Sustainable development relates to various aspects of life by linking the environment, society and the economy together. The latest published Environment for Europeans magazine, in March 2017, whose copies are also now available for free at The Cliffs Interpretation Centre, connects the regional vision of sustainable development to global goals and local actions. It is clearly identified that despite the policy level, additional actions and the engagement of stakeholders are necessary for the full implementation of policies to attain sustainable development.
The European Commission advocates that sustainable development has to be smart, sustainable and inclusive. The EU’s policies have integrated within them, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that were put forward through the 2030 Agenda by the UN. Further actions are necessary “to fully implement the 2030 Agenda “in partnership with all.” (Article in Environment for European Magazine, March 2017, p.11).
Several of the SDG are directly related to the daily activities of The Cliffs Interpretation Centre, which is located in the middle of the largest SAC in the Maltese Islands. The Centre has put sustainability to the forefront of its operations since its beginning. This article tackles Sustainable Education (SDG4), however further articles will consider the other related sustainable development goals.
Sustainable Development Goal number 4, aims to “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all ”.
The Cliffs Interpretation Centre has, is and will continue to enhance the meaning of an Interpretation Centre, indirectly complying with SDG 4. The Centre strives to ensure a continuation of education of the surrounding areas’ heritage through visual displays, the offered free walking eco-tours, etc… The Centre is an arena for raising awareness on the environmental, social and cultural importance of Dingli Cliffs and the surroundings, whilst striving to ensure a continuation of education of the surrounding areas’ heritage. This is done through several informative lectures and walks to school students in outings. The Centre has even created its own children’s character based on a donkey to promote learning about the surrounding environment of Dingli Cliffs.
On an informal education level, the free tours are recreational, but they are also indirectly creating public awareness on the surrounding environment, archaeology, gastronomy and local produce. Even the food that is served at The Cliffs Interpretation Centre has an educational role of informing visitors on the biological diversity at Dingli Cliffs and the wide range of local wild and semi-produce that can be sustainably used. Other local products can be found such as local cheeselets from the only shepherd in the area. A selection of jams and delicatessen products are also a reminder of past medicinal and culinary uses of local produce.