24.04.2016 - UNESCO Office in Doha

Second GCC Consultative Regional Workshop on Sustainable Development & Green Schools in Jeddah


In close cooperation with the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and following up on the outcomes of the Consultation Meeting which was held in Kuwait in October 2015, UNESCO Doha organized the second consultation workshop on sustainability and the green school initiative for GCC countries in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 17-19 April 2016.

The meeting was attended by a GCC delegation comprising 11 participants representing different education-relevant departments interested and implementing sustainability activities at the school level.

Participants discussed the role of education in promoting sustainability practices and why schools are best to engage in such practices.  Oman presented the results that came from the 3 schools which piloted the Green School Initiative in the Sultanate since 2015 in addition to presentations from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain.   

During the opening session, Mr. Mazen Batraji, Deputy President of Jeddah Chamber of Commerce, elaborated on the efforts the Chamber is making to promote sustainability through education and schools.

UNESCO Doha Director, Anna Paolini, highlighted the importance of education in addressing sustainability challenges and how youth can best be taught to face such challenges along with all the learning they receive to embark on new behavioural patterns that are of sustainability nature. 

UNESCO Doha Education Specialist, Anwar Alsaid presented the role of UNESCO in the overall design of sustainability frameworks and ways of technical support that UNESCO would provide member states with to plan interventions as well as to strengthen capacities.

The workshop aimed at strengthening future cooperation and building stronger partnership between UNESCO and the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce, examining ways to further cooperation between UNESCO and GCC education authorities working on sustainability and to explore the possibilities of holding joint activities with relevant stakeholders. 

While Member States are committed to the Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development principles and guidelines, the meeting in Jeddah was timely to address and debate how best schools can address sustainability through practical activities as well as through curriculum enrichment and teachers’ capacity building.

Building partnerships between the public and the private sector was at the heart of the debate since many stakeholders have shown keen interest to work with education authorities and schools on sustainability interventions and to provide different kinds of assistance to support sustainability activities at schools.

The outcome of the meeting witnessed strong commitment from the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce for placing sustainability as a top priority on its agenda and to continue its support to the initially assisted 60 schools and to scale up implementation.

UNESCO Doha Education Programme Specialist made the closing remarks highlighting UNESCO's efforts and role in strengthening sustainability promotion and in engaging wider groups in addressing the challenges of climate change as well as sustainability in its wider perspective. 

For further information, please contact Dr Anwar Alsaid at UNESCO Doha Office a.alsaid [at] unesco.org

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