The U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development



In 2002, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring a Decade of Education for Sustainable Development to begin on January 1, 2005. The Decade emerges from a series of international conferences, declarations and initiatives beginning with the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and culminating in the 2002 Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development.

UNESCO, the Decade's lead agency, has described the four major thrusts of education for sustainable development in a "Framework for a Draft International Implementation Scheme" for the Decade:

» The promotion and improvement of high quality, relevant basic education;

» The reorienting of existing education policies and programs to address the social, environmental and economic knowledge, skills and values inherent to sustainability in a holistic and interdisciplinary manner;

» The development of public understanding and awareness of the principles of sustainable development;

» The development of specialized training programs to ensure that all sectors of society have the skills necessary to perform their work in a sustainable manner.


The Framework states that "the focus of DESD activities will be advocacy, communication and networking directed at facilitating all educators to include sustainable development concerns and goals in their own programs" (UNESCO, July 2003). Visit the webpage for the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.


Visit the webpage for information on World Conferences on ESD from the UN

See the final report here


UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development - Moving into the Second Half of the UN Decade - March 31 to April 2 2009, Bonn, Germany. See the Bonn Declaration adopted at the conference (with participants from over 150 countries) by clicking here.


We need more than individual actions to build sustainable communities for all. Please heed the calls to collective action that are arising from our partners for a shared sustainable future.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals are driving the world community towards real progress by 2030. The 17 goals improve quality of life for all humans while conserving the natural world for future generations.

In particular, education transforms lives and is at the heart of UNESCO’s mission to build peace, eradicate poverty and drive sustainable development.

UNESCO believes that education is a human right for all throughout life and that access must be matched by quality. The Organization is the only United Nations agency with a mandate to cover all aspects of education. It has been entrusted to lead the Global Education 2030 Agenda through Sustainable Development Goal 4. The roadmap to achieve this is the Education 2030 Framework for Action (FFA).