Education for Sustainable Development – A roadmap

UNESCO has been the lead United Nations agency on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) since the United Nations Decade of Education (2005-2014). ESD is widely recognized as an integral element of Agenda 2030, in particular Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4), and a key enabler of all the other SDGs.

This roadmap sets out the urgent challenges facing the planet and explores the next step UNESCO is taking in responding to them through education with detail on new emphases and actions. In order to build a follow-up to the Global Action Programme (GAP) (2015-2019) that contributes to Agenda 2030 and its 17 goals, the Education for Sustainable Development: Towards achieving the SDGs (ESD for 2030) framework was adopted with the aim of increasing the contribution of education to building a more just and sustainable world. ESD for 2030 will step up actions on five priority action areas, stressing further ESD’s key role for the successful achievement of the 17 SDGs and the great individual and societal transformation required to address the urgent sustainability challenges.

This publication sets out clearly what Member States must do in relation to each priority action area. For priority action area 1 on policy, ESD must be integrated in global, regional and national and local policies related to education and sustainable development. For priority action area 2 on education and training settings, attention is required to promote the whole-institution approach to ensure we learn what we live and live what we learn. In priority action area 3 on building capacities of educators, the focus is on empowering educators with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes needed for the transition to sustainability. Priority action area 4 on youth must recognize young people as key actors in addressing sustainability challenges and the associated decision-making processes. Priority action area 5 on local level action emphasizes the importance of actions in the communities as they are where meaningful transformative actions are most likely to occur.

The roadmap also underlines the key areas of implementation of the ESD for 2030 framework. Country initiatives on ESD for 2030 will lead the mainstreaming of ESD in education and sustainable development. The new framework will aim to encourage strong leadership from Member States and diverse stakeholders from education and sustainable development communities through ESD for 2030 Network (ESD-Net) at global and regional levels. Communication and advocacy efforts including the UNESCO-Japan ESD Prize will be strengthened; evidence-informed implementation of the framework by tracking issues and trends in education and sustainable development and mobilizing resources through making full use of the inter-sectoral, multidisciplinary nature of UNESCO as well as its diverse partners should be further strengthened. Various efforts to monitor the progress will be pursued with the aim of achieving SDG target 4.7 by 2030.

  Published on: 2020
  Published by: UNESCO
  Language: English

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