Association of American Geographers AAG - My Community, My Earth
About MyCOE MyCOE Learning Resources MyCOE Activities & Programs MyCOE Participate

Background

  Our vision is to build a geographically literate generation able to use this knowledge in their everyday lives to bring about true sustainable development. The objectives of the program are to:
  • Support individual projects at the middle school, secondary school, and university levels to advance geographic learning and to help demonstrate various approaches to sustainable development.
  • Provide students with the necessary technical resources to learn about sustainable development issues and present them to international leaders.
  • Raise awareness of the importance of geography and GIS as effective instruments for sustainable development to students, communities, policy makers, decision makers, and others.
  • Bring the concepts promoted by international efforts, such as the World Summit on Sustainable Development to local, grassroots levels.
  • Recognize the innovation and creativity of our youth toward building a more sustainable future through exhibition of projects at important regional and international venues.

The History of MyCOE
The My Community, Our Earth: Geographic Learning for Sustainable Development (MyCOE) program was developed in concurrence with the global ideas championed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2002. MyCOE organizers aimed to involve secondary school, college and university students worldwide and bring down to earth the ideas of sustainable development by using geographic tools and concepts. Slated as follow-up ten years after the Rio conference in 1992, the WSSD presented the opportunity to showcase progress made in many communities as a result of earlier environmental efforts. The MyCOE organizers desired to create an international program that would bring these themes to light in local contexts, involve youth in geographic learning, and showcase positive results to the international community at the WSSD.

The result was launching of the MyCOE program in 2001 with the support of numerous organizers, partners, and collaborators.

Early MyCOE Activities
In the first phase of the MyCOE program a global contest for student projects was conducted. MyCOE provided resource materials and mentors for the projects. Projects were solicited to be showcased at the WSSD. From the more than 200 student projects from 27 countries submitted, a high–level review panel selected 10 MyCOE projects for display at the summit. These projects demonstrated students’ enhanced awareness of the economic, social, and environmental challenges faced by communities and countries around the world and the geographic tools available to address them.

The MyCOE organizers have also presented student projects and the results from the first phase of the program at other important international venues.

Ongoing MyCOE Programs
In the subsequent phases of the MyCOE partnership, new programs are being developed and a variety of special activities are being conducted. These include programs that focus on youth and activities that support global partnerships about geographic learning for sustainable development. These activities build upon the first dawning phase and are geared toward meaningful outcomes for participants and communities. Program activities also are focused toward linking sustainable development, youth, and geographic learning with the various missions of the sponsoring organizations. 

You can learn more about MyCOE activities by clicking here.