A commitment to education that empowers people to change their lifestyles was the message from UNESCO's three-day World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) which finished in Bonn on 2 April.
The conference, titled Moving into the Second Half of the UN Decade, was organized by UNESCO and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, in cooperation with the German Commission for UNESCO.
Five years into the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development for which UNESCO is the lead agency, the conference aimed to highlight the relevance of ESD to all of education; promote international exchange on ESD, especially between countries of the North and the South; carry out a stock-taking of the implementation of the UN Decade, and develop strategies for the way ahead.
The conference's final declaration highlighted the need to strengthen links between ESD and Education for All, further sensitize the media, mobilize greater funding, and through policy, re-orient curricula to address sustainability issues.
The declaration recognized that the knowledge, technology and skills already exist to turn around unsustainable development models. It was now imperative for developing and developed countries, civil society and international organisations to act to bring about long term change.