UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)


UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) will be held in Aichi-Nagoya in Japan from 10 to 12 November 2014.

Organised by UNESCO and the Government of Japan with advice from an International Steering Group of twelve ESD experts from around the world, the conference will mark not only the end of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UN DESD, 2005-2014) but also an important milestone for pointing the way ahead.

UNESCO, which is the lead agency for the UN DESD (2005-2014), is coordinating global efforts to address, through education, the social, environmental, economic, and cultural challenges of the 21st century. In this process, it focuses on three key issues – climate change, biodiversity and disaster risk reduction – as entry points for promoting sustainable development practices through education.

Under the motto ‘Learning Today for a Sustainable Future’, the conference will pursue four objectives:

  • Celebrating a Decade of Action
  • Reorienting Education to Build a Better Future for All
  • Accelerating Action for Sustainable Development
  • Setting the Agenda for ESD beyond 2014

This three-day conference will comprise a high-level segment, plenary sessions, workshops, side events and exhibitions.

Its plenary sessions are:

  • Celebrating a Decade of Action: The opening plenary will celebrate ESD successes and highlight the urgent need for ESD
  • Reorienting Education to Build a Better Future for All – ESD as an integral element of quality education: Plenary II will illustrate that quality education calls for integrating sustainability principles into education and will also make the case for ESD’s contribution to education for global citizenship
  • Accelerating Action for Sustainable Development – enhancing the sustainable development agenda through education: Plenary III will highlight ESD’s catalyst function for taking action on sustainability issues such as climate change, disaster risk reduction and biodiversity loss
  • Setting the Agenda for ESD beyond 2014: The closing plenary will draw conclusions from the Conference discussions for ESD work after the UN Decade in 2014

Its workshops, amounting over 30, are grouped under four clusters:

Cluster I: Celebrating a Decade of Action will showcase successful and inspiring initiatives in: ESD concept | ESD policy | Contribution of ESD in meeting the internationally-agreed development goals | Development of local initiatives and multi-stakeholder networks for ESD | Innovative teaching and learning approaches to ESD | Mobilizing partnerships for ESD | Monitoring and evaluation of the DESD and ESD 

Cluster II: Reorienting Education to Build a Better Future for All will discuss ESD as an integral element of quality education in: Early childhood care and education | Primary and secondary education | Higher education and research | Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)/ Green skills | Teacher education | Non-formal and community learning | Information and Communications Technology (ICT) | Innovative learning spaces and opportunities for ESD | ESD as a new vision of education 

Cluster III: Accelerating Action for Sustainable Development will discuss ESD as a critical lever for advancing policies and practices in: Water and sanitation | Oceans | Energy | Health | Agriculture and food security | Biodiversity | Climate change | Disaster risk reduction (DRR) | Sustainable consumption and production (SCP) | Green economy in the context of poverty eradication | Sustainable cities and human settlements 

Cluster IV: Setting the Agenda for ESD beyond 2014 will focus on articulating the post-2014 ESD framework in relation to: Promoting holistic 21st-century competencies | Integrating ESD in policy at different levels | Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) | Role of local initiatives in advancing ESD | Whole-institution approaches to ESD | Catalyzing support for ESD | Monitoring and reporting frameworks of ESD beyond 2014 

In the side events of the conference stakeholders will be able to present their ESD projects and programmes. Its exhibitions will showcase successful ESD projects from around the world.

The conference will also see the launch of the third and final assessment report of the UN DESD. The report will take stock of the growth of ESD throughout the Decade, give an updated picture of ESD at the Decade’s end and share lessons learnt and draw conclusions for future ESD activities. In the course of the Decade, UNESCO published two reports in 2009 and 2012, focusing on contexts and structures for ESD and processes and learning for ESD, respectively.

Prior to the conference, from 4 to 8 November 2014, a set of Stakeholder Meetings will bring together key ESD stakeholder groups such as UNESCO, ASPnet schools and youth representatives.

Discussions and preparations for ESD after the UN DESD are moving forward and UNESCO will be developing a roadmap for implementation of the Global Action Programme on ESD, which will be discussed at this conference.

