Sustainable development is not just a catchphrase; it is a guiding principle that supports progress and growth while protecting the environment and the well-being of future generations. In a world seeking a balance between human aspirations and the requirements of the planet, the B+NeSDG (Bhutan and Nepal Education for Sustainable Development Goals) Project exemplifies the dedication of higher education institutions worldwide to fostering a better tomorrow. Through its multifaceted initiatives, the project embodies the substance of sustainable development by imparting knowledge, values, and skills to the future leaders of Nepal and Bhutan.
The B+NeSDG Project, which is supported by the Erasmus+ program of the European Union, focuses on education as the foundation for imparting sustainability principles in young people. In these developing countries, education transcends classroom learning; it becomes a vehicle for inculcating Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)-aligned knowledge, values, and attitudes. The ultimate objective is to promote positive change within higher education institutions and throughout entire societies.
A Global Effort in Collaboration
One of the extraordinary accomplishments of the B+NeSDG Project is its ability to bring together prestigious institutions worldwide for a common cause. In addition to Nepal Engineering College, universities such as Riga Technical University from Latvia, Jigme Namgyel Engineering College Dewathang from Bhutan, Sagarmatha Engineering College, Kathmandu University, and Far Western University participated in the B+NeSDG Project Easter School held at Pokhara University from April 30 to May 6, 2023. This collaborative strategy illustrates the effectiveness of international cooperation in advancing sustainable development.
Easter School was more than a simple gathering; it was a transformative experience for the attendees. Through a week of lectures, workshops, and discussions, students investigated the implications of sustainable development objectives for higher education institutions. By establishing relationships with peers and experts, participants obtained new perspectives on sustainability, thereby enhancing their skills and igniting their commitment to a more sustainable world.
Developing Capabilities for a Sustainable Future: Significant milestones have characterized the journey of the B+NeSDG Project, including participation in capacity-building training at Kathmandu University in October 2022. As part of the project's commitment to integrating sustainable development into educational frameworks, students designated for the B+NeSDG project participated in training sessions designed to strengthen their understanding of sustainability's principles and practices.
Enlightening Dialogues for Progress: Associate Professors Durgaprasad Bhandari, Rabindra K. Bhdhathoki, and Bibhuti Ojha participated in a transformative meeting hosted by the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (Spain) in July 2022. During this interaction, there was a dynamic exchange of knowledge. The primary objective of these interactions was to equip educators from Bhutan and Nepal to facilitate Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) with innovative teaching and learning approaches. By attending a crucial project meeting in September 2022, assistant professor Krishna Bikram Shah was instrumental in advancing the B+NeSDG Project. Officials and professors from institutions such as Riga Technical University (Latvia), Hellenic Open University (Greece), Polytechnic University of Cartagena (Spain), and Far Western University (Nepal) gathered to discuss various Sustainable Development Goals-related topics. These objectives, which are often referred to as a universal call to action, include the eradication of poverty, the protection of the environment, and the improvement of global well-being.
Looking Forward: The B+NeSDG Project is a beacon of collaboration and optimism, uniting institutions and minds in pursuit of a more sustainable future for Nepal and Bhutan. This initiative goes beyond theoretical learning to equip students with the tools and perspectives they need to actively contribute to improving their societies. As the initiative continues to develop, its influence will extend well beyond the confines of classrooms and campuses. The B+NeSDG Project is sowing the seeds of positive change by cultivating a generation of conscious leaders who are well-versed in the principles of sustainable development, thereby ensuring a brighter, greener, and more inclusive world for future generations.