Aichi-Nagoya Declaration on Education for Sustainable Development: Shaping the Future We Want

Shaping the Future We Want

UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development


Shaping the Future We Want, UNESCO, final report, Education for Sustainable Development,


This Report comes at a critical time as UN Member States prepare to conclude negotiations on the global post-2015 agenda and launch a set of sustainable development goals. Deep economic and social inequalities, environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, disruption caused by natural disasters and climate change are a litmus test for the global community. More than ever, this is a time when education can – and must – play a decisive role in providing learners across the world with the knowledge, skills and values to discover solutions to today’s sustainability challenges. This carries benefit for present and future generations. It is a conviction that brings us together to the World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development in Aïchi-Nagoya in November 2014.

There are many reasons to celebrate as this Final Monitoring and Evaluation of the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) sets out to demonstrate. The Decade has activated hundreds of thousands of people to reorient education globally towards a central goal: to learn to live and work sustainably. ESD has spread across all levels and areas of education, in all regions of the world and is widely considered key in supporting sustainable development. International and national strategies dealing with the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development are beginning to reflect ESD as a crucial component.

ESD has galvanized pedagogical innovation. Education policy, including curricula changes, now promotes learning for sustainable development in many countries – from early childhood learning through to private sector training. Students are gaining direct experience of sustainability through a wide range of school-based “learning by doing” ESD initiatives that have been introduced in a number of countries.

Extensive partnerships and networks – within and between sectors – have been key to the successful accomplishments of the Decade. Children, youth and students have played an important role as agents of change, participating actively in discussions that affect their future, advocating for a transformation in their learning environments and bringing the messages of sustainability and global citizenship home to parents and communities.

Perhaps one of the most significant lessons learned during the Decade is that strong political leadership is instrumental to advancing ESD. But this is still work in progress. Leadership is essential for moving from policy commitments and demonstration projects to full implementation across the curriculum, teaching and operations, whether in formal systems or in non-formal learning and public awareness raising.

The Decade provides a solid base for scaling up our efforts to prepare the citizens of tomorrow to respond to the challenges of today. ESD advances quality education through more innovative ways of teaching and learning and the engagement of all stakeholders.

As a follow up to the Decade, UNESCO has developed a Global Action Programme on ESD, which was endorsed by the UNESCO General Conference in 2013 and will be launched in Nagoya. The Programme aims at scaling up action in ESD in order to accelerate overall progress towards sustainable development, and marks an important contribution to the global post-2015 development agenda.

By analysing achievements, trends and challenges, this Report provides valuable direction for policy-makers, educators, experts and other stakeholders in their ongoing efforts to advance understanding and action on ESD.

I would like to thank all of those involved, from governments and policy-makers to individual teachers and students across the world, for their significant and continued commitment towards ESD and for contributing to the success of the Decade. This continued engagement will ensure the successful implementation of the Global Action Programme, and to fulfilling our vision of a more peaceful, just and sustainable world.

Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, global education magazine, education for sustainable development,





Readers also enjoyed the article “Education on the Frontline” written by Director-General of UNESCO in our last edition “School Day of Non-violence and Peace

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