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UNESCO position paper on the Future of ESD November 2018

Tue 20th November 2018 - Policy Advice and Responses

LfS Scotland’s response to the draft UNESCO position paper on the Future of Education for Sustainable Development

What makes people act for sustainable development? How can education help make the transformation? UNESCO invites concerned stakeholders and the public to review the draft UNESCO position paper on the future of Education for Sustainable Development and share their three major comments. The UNESCO position paper on the future of Education for Sustainable Development reflects on where the work of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) stands amidst new emerging contexts and proposes the way forward for the 2020-2030 period.

1. ESD underpins the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

In Agenda 2030 ESD is recognised as underpinning and acting as a transformative catalyst for all of the SDGs as well as being ‘an integral element of SDG 4.7. (UNGA Resolution 72/222). We support the view (in 3.7) that ESD is not a thematic topic but a system-wide approach, which addresses people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership. We suggest that the various ‘educations’ listed in 4.7, and in particular ESD and global citizenship education, are brought together by UNESCO in GAP 2030 to support transformative action towards a socially just and sustainable world. 

2. Priority Action Areas for GAP 2030

We fully support the five Priority Action Areas outlined in 5.10 as key areas for GAP 2030 activity and commend the development of an expanding Network of Partners to deliver the learning aspects of Agenda 2030. Education includes formal, informal and non-formal types of and contexts for learning; and requires consideration not only of what is learned, but also how.

We suggest that to achieve the learning aspirations of Agenda 2030 it will be important for the Network to be wide and inclusive with clear representation from the range of partners outlined in 5.11. 

3. Robust Monitoring and Evaluation

We support further strengthening of national and global monitoring approaches in GAP2030. These should provide robust and reliable evidence for policy makers but also acknowledge the different purposes of education and recognise qualitative outcomes of learning. Such approaches will enhance ESD policy but also support contextualised, quality education. We suggest that monitoring and evaluation approaches in GAP 2030 should complement rather than duplicate the efforts of Member States to report on progress against the SDGs, reaching beyond SDG 4.7 to address the full breadth of the SDGs.

November 2018