GAP Mechanisms


Global Action Programme logo final
There are two main mechanisms for the implementation of the Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).


Each Member State is encouraged to set up an appropriate ESD coordination mechanism and designate a National Focal Point for ESD. The Focal Point coordinates with UNESCO, monitoring and reporting on country performance in implementing the GAP. UNESCO encourages governments to set national targets for ESD as appropriate, based on national requirements and aspirations. These should be in keeping with the targets set within the post-2015 agenda. The four strategies established at the global level – creating momentum through a call for commitments, harnessing partnership synergies, setting up platforms to exchange information and ideas, and recognising and awarding good practices and initiatives – can also be adopted at national level to spur national initiatives. The National Commissions for UNESCO play an important role in implementing the GAP.

Global, regional and sub-regional

A GAP Secretariat was set up by UNESCO at its Headquarters in Paris to provide overall management and coordination of the GAP at global level, which includes providing strategic guidance for the implementation of the GAP. UNESCO’s global field network provides regional and subregional coordination, liaising with relevant bodies and institutions. The GAP Secretariat and the UNESCO field network in the regions and sub-regions work closely with other UN agencies and partners, seeking their advice and support and forging partnerships with them. The Secretariat is also responsible for monitoring and reporting progress in implementing the GAP at global level.
UNESCO ensured that ESD was fully taken into account for developing the post-2015 ‘Framework for Action’ adopted at the World Education Forum 2015 in Incheon (Republic of Korea). UNESCO also helps ensure that linkages are established between the monitoring and reporting processes on the post-2015 agenda and on the GAP.
The key partners comprising the Partner Networks of the five Priority Action Areas are important allies of UNESCO, and can identify others to work with them. Key partners are expected to undertake activities in the chosen Priority Action Area. UNESCO integrates their activities into its ESD reporting. The key partners also launch fund-raising efforts for their individual activities and for those with their partners and contribute to research on ESD to support advances under each Priority Action Area.