Education for sustainable development in the new global agenda


The new 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda was officially adopted by the UN General Assembly in a historic meeting in New York on 25-27 September 2015. Education and learning are central to fulfill the ambitious goals of ending poverty, tackling inequality and fighting climate change.

The new global goals are replacing the Millennium Development Goals in 2016. Eventhough the previous agenda was successful in fighting extreme poverty and putting more children into school, a lot of things remains to be done.

In comparison with the Millennium Development Goals, the Sustainable Development Goals involves all countries, not only the less developed, and addresses all parts of sustainable development including peace, well-being, equality, climate action and environmental protection.

Education and learning are central in the new agenda. UN member states must now provide inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all (SDG4), and ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development (Target 4.7). Education and learning are also key in advancing responsible consumption and production (DSG12) and climate action (SDG13).

The Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD was launched in 2014, with UNESCO as the lead agency. The aim of GAP is to integrate the new development agenda and sustainable development in all education and learning processes.

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