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Global Action Programme on ESD final progress report for the 2015-2019 period

  • Published on January 13, 2021
The Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD, the follow- up programme to the Decade of ESD (2005-2014), seeks to generate and scale-up ESD and to accelerate progress towards sustainable development. The GAP aims to contribute substantially to the 2030 agenda, through two objectives: - Reorienting education and learning so that everyone has the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that empower them to contribute to a sustainable future. - Strengthening education and learning in all agendas, programmes and activities that promote sustainable development. To enable strategic focus and foster stakeholder commitment, the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD has identified five priority action areas to advance the ESD agenda: Advancing policy; Transforming learning and training environments; Building capacities of educators and trainers; Empowering and mobilizing youth; and Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level. Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is recognized as a key element of quality education and a crucial enabler for sustainable development. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the global community recognize the important of education in achieving their targets by 2030. Target 4.7 of SDG 4 on education specifically addresses ESD and related approaches.
The Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) was launched by UNESCO as a follow up to the United Nations Decade of ESD in order to accelerate progress on sustainable development and scale up ESD action in all areas of education and learning. Its duration was from 2015 to 2019. UNESCO worked with a network of 97 GAP Key Partners from government, civil society, the private sector and academia active in five Priority Action Areas: advancing policy, transforming learning environments, building the capacity of educators, empowering youth, and accelerating sustainable solutions at the local level. GAP Key Partners committed to meet specific targets by 2019. Ten indicators – two for each Priority Action Area – were developed. The network of 97 GAP Key Partners served as a forum for peer exchange and support to make this possible. GAP Key Partners reported their progress against these indicators in three surveys sent to Partners by UNESCO over the course of the programme. Key Partners were also invited to rate the benefits of their participation in the GAP for their work and provide qualitative data concerning their implementation progress. • Advancing policy: From 2015 to 2019, GAP Partners supported the development of 1,514 strategic ESD policy documents and of 2,161 programmes, providing technical support for policy development, implemented at country level in 152 countries. • Transforming learning and training environments: GAP Partners supported 139,093 schools and involved 37,669,951 learners in ESD activities from 2015 to 2019. • Building capacities of educators and trainers: Capacity-building activities of GAP Partners were provided to 39,798 teacher-training institutions and 2,148,873 teacher educators from 2015 to 2019. • Empowering and mobilizing youth: GAP Partners collectively supported 3,549,839 youth leaders, and trained 741,438 youth leaders as trainers over the 2015-2019 period. • Accelerating sustainable solutions at the local level: GAP Partners supported local authorities to establish 5,517 ESD activities/programmes and 13,086 networks/civil society organizations to conduct ESD activities from 2015 to 2019. GAP Key Partners exceeded nine out of ten targets set in 2015, and in so doing raised the status of ESD in policy and practice, engaged multiple stakeholders around ESD and formed collaborations to accelerate local and global change on ESD. Key to the success of the GAP Key Partners was the momentum created by the SDGs and the drive to achieve SDG Target 4.7. This represents an important and impressive achievement in progress towards SDG Target 4.7 as well as the 2030 Agenda more widely, with ESD an important element of quality education and an instrument to make progress on all Sustainable Development Goals.

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