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What is ESD?

Education for sustainable development = Education for transformation

Education and lifelong learning are the key to sustainable development.

The necessary changes towards sustainable development require a societal shift, which can be reached only by a reorientation of education and the participation of all of society. Therefore, the United Nations have declared the UN Decade "Education for Sustainable Development" (ESD) for the years 2005 to 2014, with the aim of anchoring the concept of sustainable development in all sectors of education.

ESD's target is to enable children, young people, students and adults to be active in the development of an environmentally acceptable, socially equitable, economically efficient environment. The idea is to educate especially young people to take sustainable decisions for future global development. This teaches individuals the consequences of their actions and makes them aware of how they can contribute in their own way, even if it is only a small contribution, to making the world a better place.

Importantly, ESD encompasses the teaching of skills such as future-oriented thinking, interdisciplinary knowledge and interconnected thinking, autonomous acting and participation in decision-making processes within society.

For further information, we can recommend this handbook on Teaching the Sustainable Development Goals by the ESD Expert Net.