Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) allows everyone to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to actively take part in shaping a sustainable future. ESD means including key sustainable development wicked issues – e.g. climate change, poverty reduction, disaster risk, sustainable consumption, refugees and biodiversity – into teaching and learning.

It also means creating participatory teaching methods and high-quality learning environment that allow for learners to co-create their world and future.

ESD promotes competencies like critical thinking, action competence, future scenarios skills and collaborative decision-making. ESD deals with curricula and learning content, pedagogy and learning environments, learning outcomes, and social transformation in formal, non-formal and in-formal settings.

Education a goal and a mean for attaining the SDGs

The UN has decided on 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) and 169 targets to address all dimensions of sustainability: the economic, social, cultural, and ecological dimensions. The international community recognizes that education is essential for the success of all its goals. Target 4.7 Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship aims at ensuring that, by 2030, all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development.