» Global community pool scaling-up efforts for Education for Sustainable Development
12.07.2016 - Education Sector

Global community pool scaling-up efforts for Education for Sustainable Development

Scaling-up was the theme of a meeting of more than 80 members of the Partner Networks of the Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).

The group, which met at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris on July 5-6, serves as a global community of practice and is made up of five networks, each tackling a priority area of the GAP; policy, transforming learning, capacity-building, mobilizing youth and accelerating local solutions. The GAP is intended to drive a worldwide effort on ESD, a crucial element in achieving the new Global Education Agenda.

Opening the meeting, Ms Soo Hyang Choi, Director of the UNESCO Division for Inclusion, Peace and Sustainable Development, reminded partners of the new ESD landscape. She said: “Traditionally ESD has been seen only as an environmental issue. For young people this is no longer the case. For youth it is a lifestyle choice and a value issue. This is how they approach ESD.”

Generating and multiplying action on the ground is at the heart of the GAP. Building partner networks that bring together key stakeholders is a central strategy set out in the roadmap for implementing the GAP.

Collective energy to brainstorm new ideas

The five partner networks met to review progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals which contain three targets related to ESD. Achievements, which were documented in a Preliminary Monitoring Report, include:

  • reaching more than one million stakeholders with information
  • working with nearly 100,000 individuals face-to-face and online
  • conducting nearly 500 in-person trainings and online trainings that served 30,000 stakeholders
  • welcoming 1600 new members to the networks.

An open discussion in a “World Café” style was also held to bring different networks together. One of the winners of the UNESCO-Japan ESD Prize, Felix Spira of rootAbility from Germany, said: “The World Café was a great experience to get to know people from across other networks. It was very inspiring to learn what everyone is working on, to brainstorm on ideas for joint projects and to feel all the collective energy and spirit in the room.”

Adriana Valenzuela Jimenez from the United Nations Alliance on Climate Change Education, Training and Public Awareness was impressed with the outstanding developments the network has achieved in one year. “The 2nd GAP meeting in Paris provided an extraordinary opportunity to create synergies and strengthen international cooperation. We are delighted to work with UNESCO to scale-up formal, non-formal and informal climate change education. We are looking forward to showcasing inspirational experiences during the Education Day at the UN Climate Change Conference, COP 22 in Morocco,” she said.

Partner profiles are available on the UNESCO GAP Clearinghouse website. The GAP was launched at the World Conference on ESD in November 2014 in Japan as a follow-up programme to the United Nations Decade of ESD (2005-2014).

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