Global Connections IV centered on Environmentalism, an issue being addressed increasingly by secondary schools worldwide. As Principal Li of the No. 1 Middle School to Central China Normal University wrote:
Seventy four (74) other Principals, their representatives or delegates from nineteen (19) countries also endorsed the implementation of environmental education and shared examples of how their schools were introducing classes, programs, and community service projects to address ecological and environmental issues.
Participants at Global Connections IV prepared the Deerfield Declaration on Education for Sustainable Development, the Preamble of which states:
Concluding with a five-point initiative, the Deerfield Declaration emphasized the promotion of holistic and integrated educational experiences, the morality of our stewardship, the need for preserving ecological balance, the recognition of our indivisibility and the acknowledgement of the lore and wisdom of indigenous peoples who have taught us that we belong to Earth rather than the Earth belongs to us.
Speakers such as Gilbert Grosvenor, Chairman of the National Geographic Society Board of Trustees and Educational Foundation (US), Libby Grundy, Director of the Council for Environmental Education (UK), and Richard Winchell, President of the Friends of the Bermuda Aquarium, highlighted critical areas of the environment and cited educational initiatives being taken to address them while others, such as Gloria Villegas-Cardoza of the Boston Nature Center of the Massachusetts Audubon Society, Tom Heise, a teacher of History at Deerfield Academy, and Chris Oostenink, a scientist from The Hotchkiss School, provided specific examples of educational programs and projects involving students from independent schools and inner city centers which focused on broadening environmental knowledge and sensitivity.
The four day Seminar also provided for mini-presentations on specific school initiatives including those from the Horace Mann School (US), Falcon College (Zimbabwe), The Putney School (US), The Royal Grammar School (England) and the Yuendumu Community Education Centre (Northern Territory, Australia).
Of special interest were a poster session at which delegates were able to display information and artifacts on their environmental programs and talk informally about their courses, nature centers, community activities and collaborative interests and a visit to Milton Academy’s Mountain School to observe first-hand their environmentally oriented programs of study.
Global Connections IV also included the announcement of two new initiatives, the creation of a web site at www.globalconnection.org (which has evolved into the current site) and the establishment of a public, not-for-profit entity under the U.S. tax code, the Global Connections Foundation, Inc. Both activities are supported through charitable contributions and are designed to provide opportunities for further resources and collaboration between schools nationally, regionally, and globally.View Declaration