Education for Sustainable Development is closely tied into the international discussions on sustainable development, which have grown in scale and importance since ‘Our Common Future’ appeared in 1987, providing the first widely-used definition of sustainable development.
International commitments relevant to ESD
1987 - ‘Our Common Future’ (Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, also known as the Brundtland Report) defined sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
1992 - The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio Summit, Earth Summit)
Chapter 36 of Agenda 21 consolidated international discussions on the critical role of education, training and public awareness in achieving sustainable development.
2002 - World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg Summit, Rio+10)
A proposal for the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development was included in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. The United Nations General Assembly, at its 57th session in December 2002, adopted a resolution to start the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD) from January 2005.
2012 - The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20)
The international community resolved to “promote education for sustainable development and to integrate sustainable development more actively into education beyond the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development” (paragraph 233 of the Future We Want).
2013 - The Global Action Programme on ESD endorsed by the UNESCO General Conference as a follow up to the DESD.
2014 - ESD included as a target in the Muscat Agreement adopted at the Global Education For All Meeting (GEM) and in the proposal for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the Open Working Group (OWG).
2014 - UNESCO World Conference on ESD launches the Global Action Programme on ESD.
2015 - The Declaration from the World Education Forum (Incheon, Republic of Korea) strongly supports the implementation of the Global Action Programme on ESD launched at the UNESCO World Conference on ESD in Aichi-Nagoya in 2014.