On 3 March, UNU-IAS, together with the Japanese Society of Education for Sustainable Development, organized the symposium Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD): Promoting Organic Collaboration in ESD Practice and Research. This event aimed to deepen the discussion on challenges to achieving SDG 4, Target 7 (“ensure all learners acquire knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development”). The event discussed ways to improve the quality of education to achieve the SDGs by drawing on national and international examples.
From UNU-IAS, Tsunao Watanabe emphasized the importance of strengthening partnerships (SDG 17) as a means of achieving all goals as they represent cross-sectoral issues. In order to strengthen such partnerships globally and locally, he confirmed that UNU-IAS will continue to harness opportunities to collaborate with various civil society actors, including organizations that work in the environmental field, NGO/NPOs, experts in the field, the government, and international organizations. Naoya Tsukamoto also mentioned the role of the RCE Initiative, a global, multi-stakeholder network to promote ESD, and ProSPER.Net, which links universities and research institutions in the Asia Pacific.
During the panel discussion, ESD practitioners from different parts of Japan generated active discussion on the changes which they are currently seeing in schools, cram schools, the business sector, and local ESD networks. In parallel with the seminar, UNU-IAS and the Global Environmental Outreach Centre (GEOC) organized an exhibition for the participants to promote the SDGs and actions to contribute to the achievement of the goals in Japan.