The development of the regional Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development
The negotiations for the Fifth Ministerial “Environment for Europe” Conference, which took place in Kiev in 2003, saw the emergence of a UNECE initiative on education for sustainable development. At the Conference, Ministers gave the green light to draw up a regional Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development.
It was a challenging exercise for everybody. Both education and sustainable development are complex issues. The Strategy was developed through a participatory process involving governments, UNESCO, NGOs and other stakeholders. Environment and education ministries cooperated closely in the drafting process.
In the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, less than two years after the Kiev Conference, Ministers and other officials from education and environment Ministries from across the UNECE region adopted the Strategy at their joint High-Level meeting. The meeting also launched the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development in the region.
Aim of the Strategy
The Strategy is a practical instrument to promote ESD in the region. It seeks to incorporate key themes of sustainable development in all education systems.
These themes include a wide range of issues: poverty alleviation, peace, ethics, democracy, justice, security, human rights, health, social equity, cultural diversity, economy, environmental protection, natural resource management.
The aim of this Strategy is to encourage countries to develop and incorporate ESD into their formal education systems, in all relevant subjects, and in nonformal and informal education.
Objectives of the Strategy
The objectives of this Strategy, which will contribute to the achievement of this aim, are to:
(a) Ensure that policy, regulatory and operational frameworks support ESD;
(b) Promote sustainable development (SD) through formal, non-formal and informal learning;
(c) Equip educators with the competence to include SD in their teaching;
(d) Ensure that adequate tools and materials for ESD are accessible;
(e) Promote research on and development of ESD;
(f) Strengthen cooperation on ESD at all levels within the UNECE region.
Fulltext of the Strategy as printable file
Official UN translations
Text of the Vilnius Framework for the implementation
Background documents (official UN-translations)
Background documents (non-UN translations)