From June 4th-6th, UNESCO held meetings with 85 key partner organizations and institutions who are contributing to the Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The Coordinator of Youth Projects at Earth Charter International, Sarah Dobson, attended the meetings as a co-chair in Partner Network 4: Empowering and Mobilizing Youth.
Earth Charter International (ECI) has two commitments to GAP; One is for mobilizing and engaging youth through a 10-week online training programme on Leadership, Sustainability and Ethics, http://earthcharter.org/youth/youth-courses-webinars/. Through the programme, young leaders aged 18-30 grapple with concepts of sustainability leadership, systems thinking, ecoliteracy, ethical decision making, and the Earth Charter and plan and facilitate a related workshop in their local communities. The programme will run in English and Spanish over the next few years, training at least 300 young leaders. ECI is also committed to training educators, offering an online certificate programme in ESD in both Spanish and Portuguese, http://earthcharter.org/learn/, in additional to other online and face-to-face courses.
UNESCO invited organizations, institutions, and governments in all five GAP partner networks: 1) advancing policy; 2) transforming learning and training environments; 3) building capacities of educators and trainers; 4) empowering and mobilizing youth; and 5) accelerating sustainable solutions at local level; to come to the UNESCO headquarters in Paris to take part in the annual GAP meeting of key partners. The meetings included panels, small groups, and World Café style networking in order to discuss and make progress on building synergies, overcoming challenges, scaling up, and advancing flagship projects.
Earth Charter International is working with UNESCO and Partner Network 4 to establish a collaborative flagship project to engage youth worldwide around the Sustainable Development Goals, and will continue working on its institutional commitments. For the duration of the GAP (2014-2019), UNESCO will continue facilitating collaboration amongst key partners to strengthen local and global efforts on education for sustainable development.