Sub-Saharan Africa Conference on Education for Sustainable Development: sustainable local solutions for cities and communities
The main purpose of this conference is to expand the knowledge of municipalities and local communities on the integration and implementation of activities related to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), strengthening lifelong learning opportunities and promoting collaboration between local participants from different sectors. It will also provide an opportunity to strengthen a conversation with city leaders and representatives on how to revitalize the Africa regional chapter of the International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities (ICCAR). It will also focus on youth, educators, formal and non-formal education.
It will bring together around 90 participants from sub-Saharan Africa, namely ESD practitioners, whom their work focuses on cities and/or communities, and also selected cities or municipalities’ mayors or representatives.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls on us to develop holistic and integrated responses to the many social, economic and environmental challenges we face. This means reaching out beyond traditional boundaries and creating effective, cross-sectoral partnerships. UNESCO as the lead agency for the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD - the official follow-up to the UN Decade of ESD (2005-2014) – is co-organizing with a UN Task Team on ESD (IOM, FAO, UN Environment, UNFPA, UN-Habitat, UNHCR, UNICEF and UN Women) a Sub-Saharan Africa conference that will focus on one of the GAP’s five Priority Action Areas focuses on implementing sustainable solutions at the local level. Cities and urban communities are critical drivers and incubators for cultural, social, economic and political innovation for sustainable development.
Africa is one of the continents most vulnerable to climate change. The continent is expected to face more frequent droughts, desertification, floods and more intense storms. Sea levels are rising in low-lying coastal areas, where large numbers of poor people tend to live, areas considered the most susceptible to climate change impacts. Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) can help address several major needs in the region, especially by developing greater synergies between school and community and re-aligning education with local contexts. As envisaged by target 4.7 of SDG 4, ESD can contribute to knowledge and skills acquisition necessary for sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship, and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.