Education for Sustainable Development in Small Island Developing States

image of Education for Sustainable Development in Small Island Developing States
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.



Quality and Rigour

Literature on ESD stresses the importance of local relevance, and a number of countries have undertaken promising and successful processes to develop an authentic vision of what ESD should mean in the context of local daily life. One of the criticisms of some donor and multilateral initiatives is that they have tended to reflect the agendas of donor countries related to ‘flavour of the day’ issues, thus fragmenting development efforts in recipient countries and hijacking local capacity. In recent years, some of the organisations involved have astutely recognised the need to move away from preconceived notions of ESD and associated jargon, and work with local groups to pursue related ideas on their own terms. Practically speaking, organisations such as the Pacific’s Secretariat of the Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP) and the Jamaica Environmental Trust (JET) have sought to develop or adapt resource materials to the specific contexts of the countries and people they are working with, trying where possible to connect sustainability and environmental values with local cultural values and practices.


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