Issues and Trends in Education for Sustainable Development

Issues and Trends in Education for Sustainable Development

Issues and trends in Education for Sustainable Development is the fifth in UNESCO’s Education on the Move series, which reviews trends in education today and challenges for tomorrow. The series is aimed at providing policy-makers, educators and other stakeholders with state-of-the-art analyses of topical issues. As the world’s leading agency on education, UNESCO seeks to promote and stimulate this key intellectual debate on the future of education.

The present volume addresses Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), which empowers learners to take informed decisions and responsible actions for environmental integrity, economic viability and a just society, for present and future generations, while respecting cultural diversity. ESD promotes holistic and transformational education. This type of education addresses learning content and outcomes, innovative pedagogy and ‘learning by doing’, and uses a whole-school approach to engage communities in achieving sustainable change.

This publication comes at a time of heightened global interest in efforts to address sustainability challenges through education. ESD is placed at the centre of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and has been widely recognized as a key enabler of sustainable development and an integral element of quality education. It forms part of Target 4.7 of Sustainable Development Goal 4, which by 2030, seeks to ‘ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles…’ as well as cutting across all the other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

UNESCO is the lead agency on ESD, as recognized in the 2015 UN General Assembly Resolution 70/209. The resolution invites the Organization to continue to provide coordination for the implementation of the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD in cooperation with partners, advocate for adequate resources for ESD; support Member States in building capacity, promote the sharing of knowledge and best practices; and assess progress towards the achievement of ESD.

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