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THE INTERDISCIPLINARY INTEGRATION OF SUSTAINABILITY AT UNIVERSITY LEVEL

According to the World Health Organization in its Environmental Program, zoonosis like Covid-19 can be increased by anthropogenic-induced factors such as deforestation and changes in land use, intensive agriculture and livestock farming, antimicrobial resistance, climate change and/or illegal wildlife trade. The current disconnection between human actions and the environment conservation has reach an unsustainable level that it is necessary to seriously be considered.

In fact, global and local institutions are taken into consideration this important issue by adopting several measures for implementing specific actions to contribute to sustainability from different perspectives. The educational system, that has shown its weakness during the Covid 19 pandemic, cannot stay apart from those actions since it can play a vital role in their success.

The sustainable development agenda was adopted on September 25th, 2015 by world leaders. It approved 17 global goals (sustainable development goals, SDG) to eradicate poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity. Each goal has specific targets that must be achieved in the next 15 years but, as indicated by the United Nations, to successfully achieve these goals everyone has to collaborate. Therefore, it is extremely necessary to acquire sufficient knowledge of what each SDG represents, its implications as well as its implementation process.

University, as a higher education institution, plays a decisive role in the training of professionals, but also serve to the people integral development, peace achievement and environment defense. Thus, the university should not ignore SDG, instead, it should adopt and implement actions to potentially achieve them, serving as an example to the educational community and extensively to society. For instance, university professors should try to include the SDG in their syllabus, showing what can be done from their respective disciplines in order to accomplish those goals.

The present communication provides our personal experience in integrating the SDG in the curriculum of different university subjects of the Degrees in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Nautical and Maritime Transport and Marine Technologies, including their final Degree Projects, among others. Our results clearly suggest that it is really necessary to implement SDG education from different perspectives, jointly offering to the students all the relevant information and knowledge for approaching to the “environmental sustainability” concept. Furthermore, the Covid-19 crisis has deeply affected higher education, with entered in an age of uncertainty that need to move to a new and sustainable paradigm.