A US Roadmap for Implementing the Global Action Program (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development

Kim Smith

Abstract


 Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) allows every human being to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to shape a sustainable future. During the United Nations Decade of ESD (2005-2014), a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the US expanded sustainability efforts across schools, higher education institutions, non-profits, government agencies, industries, and faith communities. In November 2014, UNESCO launched the Roadmap for Implementing the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development (GAP) at the World Conference in Japan, to extend ESD efforts. In response, the U.S. delegation of American non-governmental organizations, led by the Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network (GPSEN) - a UN University Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) on ESD and other key stakeholders, developed a series of recommendations to increase education, public awareness, and training efforts in the US to foster a more sustainable future. With the launch of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, countries have agreed to establish objectives to meet the 17 SDGs. ESD includes key issues through participatory teaching and learning methods that motivate and empower learners to change their behavior and take action, consequently promoting competencies like critical thinking, collaborative decision-making, and innovative problem-solving. The following ESD Roadmap and Implementation Recommendations seeks to engage all stakeholders to advance the GAP’s priority action areas in the US by advancing policies, transforming institutions, building capacity, empowering and engaging youth, and strengthening local communities.


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