WESSA participates in UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development
The conference marked the closing of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD), which had been implemented from 2005 to 2014 in some 160 countries and has been an umbrella for significant achievements in education aimed at allowing “every human being to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to shape a sustainable future”.
The three WESSA delegates – Tichaona Pesanayi, Mike Ward and Jim Taylor – participated actively in the review of the DESD and in the forming of the follow-on Global Action Programme, which will run from 2015 to 2020. They contributed to the development of high-level policy for Education for Sustainable Development and attended several associated meetings and workshop sessions. WESSA was pleased to note the attendance of the South African Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, who was selected to speak on ESD at the opening plenary.
Two of WESSA’s flagship projects were profiled at the conference, with the SADC-REEP project being selected as one of 25 global best-practice projects that were exhibited in the main foyer of the meeting. Furthermore, the final report of the DESD specifically mentioned the international Eco-Schools programme, which is implemented by WESSA in South Africa, as one of the most effective projects for bringing about much needed change for sustainability over the past 10 years.
WESSA strives to achieve effective, high-impact projects and is encouraged by the recognition that its work is gaining.
One of the key findings in the DESD final report is that there is increased global recognition that education is a critical tool for moving societies towards sustainable development, but there is still much work to be done and the report calls on governments and other stakeholders to scale up their actions towards a more sustainable future.
Image link and caption:
WESSA_DESD_01 Mike Ward and Tich Pesanayi from WESSA with the WESSA SADC-REEP display in the foyer of the conference venue