The 2014 World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development carried out a stock-taking of the implementation of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD) and celebrated the Decade’s achievements. The Conference showcased initiatives, actors, networks and ideas that were stimulated by the DESD. Examples of good practice from all over the world played an important role in identifying viable approaches to ESD, as well as key areas for future action.
More than 1,000 participants gathered for the three-day conference under the theme “Learning Today for a Sustainable Future.” Among them were 76 ministerial-level representatives of UNESCO Member States, NGOs, academia, the private sector and UN agencies, as well as individual experts and youth participants from 150 countries.
A large IAU Delegation took part in the Conference, representing the voice and commitments of the higher education community strongly. IAU was invited to coordinate the Workshop on Higher Education and Research together with HESI/UNEP. The Association coordinated the workshop on Higher Education and Research and as well the President, two IAU former Presidents, the IAU Secretary General and the Chair of the IAU WG on HESD spoke in 8 different high level panels and Workshops.
The Global Action Programme (GAP) is a follow up to the UN Decade of ESD, which is ending this year. It will generate and scale up ESD actions in each of five priority areas; 1) Policy support; 2) Whole –institution approaches; 3) Educators; 4) Youth; and 5) Local communities. UNESCO has called on stakeholders to make specific contributions to launch the GAP. Stakeholders from 80 countries have responded with 363 commitments with one of these commitments being IAU, whose goal is to grow this portal in the future into one that supports HESD. See link below.
The Aichi-Nagoya Declaration was adopted unanimously at the Closing Plenary. It builds on the achievements of the Decade and the deliberations of the Conference and the Stakeholder Meetings which were held last week in Okayama. The Declaration also ensures that the outcomes of the Conference will be taken into account at the World Education Forum 2015 to be held in Incheon, Republic of Korea.
The Conference on ESD in Aichi-Nagoya was co-organized by UNESCO and the Government of Japan. Representing the host country, Japan’s State Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Hideki Niwa said “ESD will not end with the last year of the Decade of ESD. Instead let us recharge our efforts for ESD with even greater commitment, making the most of the experiences we have gained so far.”