On 30 July 2019, UNU-IAS held a session on the topic Next Step of ESD for Achieving the SDGs, at the 11th International Forum for Sustainable Asia and the Pacific (ISAP2019) in Yokohama, Japan. Organised in cooperation with the Overseas Environmental Cooperation Center (OECC), the session was attended by over 80 participants.
The session highlighted the transformative role of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and “ESD for 2030” as the way forward, with a particular focus on the next global framework for ESD, which will follow the current Global Action Programme for ESD (GAP) after 2019. Expert speakers discussed the contributions of ESD for achieving the SDGs, the challenges and lessons learned from recent ESD practice, as well as monitoring and evaluation frameworks.
Keynote speaker Anantha Duraiappah (Director, UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development; MGIEP) presented on human behaviour in the context of ESD, and how to manage cognitive dissonance. The fact that behaviour is not changing indicates a greater need to make a connection between individuals and issues, by capturing and teaching the relevance of actions to their lives. Linked to these concepts is the need to take into account emotional as well as rational dimensions, and reconsider how education can deliver outcomes that instill emotional intelligence and critical inquiry.
A panel discussion moderated by Mario Tabucanon (Senior Visiting Professor, UNU-IAS) reinforced this notion of the whole-brain approach. Ushio Miura (Programme Specialist, UNESCO Bangkok Office – Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education) spoke about teaching and learning and its power to transform people and society. A presentation by Masahisa Sato (Professor, Faculty of Environment, Tokyo City University) focused on learning to transform oneself and society. Yuto Kitamura (Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education, University of Tokyo) emphasised the need to change systems in order to change mindsets. Yoko Mochizuki (Head of Programme, Rethinking Policy, UNESCO MGIEP) spoke about the need to rethink pedagogy and the purpose of education, along with the current model of progress.
These messages all described the transformational power of education, reflecting that SDG 4 (quality education) can act as a key enabler to all other SDGs. The session introduced participants to tools, frameworks, and technologies that can be employed in pursuit of achieving the SDGs, whilst noting the systemic changes required in order for ESD to help create sustainable and peaceful societies.
The presentations from this session are available on the Related Files tab.