ASPnet schools kick off ESD Events in Japan

Representatives of UNESCO Associated Schools from 31 countries have arrived in Japan to participate in the ASPnet International ESD Events for Students and Teachers to be held in Okayama from 4 to 8 November 2014. During five days, some 200 participants have the opportunity to share experiences on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and to discuss how to achieve a sustainable future

These ESD Events are organized by UNESCO and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan, the Japanese National Commission for UNESCO, the City of Okayama and local partners. They are part of the celebrations of the UN Decade of ESD (2005-2014) which will be officially closed from 10 to 12 November 2014 in Aichi-Nagoya, Japan, during the UNESCO World Conference on ESD.

The Events for ASPnet kicked off with an exchange day in 8 local school communities spread over Japan. The international teams were welcomed by the Japanese hosts with a rich and elaborate Programme. The objective of the exchange day was to give an insight into Japanese tradition and culture. Students experienced for example the lifestyle of forest villages, visited classrooms, cooked food, joined a tea ceremony and practiced music and dances.

Within the coming days, the ASPnet International ESD Events will further comprise a Platform for Students and for Teachers, study trips and participation in Japan’s National Conference on UNESCO ASPnet. The students will draft a joint declaration on how ASPnet can contribute to ESD and the implementation of the Global Action Programme (GAP) in the future. One Japanese team and one international team will participate subsequently in the World Conference in Nagoya to present the results and make the voice of ASPnet students and teachers heard.