Building peace in the minds of men and women

Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development (2015-2019)


© UNESCO/Wahamba Development Organization

Goals and Objectives


The Global Action Programme on ESD contributes to achieving the vision put forward by the UN Decade of ESD: “a world where everybody has the opportunity to benefit from education and learn the values, behaviour and lifestyles required for a sustainable future and for positive societal transformation”
The overarching goal of the GAP is “to generate and scale up action in all levels and areas of education and learning to accelerate progress towards sustainable development”.
The GAP will deploy a two-fold approach to multiply and to scale up ESD action:
  1. integrating sustainable development into education and
  2. integrating education into sustainable development. Corresponding to this overall approach, the Programme has two objectives.
Objective 1 "to reorient education and learning so that everyone has the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that empower them to contribute to sustainable development";
Objective 2 "to strengthen education and learning in all agendas, programmes and activities that promote sustainable development".
The GAP is intended as a concrete, tangible contribution to the post-2015 agenda. The implementation of the GAP will be fully aligned with the implementation of the post-2015 agenda.
Implementation of the Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is outlined in a detailed Roadmap. The GAP has four main implementation strategies:
Building New Momentum
Through an open call for Launch Commitments, all stakeholders are invited to make initial voluntary commitments to implement activities for the GAP. These Launch Commitments help establish the baseline commitments to kickstart implementation of the GAP. UNESCO also builds on some of these commitments to develop its flagship programmes for the GAP to keep up the new momentum of global ESD implementation.
Harnessing Partnerships
Stakeholders with extensive outreach and political influence, or Key Partners, are invited to join Partner Networks. Each Priority Action Area forms a Partner Network. The Key Partners coordinate with UNESCO to spearhead implementation of activities, using their technical expertise, outreach capacity or financial resources.
Fostering a Global Community of Practice
A Global Forum gives stakeholders the chance to meet regularly and exchange ideas, experience and information. The Forum serves as an important platform for debate on emerging issues, trends and ideas on ESD as well as for launching advocacy efforts on ESD. An Online Clearinghouse was also established for stakeholders to map information and knowledge, identify gaps, develop joint initiatives, raise funds, and build capacities.
Showcasing Good Practice
Innovative and effective initiatives, practices, approaches, and processes that support implementation of the GAP are identified, given visibility and shared widely for scaling up. For maximum visibility and recognition these works are featured on the GAP website and reports are delivered to their audiences and governing structures. The UNESCO-Japan Prize for ESD, to award the best of these good practices, was created in partnership with the Government of Japan.