Study on ESD published in Global Environmental Research

To what extent will UNESCO's goals be realized at the end the ESD Decade? A study from a German-Japanese NGO project.

CEC member Dieter Gross has published his ESD study in this journal

By CEC member Dieter Gross

Findings of the study Drivers and Barriers to Implementing ESD with Focus on UNESCO’s Action and Strategy Goals for the Second Half of the Decade* by Dieter GROSS & Shuichi NAKAYAMA have been published in Global Environmental Research Vol. 14 No. 2, 125-136 Association of International Research Initiatives for Environmental Studies (AIRIES), JAPAN, 2010

The results of the survey:

Goals perceived to be realized 'satisfactorily'

  • develop knowledge through ESD networking (schools, universities, education centres and education networks)
  • integrate ESD by involving NGOs and development partners
  • dialogue on ESD by sharing and recognition of good practice
  • develop and implement ESD policies through approaches that involve the scientific community
  • engage the commitment, solidarity and potential of youth and their organisations and networks in enhancing ESD. Foster young people’s ownership of ESD questions and issues.
  • new knowledge development for ESD through higher education institutions
  • global syndromes (e.g. climate change): engage the expertise available within the UN system to strengthen ESD in key sustainable development
  • conventions for example focussing on climate change

BARRIERS (they need to be decreased, especially at the policy level)
Goals perceived to be realized 'nearly satisfactorily' and 'unsatisfactorily'

  • mobilize adequate resources
  • linkages between ESD and EFA as well as funding into EFA and the MDGs
  • implement ESD through coordinated policies that involve business and corporate sector
  • to support teachers to evaluate ESD processes
  • to support teacher education institutions
  • develop and implement ESD policies through approaches that also involve civilsociety
  • promoting the role and the contribution of media for fostering public awareness and understanding of sustainability issues
  • ESD should actively promote gender equality
  • public awareness-raising policies
  • training of business leaderso be realized nearly satisfactorily and unsatisfactorily

The results of the project are based on an international survey where experts have been questioned on the prospects of UNESCO’s Goals towards ESD implementation. Serious deficits have been recognized: lack of continuous political and financial support. Without additional efforts by those we will be faced with a ‘Lost Decade’. However we have also learned that there are drivers which have good opportunities of being realized, when supported.

This state of implementation demands a strict road map for the 2nd Half of the Decade where the focus is put on drivers and well as on barriers. The national German and Japanese goals for the 2nd Half of the Decade are cited and reviewed critically. 

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