A new post has just been published on the ESD Prize Blog by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (Germany), one of the winners of the UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in 2019. Head of ESD and Environmental Education Ralf Behrens reflects on his trip to Paris, France to receive the Prize at UNESCO Headquarters in November, and how the prize-winning was received back home in Germany:
"Compared to the other two laureates coming from Botswana and Brazil, the way from Hamburg to Paris is not very far. So I decided to take the train for this 9-hour trip to the award ceremony of the UNESCO-Japan Prize. I had an exciting time in Paris. The very warm hospitality, the numerous chats with UNESCO colleagues, jury members and interested people from all over the world – it was all very impressive.
At the same time, I was honoured that Hamburg was presented as kind of a model for other cities in the world to implement and mainstream ESD. I do not know if Hamburg serves as an example but we are very open to talk about our experience of bringing public bodies and civil society together to create an ESD strategy for a whole city - please feel free to reach out to us!
This was not our first prize: The city of Hamburg has already received several national awards in Germany. But back from Paris, I realised that something was different this time. I noticed a broader interest in our ESD activities. Calls from a radio station, newspapers and press agencies were the results of our press report about the UNESCO-Japan Prize. This prize will support us. Since our mayor will double the prize money, we will use it for the Hamburg Foundation of Climate Protection to run a think tank for a sustainable Hamburg 2030 with a special involvement of youth. The young participants at the ceremony loved the idea and celebrated it with me (see photo)!"