First winners of new UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development announced

Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova, has announced the names of the first winners of the newly established UNESCO-Japan Prize for outstanding projects related to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).

The three laureates are Asociación SERES from Guatemala/El Salvador; the Centre for Development of Early Childhood, Non-Formal and Informal Education from Indonesia; and rootAbility from Germany. The three organizations will each receive an award of USD 50,000.

The UNESCO-Japan Prize was established in 2014 to honour outstanding efforts of individuals, institutions and organizations engaged in ESD activities. The Award Ceremony for the 2015 Prize will take place in the evening of 5 November at UNESCO Headquarters. The next call for nominations is planned to be launched in January for the 2016 edition of the Prize.

Asociación SERES (Guatemala and El Salvador)

Asociación SERES (Guatemala and El Salvador) is awarded for its “SERES ESD Youth Ambassadors” initiative, which uses an imaginative approach in its application of ESD.  The project certifies youth ambassadors to train other young people to become facilitators of established sustainability programmes that build community resilience to climate change. It thus inspires and activates youth leadership for more sustainable lifestyles through individual and collective actions.

The Centre for Development of Early Childhood, Non-Formal and Informal Education (Bandung, Indonesia)

The Centre for Development of Early Childhood, Non-Formal and Informal Education (Bandung, Indonesia) is awarded for its “Eco Friendly Entrepreneurship for Youths and Adults” project, which takes an innovative and committed approach to the development of entrepreneurial skills and local engagement in sustainability. It encourages people between the ages of 18 and 45 to work with their local community to harness local traditions and resources and to create their own products with recycled material. The project preserves local culture and the environment while initiating rural business and stimulating competitiveness through active pedagogies.

rootAbility (Germany)

rootAbility (Germany) is awarded for its “Green Office Model” initiative, which trains young people as transformation agents to foster a whole-institution approach towards ESD.  Its main actors are university students who form Green Offices as a team with both teaching and administrative staff of their institution. They learn to run their own activities, such as waste recycling, energy efficiency and sustainable catering, while raising their own funding. Green Offices have already been established in six European countries.


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