The UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) sought to mobilize the educational resources of the world to help create a more sustainable future. Many paths to sustainability (e.g. sustainable agriculture and forestry, research and technology transfer, finance, sustainable production and consumption) exist and are mentioned in the 40 chapters of Agenda 21, the official document of the 1992 Earth Summit. Education is one of
these paths. Education alone cannot achieve a more sustainable future; however, without education and learning for sustainable development, we will not be able to reach that goal.
The Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Section acted as the Secretariat for the UN Decade of ESD. It offered oversight, advice, backstopping and coordination support to Member States, National Commissions, stakeholders, UNESCO programme and thematic areas, and UNESCO Field Offices while helping to ensure the coherence of organization-wide activities. Additionally, UNESCO convened several ad hoc groups to participate in the implementation of the Decade including the UN Interagency Committee for the DESD (IAC), the DESD Reference Group and the Monitoring and Evaluation Expert Group (MEEG).