Kerstin Wilmans

UNESCO Roadmap for Implementing the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development

Reading recommendation: The framework paper for the implementation of the Global Goals Curriculum

I received my personal copy of the UNESCO roadmap shortly after our conference for the future of learning GGC 2016 from the UNESCO. I read it on a regular basis. We encourage everyone involved in the topic of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) to read this publication. You can download the roadmap via the UNESCO website.

From the start, I was surprised how far-reaching the program is intended to be. 

This is clearly not just a matter of integrating sustainable development as an additional topic in the classroom. It is about a real "re-orientation of education and learning so that everyone has the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that empower them to contribute to sustainable development”.

“The five-year program (2015-2019) aims to bring about a systemic change of the education system in the long term and to bring Education for Sustainable Development at the core of teaching. It makes a significant contribution to the Agenda 2030, adopted by the United Nations in September 2015, which includes the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

The idea of the roadmap is to implement a change process in the following fields of action: 

  • Advancing policy
  • Transforming learning and training environments
  • Building capacities of educators and trainers
  • Empowering and mobilizing youth
  • Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level

The BMBF is responsible for implementing the Global Action Programme in Germany and has already set up a national platform and six expert forums - early childhood education, school, college, vocational education, non-formal and Informal learning / youth and municipalities. In these committees, education and sustainability experts, scientists and practitioners work out proposals with specific objectives and measures.

It will be very exciting to see how those ambitious goals described in the roadmap will be implemented across countries. The vision presented in the roadmap indicates that there should be far-reaching structural changes in our education systems, which require new approaches from all stakeholders. And this is perhaps the greatest challenge for the implementation of the Global Action Programme: We all need to courageously drive this change process and work collaboratively towards a common goal.

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