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ISE at SWEDESD conference: Lessons learned and way forward

In October 2012 ISE team participated in the conference “The Power of ESD – Exploring evidence & promise” organized by Swedish International Centre of Educational for Sustainable Development in Visby, Sweden. Through analyses of outstanding practice, this global forum aimed to sustain a critical debate on key issues in education, support evaluation of transformations in educational policy and review current changes in education directed towards sustainability.

Crucially, discussions at conferences such as this, however valuable in terms of lessons learned for direct participants, cannot remain just that. A follow-up with a broader outreach is a vital component in the life-cycle of any conference so that key insights arrived at can be communicated to stakeholders beyond immediate attendees.

Therefore, a post-conference report has been issued with four main recommendations which can be construed as four hopeful pathways towards sustainability in education.

These include:Involve ESD: ESD can facilitate dialogue and learning on critical sustainable development issues. ESD should be conducted in more open and inclusive ways. Transboundary partnerships and governance structures are necessary to give ESD more traction.

Expand ESD: Link ESD to the Convention on Biological Diversity. ESD should address the global health risks. Efforts to promote green skills through Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) should be acknowledged and integrated into ESD. Early Childhood ESD should be part of the post - 2015 Sustainable Development Goals.

Use ESD to reorient education: ESD addresses the quality dimension of the Education for All (EFA) agenda. UNESCO should enhance the dialogue and concrete connections between the Education for All (EFA) initiative and ESD. Ministries of Education and other authorities should use ESD to strengthen the quality of educational programs and strategies. There is a strong need for following up official national SD and ESD policies, in order to help scaling up and spreading innovative practices.

Make ESD policy context-sensitive: A process of mediation is needed to translate and adapt general aims and principles to meaningful and supportive policy at the local level.For more information,

please visit http://swedesd.se/images/stories/PDF/unfolding_the_power_of_esd_lessons_learned_and_ways_forward.pdf