ICLEI South Asia recently participated at the Review Forum of Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development of the UNESCO, held in Ottawa, Canada. The Review Forum was organised from 6-8 March, 2017 within the framework of the UNESCO Week for Peace and Sustainable Development: The Role of Education, back‐to‐back with the Third UNESCO Forum on Global Citizenship Education (GCED). The events at the Forum emphasized the central theme of teachers and teacher training as well as the practical aspects and implementation of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).
ESD is a programme that contributes to make education relevant to today’s global challenges. It aims to ensure that all learners – of all ages – acquire the knowledge, skills and values needed to promote sustainable and peaceful societies.
Since the launch of the United Nations Global Education First Initiative in 2012 and the declaration of the UN Decade on ESD for the years 2005-2014, ESD has continuously gained momentum; it is included under Sustainable Development Goal 4 -Target 4.7 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and is, indeed, relevant for the achievement of all other Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.
UNESCO is the lead agency for ESD and coordinates the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD as the follow up to the UN Decade of ESD. ICLEI South Asia is a partner in the Partner Network 5 (PN 5) of the programme.
The Review Forum for the GAP was organised to review GAP implementation since its launch in November 2014 and discuss the way forward for the following years. The Forum also explored emerging ESD issues, trends and ideas, and highlighted innovative approaches.
During the Conference, the members of the PN 5 met and discussed the Flagship Programme of the PN5, under which an Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Policy and Action Pact has been developed. The Pact can be signed by local governments, both rural and urban, pledging action on promoting education for sustainable development. It was proposed in the meeting that ICLEI, in its role as an association of local governments, spread the message of the Pact to all our member cities and promote ESD by encouraging them to sign this Pact.