1.What is Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) ?

 ESD stands for Education for Sustainable Development.
 Also, to promote a better understanding of ESD, a contest was held in 2014 to create a more friendly and easy-to-remember slogan: “Learning to Build a Better Earth Than Today’s.”
 The world today faces numerous problems related to the environment, poverty, human rights, peace, and development. The education and activities that are part of ESD view these issues of modern society as one’s own and show how to approach them at a grassroots level (“think globally, act locally”), thereby creating new values and behaviors that contribute to solutions for those problems and, by extension, to the creation of a sustainable society.

 ESD is education that fosters the leadership needed to build a sustainable society.

 Implementing ESD requires the following two perspectives.
 Development of personal character, self-reliance, judgement, and responsibility are the kinds of humanity to be fostered, as are individuals who value relationships and connectedness through an awareness of their relationships with other people, with society, and with the natural environment.
 Hence, ESD not only engages in activities that address various issues related to the environment, peace, human rights, and so on, but does so in an interdisciplinary, holistic way that includes environmental, economic, societal, and cultural perspectives.


●ESD Concept Map
 ESD requires a holistic approach that integrates various related fields of study with the goal of “building sustainable societies.”

ESD Concept Map

2.ESD Goals

(1)ESD Goals
 ・To provide every person with the benefits of a high-quality education
 ・To incorporate the principles, values, and behaviors necessary for sustainable development into every educational and learning environment
 ・To transform values and behaviors in order to bring about a sustainable future environmentally, economically, and socially

(2)Competencies to Cultivate
 ・Sustainable development-related values (e.g. respect for people, respect for diversity, inclusivity, equal opportunity, respect for the environment)
 ・Systematic thinking (understanding the context of problems and phenomena, taking a multifaceted, holistic perspective)
 ・Alternative thinking (critical skills)
 ・Data and information analysis
 ・Communication skills
 ・Leadership

(3)Pedagogy and Learning
 ・Create a fluid process that encourages "concrete action" by stimulating interest, deepening understanding, and nurturing participation and problem-solving skills
 ・Adopt a participatory approach that values experience and feeling, not just relaying knowledge, as part of a process of exploration and experimentation
 ・Stimulate self-motivated behavior skillfully among learners during on-site activities

(4)Priority Issues in Japan
  Pursuing integrated environmental, economic, and societal development, beginning with the issues of environmental conservation that must be addressed by the advanced nations, while also pursuing activities that encompass the many issues that can contribute to sustainable development on a global scale that includes developing nations.
  (Adapted from "Implementation Plan for 'UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development' in Japan")

3.The Global Action Programme on ESD

 In November 2013, the "Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)" was adopted at the 37th session of the General Conference of UNESCO as the follow up to the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014), and approved at the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly. The GAP was officially launched at the World Conference on ESD held in Japan in Novemebr 2014.
 For the further promotion of ESD after 2015, the GAP identifies UNESCO as the leading agency, and five  priority  action  areas to be focused as "policy support, whole-institution approaches, educators, youth, and local communities.

4. ESD QUEST

 ESD QUEST

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(Office of the Director-General for International Affairs)