Regional Strategies for 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 (ESD). At the Conference, Ministers gave the green light to draw up a regional Strategy on ESD.
In 2005 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 UNECE Strategy for ESD at their joint High-Level meeting. This strategy is a flexible framework for implementing ESD and is to be adapted by countries based on their needs and priorities.
Aim of the Strategy
The UNECE Strategy for ESD aim to encourage countries to integrate ESD into all forms of their education systems and covers all levels from primary to tertiary, including vocational and adult learning.
ESD means including key sustainable development issues into teaching and learning, such as poverty alleviation, citizenship, peace, ethics, responsibility in local and global contexts, democracy and governance, justice, security, human rights, health, gender equity, cultural diversity, rural and urban development, economy, production and consumption patterns, corporate responsibility, environmental protection, natural resource management and biological and landscape diversity.
It also requires participatory teaching and learning methods that motivate and empower learners to change their behavior and take action for sustainable development. ESD consequently promotes competencies like critical thinking, imagining future scenarios and making decisions in a collaborative way.
Objectives of the Strategy
The objectives of this Strategy, which will contribute to the achievement of this aim, are to:
- Ensure that policy, regulatory and operational frameworks support ESD;
- Promote sustainable development through formal, non-formal and informal learning;
- Equip educators with the competence to include sustainable development in their teaching;
- Ensure that adequate tools and materials for ESD are accessible;
- Promote research on and development of ESD;
- Strengthen cooperation on ESD at all levels within the UNECE region.
Bangkok Declaration on Advancing Partnership in Education for 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in ASEAN
The Heads of State and Government of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, namely Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam on the occasion of the 35th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, Thailand
- Reaffirmed their commitment to the vision of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint 2025 to lift the quality of life of its peoples through cooperative activities that are people-oriented, people-centred, environment friendly, and geared towards the promotion of sustainable development to face new and emerging challenges in the ASEAN region;
- Remembered the important role of the education sector in realizing the aspirations of the Cha-Am Hua Hin Declaration on Strengthening Cooperation on Education to Achieve an ASEAN Caring and Sharing Community 2009, the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Higher Education 2015, as well as the ASEAN Declaration on Strengthening Education for Out-of-School Children and Youth (OOSCY) 2016;
- Emphasized the crucial role of inclusive, equitable and quality education as well as the promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all in realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
- Stressed the strategic value of partnership by bringing together national governments, international communities, civil societies, the private sectors and other actors in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
They also agreed to the following:
- Awareness Raising on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
- To encourage the relevant bodies under the Three Pillars of the ASEAN Community to incorporate education for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development into their work plans;
- To foster education for sustainable development (ESD) and provide greater emphasis on the principles of sustainable development in the political commitments of the ASEAN Member States; and
- To promote a better understanding of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which integrates various related fields of study with the goal of building a peaceful and cohesive society.
- Promotion of Education for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
- To provide inclusive and quality education, and lifelong learning and training to respond to regional and global trends through formal, non-formal and informal systems;
- To ensure all girls and boys of ASEAN have access to quality early childhood care and education so that they are ready for primary education and accelerate the development of holistic national policies for Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE);
- To promote inclusive education at all levels of education and training to eliminate disparities for the vulnerable and marginalized, those with special needs, and out of-school children and youth in order to ensure qualified human resources to serve all sectors of society;
- To equip learners with the 21st century skills through an integrated teaching and learning approach and innovation;
- To encourage the application of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in teaching and learning, teacher training, as well as education management and leadership;
- To enhance equitable access to quality and relevant Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and Higher Education to meet the employment demands of national, regional and international markets;
- To encourage the development and strengthening of Educational Management Information System (EMIS) and data utilization for monitoring the progress of Education for 2030 Agenda;
- To enhance qualifications recognition in ASEAN, while building a knowledge and understanding of the implementation of the ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework (AQRF) and ASEAN Quality Assurance Framework (AQAF);
- To encourage ASEAN Member States to adopt the Southeast Asia Teachers Competency Framework (SEA-TCF) as a framework for teachers development; and
- To empower learners to become active promoters of peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, secure and sustainable societies by equipping them with knowledge, behaviors, attitudes and values on global citizenship.
- Advancing Partnership to Achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
- To encourage relevant stakeholders and partners, including parents and community leaders, to be involved in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
- To involve ASEAN learners as key drivers to the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
- To strengthen collaboration between the education sector and other sectors related to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in order to achieve a sustainable future in the region; and
- To promote the engagement of the ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue (ACSDSD), the SEAMEO Regional Centre for the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy for Sustainability (SEPS) and other related institutions in conducting and coordinating research on sustainability, human capital development, as well as mobilizing home-grown approaches and best practices, such as Thailand’s concept of “Sufficiency Economy Philosophy,” in realising the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.