UNESCO says environmental education must be a core component of the agenda by 2025

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More than 80 ministers and deputy ministers and 2,800 education and environment stakeholders committed to taking concrete steps to transform learning for the survival of our planet by adopting the Berlin Declaration on Education Sustainable Development (ESD) following a three-day virtual world conference from May 17 to 19.

The conference, watched online by more than 10,000 viewers, was organized by UNESCO in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany and the German Commission for UNESCO as an advisory partner .

UNESCO has called for education for sustainable development to be an essential component of all education systems at all levels by 2025.

UNESCO launched a new release, which analyzed education plans and curriculum frameworks in nearly 50 countries, fueled the discussions. UNESCO has found that more than half make no reference to climate change, while only 19% speak of biodiversity.

The Berlin Declaration on Education for Sustainable Development outlines a series of policies aimed at transforming learning encompassing teaching, learning, vocational training and civic engagement. It also highlights the need to implement education for sustainable development with an emphasis on cognitive skills, social and emotional learning, collaborative skills, problem solving and resilience building.

We need sustainable development training not to be a privilege but accessible to all. The success of the Education for Sustainable Development 2030 agenda will bring us closer to all of the SDGs. – Angela Merkel, German Chancellor

We need sustainable development training not to be a privilege but accessible to all. The success of the Education for Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 will bring us closer to all the SDGs, ?? German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in her welcoming speech, describing the vast German network of partners working on sustainability at all levels of education and training.

Throughout the Conference, countries shared plans to mainstream Education for Sustainable Development. Ms Anja Karliczek, German Federal Minister for Education and Research, shared the commitments of 18 European Union countries to implement the Education for Sustainable Development Framework for 2030, highlighting it as a driver for achievement of all the SDGs.

We need to focus not only on expanding access and improving learning outcomes, but also on the kind of education needed in our world. Education for sustainable development will be at the heart of the reinvention of education. -Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary General

Laurent Fabius, who chaired the COP21 where the Paris Agreement was sealed, said that “the fight against climate change starts at school”. He recalled the commitments made in the Paris Agreement in favor of education and called for increased efforts to improve teacher training in ESD and increase funding. ?? 2021 is the year when we overcome the pandemic and embark on a sustainable development model for the future which must include ESD. If we miss this opportunity, we will lose decades. It’s a race against time. ??

Youth voices were given a platform throughout the Conference, as those leading the call for change so that they can #LearnForOurPlanet.

“Building a whole new lifestyle isn’t easy, but slowly and together I’m sure we can do it. But education must give us the tools to do so. Learning not only on our planet but for our planet must be part of the education of every young person, everywhere. -Rajwa Pandhita, an Indonesian student

The adoption of the Berlin Declaration will create momentum for the implementation of EDD Roadmap for 2030 ?? as part of this decade of education for sustainable development. Each UNESCO Member State will be invited to create a network of actors who, together, can implement the ambitious vision of education.

From Berlin, 2021 will provide key opportunities for governments to implement this commitment, including the United Nations Conference on Biodiversity (COP 15) and the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.

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