The DESD regional launch took place in Bahrain in September 2005. Countries in the region have undertaken exchanges and dialogue in order to define the roles of different stakeholders for the DESD and have elaborated an ESD Regional Framework for the Arab States.
In the Arab States, challenges to implementing ESD include the need for better understanding of how ESD links with other cross-cutting themes in education; integration of the values and traditions of the Arab States in the planning and implementation of ESD, in particular the development of curricula and teaching materials; sufficient and appropriate funding and training; and promotion of equal partnership and improved cooperation among all partners.
ESD in the region is focused primarily on environmental issues and has a stronger presence in formal education than in non-formal and informal education. Policy-makers, administrators, and teachers need more freedom to make changes, experiment and take risks to accomplish new educational and sustainability goals.