Education for sustainable development

Sustainable Development is achieved once people around the world live together in dignity and develop their personality taking into account resource scarcity and the inherent value of natural heritage - today and in the future.

This requires future-oriented thinking and action. Individuals worldwide need skills in order to understand the impact of their own actions and to learn how to deal with changes and risks. They need knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that enable responsible behaviour.

Implementation of the UNESCO Global Action Programme in Germany

UNESCO coordinates the global action programme in order to promote education for sustainable development as part of the global education agenda for 2030. It seeks to integrate education for sustainable development into the structures of the educational system by 2019. In order to do so, many actions are needed: the adaptation of curricula, new methods of teacher training and further education, and cooperation between educational institutions in and outside of schools. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research has set up a national platform in order to promote this process in Germany. Prof. Dr. Maria Böhmer, President of the German Commission for UNESCO, is a member of the national platform. Walter Hirche, former Minister and member of the Board of the German Commission for UNESCO, functions as its international advisor. An annual conference brings together actors in education for sustainable development.

The German Network

Cities, places of learning and networks in Germany have already implemented elements of sustainable development in their educational work. Such pioneers are recognized by the German Commission for UNESCO and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research for their outstanding commitment. These include initiatives such as the Klimahaus Bremerhaven 8° Ost with a broad learning programme for sustainable development, the association netzwerk n with an excellent commitment to sustainability at universities, or the city of Gelsenkirchen with exceptional educational programmes, which the city also uses to integrate refugees.

Actors from all over Germany are included on the ESD-map at An event calendar keeps you up to date on everything happening around ESD in Germany.