opened the opportunity for critical reflection on the role of education - practice and theory. The topic of Congress in Montréal, "Live together on Earth", invites the participants to contribute to the most important project of our humanity: to learn to live better the Earth.
Brisbane (Australia) hosted the 6th Congress in 2011 made possible for the greater participation by people in the Asian-Pacific context.
The 7th WEEC was hosted in Marrakech (Morocco) in 2013 under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammied VI, and the chairmanship of HRH Princess Lalla Hasna, President of the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environment Protection.With nearly 2,600 congressists from 105 countries, 20 Side Events, 900 papers, 30 exhibitors, the congress was marked by the presence of renowned international institutions such as UNESCO, UNEP, ISESCO, and FEE.
The last edition of the WEEC was back in Europe. In 2015 the Centre for Environment and Sustainability at Chalmers University of Technology and University of Guthenburg (Sweden) hosted the 8th WEEC from June 29 to July 2 whit the title “Planet and People - How can they develop together?”
Vancouver (Canada) has recently been selected as the next hosting city for the Congress. The 9th WEEC will run from 9 to 15 September 2017. The Local Organizing Committee is the Institute for Environmental Learning (IEL), a researchers and practitioners collaboration committed to high quality environmental and sustainability learning in British Columbia, jointly with many Canadian Universities and institutions.