Image adapted from the conference website



Conference website http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco-world-conference-on-esd-2014/

UNESCO ESD website http://en.unesco.org/themes/education-sustainable-development

ESD page on UNESCO website http://www.unesco.org/new/en/education/themes/leading-the-international-agenda/education-for-sustainable-development/

UNESCO ESD e-module http://www.unesco.org/new/en/education/themes/leading-the-international-agenda/education-for-sustainable-development/esd-e-module/

Key UNESCO publications on ESD http://www.unesco.org/new/en/education/themes/leading-the-international-agenda/education-for-sustainable-development/publications/

UNESCO on Twitter (@UNESCO) https://twitter.com/unesco | UNESCO on FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/unesco | UNESCO on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/UNESCO


Related posts on The Sustainable University Diary blog (ESD reflections)

The starting point of our sustainability crisis? http://esddiary.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/the-starting-point-of-our-sustainability-crisis/

Who depends on whom? A game of plates http://esddiary.wordpress.com/2013/07/08/who-depends-on-whom-a-game-of-plates/


Related posts on The Sustainable University Notes blog

Education’s role in addressing sustainability and ESD http://su-notes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/educations-role-in-addressing.html

Higher Education’s role in building a sustainable world http://su-notes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/higher-educations-role-in-building.html

Pathways to a sustainable university http://su-notes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/pathways-to-sustainable-university.html

EDUCATION pathway to a Sustainable University (Part 1): curriculum content and delivery http://su-notes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/education-pathway-to-sustainable.html

Opportunities for integrating sustainability across curricula (Part 2 of EDUCATION pathway to a Sustainable University) http://su-notes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/opportunities-for-integrating.html

University of Planetshire approach to integrating sustainability across the curriculum (Part 3 of EDUCATION pathway to a Sustainable University) http://su-notes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/university-of-planetshire-approach-to.html

Outputs of the University of Planetshire Approach to integrating sustainability across the curriculum (Part 4 of EDUCATION pathway to a Sustainable University) http://su-notes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/outputs-of-university-of-planetshire.html

Will it work? – The University of Planetshire Approach to integrating sustainability across the curriculum (Part 5 of EDUCATION pathway to a Sustainable University)



Related posts on The Sustainable University News & Info website

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) London Conference 2014: Call for Papers https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/education-for-sustainable-development-esd-london-conference-2014-call-for-papers/

COPERNICUS conf: Leadership in a Changing World: Higher education, sustainability and the new Global Action Programme on ESD https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/copernicus-conf-leadership-in-a-changing-world-higher-education-sustainability-and-the-new-global-action-programme-on-esd/

London South Bank University (LSBU) in Africa: Education for Sustainability (EfS) Residential 2013 https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/london-south-bank-university-lsbu-in-africa-education-for-sustainability-efs-residential-2013/

ESD has made inroads in new pedagogical ideas in future flexible higher education – HEA report https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/esd-has-made-inroads-in-new-pedagogical-ideas-in-future-flexible-higher-education-hea-report/

QAA/HEA ESD Guidance Document for UK higher education goes under consultation https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/qaahea-esd-guidance-document-for-uk-higher-education-goes-under-consultation/

HEFCE consultation on Sustainable Development Framework until 7 February 2014 https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/12/17/hefce-consultation-on-sustainable-development-framework-until-7-february-2014/

House of Commons launch: UK’s Rio+20 Manifesto to strengthen education’s role in sustainable development https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/house-of-commons-launch-uks-rio20-manifesto-to-strengthen-educations-role-in-sustainable-development/

UNEP publishes Greening Universities Toolkit https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/unep-publishes-greening-universities-toolkit/

HEA-NUS Report 2013: Student attitudes towards and skills for sustainable development https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/hea-nus-report-2013-student-attitudes-towards-and-skills-for-sustainable-development/

New website: The Guide to Quality and Education for Sustainability in Higher Education https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/new-website-the-guide-to-quality-and-education-for-sustainability-in-higher-education/

CONFERENCE: Quality Assurance, Enhancement and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD): Creating a Framework for Dialogue https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/conference-quality-assurance-enhancement-and-education-for-sustainable-development-esd-creating-a-framework-for-dialogue/

New TOOLKIT: Problem-Based Learning: A Case Study of Sustainability Education https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/new-toolkit-problem-based-learning-a-case-study-of-sustainability-education/

Gloucestershire workshop on Education for Sustainability in Higher Education https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/gloucestershire-workshop-on-education-for-sustainability-in-higher-education/

Delivering ESD and graduate attributes through Hybrid Problem-Based Learning https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/delivering-esd-and-graduate-attributes-through-hybrid-problem-based-learning/




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Project PROPOSAL for universities | Sustainability as an enhancer of reputation and financial position | The Planetshire University (PU) modelhttps://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/proposal/


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LinkedIn POSTS | Posts on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) & Sustainability in Higher Education http://www.linkedin.com/today/author/101066234-Asitha-Jayawardena


Profile & Portfolio | Asitha Jayawardena | Strengths, Accomplishments & Recognitionhttp://issuu.com/aij3/docs/profile-asitha


Online Shelf | Examples of past work (PDFs, booklets, press articles, logos, etc) http://issuu.com/aij3



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