The Okayama ESD Promotion Commission has been promoting ESD since 2005 in the Okayama Region, initiated by the United Nations University and recognized as a Regional Centre of Expertise on ESD. The Commission’s Secretariat is headquartered in the ESD Promotion Division at Okayama City Hall, which supports and coordinates organizations promoting ESD, and facilitates a “whole-city approach” to ESD. At present, more than 250 organizations are members of the Commission, including NGOs, companies and educational institutions.
The ESD Promotion Commission receives the award for its “Okayama ESD Project”.
Okayama ESD Project
The project addresses and involves various sectors and actors of the local community through both formal and informal education throughout the city of Okayama. It offers various activities and training organized in community learning centres called “Kominkan”, schools, parks and shopping malls as well as in places close to nature. For example, “ESD Café” sessions provide citizens with an opportunity for collective gathering, learning and acting towards a sustainable society.
Besides freely accessible workshops and activities, “ESD Coordinator Trainings” build capacities of educators and youth. University students can undertake an “ESD internship” with a local NGO. The internships strengthen youth participation and action in support of sustainable communities.
In 2015, the Commission initiated the annual “ESD Okayama Award” to reward the good practices of local communities in the region and internationally. So far, approximately 150,000 people have participated in ESD activities conducted by groups and organizations from the Okayama ESD Promotion Commission.
International Jury recommendation
“This project affords a highly unusual systemic and city-wide approach to ESD. An outstanding and comprehensive example of managing a city through a 360 degree locally-rooted approach to sustainability, involving very wide citizen and community engagement across a range of sectors. A broad and imaginative range of initiatives, and replicable methods are in evidence, providing an inspirational model for other communities and cities globally, striving towards sustainability.”
- ESD portal of Okayama City: "ESD Okayama Navi" (in Japanese)
- Okayama ESD material and posters (page in Japanese, some material in English)
- Videos Okayama ESD Project (in English and Japanese)
- News: Japan winner of UNESCO education prize uses ‘whole city’ approach to sustainable development