Educate. Connect. Inspire

Educate. Connect. Inspire

May 10, 2014

The 2014 UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is on its way!

The 2014 UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) will mark the end of the UN Decade of ESD (2005-2014) and see the launch of the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD. The conference will take place from 10-12 November 2014 in Aichi-Nagoya, Japan.
Under the banner of “Learning Today for a Sustainable Future”, the Conference will celebrate the achievements of the Decade, identify lessons learnt while setting the stage for the future of ESD.
It will also showcase initiatives, key players, networks and ideas that the Decade has stimulated. Such examples from all over the world will help to generate future action under the Global Action Programme.
The three-day conference will contain a high-level segment, plenary sessions, and a number of workshops. At side events stakeholders will be able to present their ESD projects and programmes.Exhibitions will showcase successful ESD projects from stakeholders and partners around the world.
The 2014 World Conference pursues the following four objectives:
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1. Celebrating a Decade of Action
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2. Reorienting Education to Build a Better Future for All
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3. Accelerating Action for Sustainable Development
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4. Setting the Agenda for ESD beyond 2014

The UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD)
Based on a recommendation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg, 2002), the United Nations General Assembly decided to dedicate a UN Decade to ESD (2005-2014) in December 2002. It designated UNESCO to coordinate global efforts to make education relevant for addressing present and future sustainable development challenges.
Halfway through the Decade, UNESCO and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, in cooperation with the German Commission for UNESCO, organized the first UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development in 2009 in Bonn, Germany. The conference took stock of achievements of the first years and gave new impetus for the second half of the Decade.
Three key issues
Based on the outcome document of the World Conference 2009, the Bonn Declaration, and a newly elaborated strategy for the second half of the Decade, UNESCO has focused its work on three key sustainable development issues: climate change, biodiversity and disaster risk reduction, to be addressed through education.
The assessment reports on the Decade of ESD, published by UNESCO in 2009 and 2012, have shown that ESD is more and more present in national and international education policies. ESD pedagogies are advancing, and practitioners around the world undertake a large amount of high-quality ESD activities.
ESD after the Decade
While great advances have been made, a great deal remains to be done. The potential of ESD to shape a sustainable future remains crucial at the end of its Decade. In a world facing ever more complex sustainable development challenges, it is as important as ever to make use of the promise that ESD represents.
The ESD journey will go on after 2014. At the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, countries acknowledged the importance of ESD in the outcome document, and made a commitment to strengthening it beyond the end of the Decade.
The 2014 ESD World Conference therefore not only marks the end of the ESD Decade, but an important milestone for pointing the way ahead.
Why is the 2014 World Conference so important?
The 2014 World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) represents a turning point for ESD.
To achieve sustainable development, political regulations and financial incentives are not enough. A fundamental change is necessary in the way people think and act. The international community has long recognized that education is crucial for bringing about this change.
ESD allows learners to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to shape a sustainable future. ESD means including key sustainable development issues such as climate change and poverty reduction in teaching and learning. It also requires participatory teaching and learning methods that empower learners to take action for sustainable development.