Education for Sustainable Development in Small Island Developing States

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Education for sustainable development (ESD) is an essential element of the global response to environmental challenges. It helps young people understand and address the impact of global warming, encourages changes in their attitudes and behaviour to help mitigate environmental change, and gives them the knowledge and skills necessary for them to adapt to that change.

This study analyses good practices and gaps in ESD implementation in ten small island states vulnerable to climate change: Dominica, Guyana and Jamaica (Caribbean region), Maldives and Mauritius (Africa, Indian Ocean and Mediterranean and South China Seas region) and Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga (Pacific region).

The study focuses particularly on climate change education, and provides practical and realistic recommendations on how ESD may be better integrated in education policy and strategy and delivered more comprehensively.

The study will enable policy-makers and practitioners to revitalise the delivery of ESD by revisiting the policies and support frameworks necessary to implement it successfully.




This study was conceptualised as a best practices review and gap analysis of ESD implementation in ten SIDS. By design, and because of the limitations of the budget and timeline, the study was conducted remotely, with no travel to the focus countries. However, in addition to a review of available documents, information was also collected through correspondence, questionnaires, and interviews with a number of personnel from government offices, public institutions, multilateral organisations and civil society organisations (CSOs) involved with ESD implementation in the focus countries (see Appendix B). The direct contact with these individuals and organisations yielded a great deal of additional information as well as further documentation which was not available online. A list of documents reviewed is included in the Bibliography.


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