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.



System Management

There is no doubt that the UNDESD, with UNESCO as the lead agency, has elevated the profile of ESD to a level of unprecedented significance. Including work produced by central and cluster offices, UNESCO has produced thousands of pages of documentation and hosted countless hours of workshops to support regions, countries, institutions and even individual teachers in the implementation of the UNDESD. This work has included not only the establishment of fundamental frameworks to support implementation, but also resource materials for those involved directly in the implementation, as well as numerous publications cataloguing and elaborating on best practices in ESD in relation to teacher education (UNESCO 2007; Cambers et al. 2008), the application of the Earth Charter (Earth Charter International 2007) and in the Pacific (ACCU-UNESCO 2007). This work has effectively positioned ESD on the global agenda for education reform, alongside longstanding priorities such as literacy and gender equality, leading other international organisations without explicit environment-related agendas to focus on ESD as a priority as well.


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