United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development

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United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.jpg

About the Decade[edit]

Based on the proposals by Japan and Sweden, the United Nations General Assembly, at its 57th Session in December 2002, adopted resolution 57/254 to start the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD 2005- 2014), following the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation which emphasised that education is an indispensable element for achieving sustainable development.[1] UNESCO was designated to be the lead agency for the Decade and developed a draft International Implementation Scheme for the DESD.

Along with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) process, the Education For All (EFA) movement, and the United Nations Literacy Decade (UNLD), the DESD also aims to achieve an improvement in the quality of life, particularly for the most deprived and marginalised, fulfillment of human rights including gender equality, poverty reduction, democracy and active citizenship. If the MDGs provide a set of tangible and measurable development goals within which education is a significant input and indicator; if EFA focuses on ways of providing educational opportunities to everyone, and if the UNLD concentrates on promoting the key learning tool for all forms of structured learning, DESD is more concerned than the other three initiatives with the content and purpose of education. Conceiving and designing ESD challenges all forms of educational provision to adopt practices and approaches which foster the values of sustainable development[2]

In response to the DESD, the United Nations University (UNU) called for the development of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) networks for the promotion of ESD, as well as being expertise centres for the research development of ESD. This was the birth of Regional Centres of Expertise (RCE) for the education of sustainable development. Dr. Betsy Boze was instrumental in drafting and approval of the International Association of Universities "Iquitos statement on Higher Education for Sustainable Development."

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has facilitated the establishment of the Global Universities Partnership on Environment and Sustainability (GUPES) in 2012 as a flagship contribution to the UN DESD. Focus of GUPES is around three pillars: Education, Training and Network, and is based on the experience and scaling up of the successful Mainstreaming Environment and Sustainability in African Universities (MESA).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Johannesburg Plan of Implementation". 
  2. ^ "DESD website background information". 

External links[edit]