UNESCO declares environmental education must be a core curriculum component by 2025
Over 80 ministers and vice ministers and 2,800 education and environment stakeholders committed to taking concrete steps to transform learning for the survival of our planet by adopting the Berlin Declaration on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) at the end of a three-day virtual World Conference held from 17 to 19 May, 2021.
The Conference, followed online by over 10,000 viewers, was organized by UNESCO in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany and the German Commission for UNESCO as advisory partner.
UNESCO has called for Education for Sustainable Development to be a core component of all education systems at all levels by 2025.
UNESCO’s launch of a new publication, which analyzed educational plans and curricula frameworks in close to 50 countries informed the discussions. This organization found that more than half make no reference to climate change, while only 19% speak about biodiversity.
The Berlin Declaration on Education for Sustainable Development outlines a range of policies to transform learning encompassing teaching, learning, professional training and civic engagement. It also highlights the need to implement Education for Sustainable Development with focus on cognitive skills, social and emotional learning, collaboration skills, problem solving, resilience-building. All this is done in line with empowering the population, especially youth, from different parts of the world to act for the climate from different areas but with strengthened institutions.
The adoption of the Berlin Declaration will create momentum for the implementation of ESD for 2030 Roadmap – the framework for this decade of Education for Sustainable Development. Every UNESCO Member State will be asked to create a network of actors who together can implement the ambitious vision for education.
From Berlin, 2021 provided key opportunities for governments to apply this commitment, including the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP 15) and the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow. However, it not only supports these events; different types of studies, events and inter-organizational work are also being carried out to motivate and help achieve goals throughout 2021 and 2022. The work of vindicating climate education in youth is a long-term job, but it is worth the effort to achieve a population with a stronger response level in the coming years.