Education for Sustainable Development

ASPnet Project '1000 brooms' in Burkina Faso

Climate change, the global food crisis and the ongoing financial and economic crisis are examples of sustainability issues our societies have to cope with in a globalized world.

In conducting pilot projects to better prepare children and young people to tackle effectively the challenges of an increasingly interdependent world, ASPnet schools have an important share in the United Nations Decade for Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014). In fact, ASPnet plays a vital role in pilot-testing, developing and implementing ESD methods that are eventually documented and provide examples of good practices for other schools.

Education is the foundation for sustainable development. It is a key instrument for bringing about changes in values and attitudes, skills, behaviours and lifestyles consistent with sustainable development within and among countries.

The concept of sustainable development includes the key areas of society, environment and economy, with culture as an underlying dimension. The values, diversity, knowledge, languages and worldviews associated with culture influence the way Education for sustainable development is implemented in specific national contexts.


Education for sustainable development is a tool for addressing interlinked objectives such as:

Society: to increase understanding of social institutions and their role in change and development, to promote social justice, gender equality, human rights, democratic and participatory systems, and health care (including HIV/AIDS)

Environment: to increase awareness of the resources and fragility of the physical environment, the affects of human activity on the environment, climate change, environmental protection (including water education), and biodiversity

Economy: to create sensitivity to the potential and the limits of economic growth, its impact on society and the environment, responsible and sustainable consumption, and rural development

In addition to reflection in the classroom, schools often conduct community-oriented projects. This does not only serve to improve immediate local needs, but to equip students with the necessary skills to transform oneself and society.

Therefore ESD should not be seen narrowly as another subject or concern to be added onto the formal education system. It is as much about the content as about the method. ESD is a broad teaching and learning process that encourages an interdisciplinary and holistic approach and promotes critical and creative thinking in the educational process.

ASPnet Projects

ASPnet Publications

ASPnet Good Practices in Education for Sustainable Development

Education Kit on Combating Desertification

A Creative Approach to Environmental Education/Teaching Resource Kit for Dryland Countries

OzonAction Education Pack for Primary Schools

OzonAction Education Pack for Secondary Schools

YouthXchange- towards sustainable lifestyles: training kit on responsible consumption

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