People around the world recognize that current economic development trends are not sustainable and that public awareness, education, and training are key to moving society toward sustainability.
The Brundtland Commission defined sustainable development as meeting the needs of the present generation without putting at risk the capacity of generations to come in meeting their own requirements. This may include, for example, instruction about climate changedisaster risk reductionbiodiversityand poverty reduction and sustainable consumption.
It also requires participatory teaching and learning methods that motivate and empower learners to change their behaviours and take action for sustainable development. ESD consequently promotes competencies like critical thinking, imagining future scenarios and making decisions in a collaborative way.
Economic growth and the creation of wealth have reduced global poverty rates, but vulnerability, inequality, exclusion and violence have increased within and across societies throughout the world.
Unsustainable patterns of economic production and consumption contribute to global warming, environmental degradation and an upsurge in natural disasters.
Moreover, while international human rights frameworks have been strengthened over the past several decades, the implementation and protection of these norms remain a challenge. For example, despite the progressive empowerment of women through greater access to education, they continue to face discrimination in public life and in employment.
Violence against women and children, particularly girls, continues to undermine their rights. Again, while technological development contributes to greater interconnectedness and offers new avenues for exchange, cooperation and solidarity, we also see an increase in cultural and religious intolerance, identity-based political mobilization and conflict.
Rethinking the purpose of education and the organization of learning has never been more urgent. Recent changes in service learninga focus on literacies and skills, standards that support interdisciplinary thinking, and the role of systems thinking have all increased the visibility of the movement.
ESD seeks to engage people in negotiating a sustainable future, making decisions and acting on them. It is generally agreed on that sustainability education must be customized for individual learners,  Education for Sustainability EfSin particular, focuses not on the environmental, social and economic loci of education but on the human skills that are needed for any environmental education to succeed.
These thinking and relational skills are thus fundamental, not just to ESD, but to education in general. The premise is that if we know where we want to go, we will be better able to work out how to get there.
Critical thinking skills help people learn to examine economic, environmental, social and cultural structures in the context of sustainable development. Education  for sustainability is the practice of learning how to achieve global and local sustainable communities.
The objectives of the DESD are to: UNESCO invited governments and non-governmental organizations with official partnerships with UNESCO to nominate 3 individuals, institutions or organizations working in the field of education for sustainable development In order to be part of the UNESCO award, provided that it participates in one or more of the five areas of work of the program of education for sustainable development.
This award is the first to be presented since its inception in the field of education for sustainable development. This award is being funded by the Government of Japan.Therefore, education for sustainable development (ESD) is the use of education as a tool to achieve sustainability.
Simply put, ESD is a way to make the world a safer, healthier, and more livable place for us and future generations (McKeown, , pgs ). Professor Stu Woolman.
Elizabeth Bradley Chair of Ethics, Governance and Sustainable Development, University of the Witwatersrand; and. The International Baccalaureate® (IB) offers four high quality international education programmes to more than one million students in more than countries.
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Chapter 1. EarthEd: Rethinking Education on a Changing Planet.
Erik Assadourian. Erik Assadourian is a senior fellow at the Worldwatch Institute and director of State of the World and Worldwatch’s EarthEd Project.