Teachers and students from UNESCO Associated Schools are debating the future of sustainable development as part of ASPnet International Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Events being held in Okayama from 4 to 8 November 2014.
Over the five day period, some 200 participants from 31 countries have the opportunity to share experiences on ESD and discuss how to achieve a sustainable society.
These ESD Events 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 in Aichi-Nagoya, Japan, during the UNESCO World Conference on ESD between 10-12 November.
The events for ASPnet started with a cultural exchange day in 8 local schools all over Japan. The international teams of teachers and students were welcomed by the Japanese hosts with a rich and elaborated programme. The objective of the exchange day was to give an insight into Japanese tradition and culture. For example, students experienced the lifestyle of forest villages, visited classrooms, cooked food together, joined a tea ceremony and practiced music and dances.
In coming days, a number of activities will take place, including ‘The Platform for Students’ and ‘The Platform for Teachers’ and study trips to learn more about sustainable development projects in the country. 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 from ASPnet will participate subsequently in the World Conference in Nagoya to present the voice of students and teachers.