Towards 2030: Sustainable Development Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation. An Educational Perspective

About this Research Topic

Abstract Submission Deadline 31 August 2022
Manuscript Submission Deadline 31 October 2022

Building on the Millennium Development Goals, the UN Sustainable Development Goals are the cornerstone of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, billed by the UN as “An Agenda of unprecedented scope and significance.” The seventeen ambitious goals, which are intended to be reached by 2030, are conceived as integrated, indivisible, and as balancing the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. They are organized around five core pillars:

• People: ending poverty and hunger and ensuring that all human beings can lead fulfilling lives in a healthy and dignified environment.
• Planet: protecting the environment while ensuring sustainable use and management of natural resources.
• Prosperity: ensuring environmentally sustainable economic growth, mutual prosperity, and decent work for all.
• Peace: building societies that are peaceful, just and inclusive, and in which human rights and gender equality are respected.
• Partnership: strengthening global solidarity to address inequalities within and between countries, by focusing on the needs of the most vulnerable.

This Research Topic addresses the sixth Sustainable Development Goal, which is to “ensure access to water and sanitation for all”. Progress toward this goal is measured by a number of individual targets and indicators.

In its most recent SDG progress report the UN notes that, despite the progress made in improving the access to sanitation and clean drinking water, billions of people are still lacking these services. Also, the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the critical importance of hygiene and sanitation to prevent and contain diseases; yet in the world, one in three people has no source of safe drinking water, while two in five do not have access to basic hand-washing facilities.

In addition, over the past century, the growth rate of global water use has been twice as fast than the rate of population growth, with countries and territories also facing rising challenges linked to water pollution, scarcity, and ecosystems degradation. Consequently, it is no surprise that everyday almost 1,000 children die due to preventable diseases linked to poor access to water and sanitation. Moreover, between 1970 and 2015, natural wetlands shrank by 35% (three times the rate of forest loss), while floods and other water disasters accounted for 70% of the deaths linked to natural disasters. Lastly, more than 80% of wastewater coming from human activities is discharged into oceans, seas and rivers without any pollution removal.

The report eventually stresses that the world is currently not on track to achieve Goal 6 and, given the situation, urges a dramatic acceleration towards developing holistic approaches to water management.

This Research Topic will address the sixth Sustainable Development Goal from an education-specific perspective. Themes welcome may address, yet are not limited to:
• Education to raise awareness on the importance of protecting and preserving watersheds
• Education to help students develop a global mindset, recognizing climate change effects on water worldwide
• Education to support and strengthen local communities’ participation in developing better management of water and sanitation
• Promoting water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) education
• The key role of primary and secondary education to have learners acquainted with worldwide water-related issues
• The impact of educational campaigns on changing people’s behavior around water use

Given the setbacks in the world due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s edition of the Research Topic will focus particularly on the challenges and complexities of ensuring access to water and sanitation for all in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

Keywords: environmental education, empowering education, water education, hygiene education, SDG 6

Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Building on the Millennium Development Goals, the UN Sustainable Development Goals are the cornerstone of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, billed by the UN as “An Agenda of unprecedented scope and significance.” The seventeen ambitious goals, which are intended to be reached by 2030, are conceived as integrated, indivisible, and as balancing the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. They are organized around five core pillars:

• People: ending poverty and hunger and ensuring that all human beings can lead fulfilling lives in a healthy and dignified environment.
• Planet: protecting the environment while ensuring sustainable use and management of natural resources.
• Prosperity: ensuring environmentally sustainable economic growth, mutual prosperity, and decent work for all.
• Peace: building societies that are peaceful, just and inclusive, and in which human rights and gender equality are respected.
• Partnership: strengthening global solidarity to address inequalities within and between countries, by focusing on the needs of the most vulnerable.

This Research Topic addresses the sixth Sustainable Development Goal, which is to “ensure access to water and sanitation for all”. Progress toward this goal is measured by a number of individual targets and indicators.

In its most recent SDG progress report the UN notes that, despite the progress made in improving the access to sanitation and clean drinking water, billions of people are still lacking these services. Also, the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the critical importance of hygiene and sanitation to prevent and contain diseases; yet in the world, one in three people has no source of safe drinking water, while two in five do not have access to basic hand-washing facilities.

In addition, over the past century, the growth rate of global water use has been twice as fast than the rate of population growth, with countries and territories also facing rising challenges linked to water pollution, scarcity, and ecosystems degradation. Consequently, it is no surprise that everyday almost 1,000 children die due to preventable diseases linked to poor access to water and sanitation. Moreover, between 1970 and 2015, natural wetlands shrank by 35% (three times the rate of forest loss), while floods and other water disasters accounted for 70% of the deaths linked to natural disasters. Lastly, more than 80% of wastewater coming from human activities is discharged into oceans, seas and rivers without any pollution removal.

The report eventually stresses that the world is currently not on track to achieve Goal 6 and, given the situation, urges a dramatic acceleration towards developing holistic approaches to water management.

This Research Topic will address the sixth Sustainable Development Goal from an education-specific perspective. Themes welcome may address, yet are not limited to:
• Education to raise awareness on the importance of protecting and preserving watersheds
• Education to help students develop a global mindset, recognizing climate change effects on water worldwide
• Education to support and strengthen local communities’ participation in developing better management of water and sanitation
• Promoting water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) education
• The key role of primary and secondary education to have learners acquainted with worldwide water-related issues
• The impact of educational campaigns on changing people’s behavior around water use

Given the setbacks in the world due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s edition of the Research Topic will focus particularly on the challenges and complexities of ensuring access to water and sanitation for all in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

Keywords: environmental education, empowering education, water education, hygiene education, SDG 6


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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