UNESCO has been promoting Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) since 1992. It led the UN Decade for ESD from 2005 to 2014 and is now spearheading its follow-up, the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD.
The momentum for ESD has never been stronger. Global issues – such as climate change – urgently require a shift in our lifestyles and a transformation of the way we think and act. To achieve this change, we need new skills, values and attitudes that lead to more sustainable societies.
Education systems must respond to this pressing need by defining relevant learning objectives and learning contents, introducing pedagogies that empower learners, and urging their institutions to include sustainability principles in their management structures.
The new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development clearly reflects this vision of the importance of an appropriate educational response. Education is explicitly formulated as a stand-alone goal – Sustainable Development Goal 4. Numerous educationrelated targets and indicators are also contained within other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).