Building peace in the minds of men and women

Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level


"At community level, scale up ESD programmes and multi-stakeholder ESD networks"
Major phenomena challenging sustainable development – be it climate change or persistent poverty – are all around us. As home to half the world’s population and poised to absorb most of future population growth, cities will increasingly hold the key to addressing sustainability challenges. At the same time, many important sustainability solutions can be found in rural communities. Local communities, both urban and rural, are one of the critical drivers for sustainable development, and their efforts merit greater support.


  • Local authorities set up local ESD centres
  • The local business sector integrates ESD in corporate social responsibility activities 

Actions in this Priority Action Area include strengthening multi-stakeholder networks at local level, and improving the quality of local platforms for learning and cooperation. Mobilising many new stakeholders to involve as large a stakeholder population as possible is an important objective. Local authorities and local leaders are called upon to increase and strengthen learning opportunities for the community through formal, nonformal, and informal venues. Empowering and increasing the capacity of civil society as critical agents of change is essential. Most of all, these concerned members and stakeholders will develop measures and mechanisms to resolve the sustainable challenges facing their communities. Expected outcomes include the integration of ESD programmes and ESD perspectives into the planning and decision-making processes of the community. The number of multi-stakeholder networks at local level should be increased, and their networks expanded, through involving a wider range of stakeholders. Main stakeholders include public authorities (such as governors and mayors), local education stakeholders such as school board members and the leaders of education institutions (school principals, presidents of universities), managers of private companies, and civil society representatives, NGOs, associations and groups for the disadvantaged and the marginalised, as well as individuals. Local media has an important role to play in mobilising communities and disseminating information and knowledge. The private sector also has a crucial role to play in developing locally-based sustainable enterprises.

  • Barcelona More Sustainable Schools Programme - More
  • Gaia Education -   More
  • Global Network of Learning Cities of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning - More
  • Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg -  More
  • ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability - More
  • Centre for Development of Early Childhood, Non-Formal and Informal Education (Jayagiri Centre), Indonesia - More
  • Mexico City - More
  • Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust (NaDEET) -  More
  • City of Okayama, Japan - Chubu (RCE) - More
  • Ricoh Company Japan/India - More | Drishtee
  • UNEP -  More
  • UN-HABITAT -  More
  • United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS)/Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development -  More
  • Wahamba Development Org - More
  • World Network of Biosphere Reserves of the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme -  More