09.03.2018 - UNESCO Office in Beirut

UNESCO Beirut releases two reports on Education for Sustainable Development

With a world population of 7 billion people and limited natural resources, individuals and societies need to learn to live together sustainably. Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) empowers people to change the way they think and work towards a sustainable future. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the global community for the next 15 years include ESD. Target 4.7 of SDG 4 states: "By 2030, all learners should acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development."

Against this backdrop, UNESCO Beirut released in March 2018 two reports on ESD projects conducted in 2017 in the framework of the NETMED Youth Project, funded by the EU.

REPORT ON THE ‘UNESCO REGIONAL ESD FLAGSHIP TRAINING PROGRAMME FOR ARAB YOUTH’: As part of the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD, this report details the implementation of the Regional Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Flagship training program for Arab youth that took place in Beirut between August 1st and 3rd 2017. It is the product of a collaboration between UNESCO Beirut, UNESCO Headquarters, JFIT, and Organisation De Development Durable (ODDD) NGO.

Objectives: Designed for young people aged 18-35 who are active leaders in sustainable development in their communities and regions, this training aimed to:

1. Empower youth leaders to inspire and mobilize others to take action towards building more sustainable, just and resilient communities;

2. Build a youth-led ESD network for exchange and collaboration.

Structure: The training programme centered around a three-day workshop where participants engaged with the theory and practice of ESD in order to build their capacity as ESD leaders. In order to maximize the learning possible in the three-day workshop, participants completed a pre-homework to gain foundational knowledge before the training, and a post-session to give continuity to the group and the training goals after the training.

Participation and Outcomes: A total of 39 young women and men from 19 Arab countries participated in this programme; and afterwards completed local ESD workshops and activities in their own communities for greater outreach and impact. 31 out of the 39 youth implemented their workshops, targeting a total of 709 youth in the 19 different countries.

REPORT ON ‘SUSTAINABILITY 4 YOUTH: SUSTAINABILITY MEETS PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN LEBANON’: “Sustainability 4 Youth” is a series of creative and experimental awareness workshops on SDGs/ESD that brought together a total of 25 youth activists working together during 2-3 months to communicate the concept of sustainability in interactive and participatory approach to 385 school students (aged 9-12) in 9 public and 2 private schools across different regions of Lebanon.

The activities encompassed diverse aspects of the concept and application of sustainable development, especially through integrating 3 key elements related to sustainability:

o Recycling/ Up-cycling

o The concept of Permaculture and urban farming

o Educational field visits to experience nature

This Project involved many partners: UNESCO Beirut Office, ODDD, Le Drageon (educational/environmental nature centre), Friends of Nature NGO, Lebanese National Commission for UNESCO.

This report (2017) provides details regarding the process, approach, implementation, outcomes, as well as the content of the training workshops and the materials and tools used in the schools awareness workshops.

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