International, Online

22 January – 9 July, 2025

Online Certificate on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

ONLINE & FACILITATED. Strengthen the knowledge, skills, and abilities of educators to implement ESD and Education for Global Citizenship in their work to respond to the new guidance and educational needs of today.

This unique programme is designed to provide participants with the opportunity to deepen their understanding, knowledge, and skills to integrate Education for Sustainable Development and Education for Global Citizenship into classrooms, schools, and curricula. It contributes to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, with a specific focus on SDG 4, target SDG 4.7; and can serve for those working in primary and secondary education, universities, and non-formal education settings. 

Unlike most programmes in sustainability, here, the Earth Charter (EC) is used as a central feature of this approach. The EC provides a broad, inclusive and powerful values-based orientation that can be infused within the missions and purposes of most educational programmes. The methodologies introduced are ones that can be applied to all learning across the curriculum and across grade levels.

This six-month four-course online programme, implemented under the under the UNESCO Chair on Education for Sustainable Development with the Earth Charter, counts on great and highly experienced facilitators, and unlike most programmes in sustainability, the Earth Charter (EC) is used as a central feature of this approach. This Programme offers great flexibility for participants, so they can carry out the coursework when it is convenient for them.

Participants who successfully complete this Online Programme will be invited to join the Earth Charter Educators Network and to become a Verifier of the Earth Charter & ESD School Seal.

This 9th edition of our Online Certificate Programme on Education for Sustainable Development, will run from 22 January to 9 July 2025.


Seminars and live sessions: Wednesdays at 7:00am Costa Rica time 

Activity Facilitator(s) Date 
Introductory Seminar  22 January  
Course 1:  The Global context for Education for Sustainable Development: understanding sustainability and planetary boundaries.    Session 1: 22 – 28 January    Session 2: 29 January – 4 February    Session 3: 5 -11 February    Live Session in Zoom:  5 February (tbc)    Session 4: 12 – 18 February    Session 5: 19 – 25 February     Maria Garcia    22 January – 25 February 
Transition Seminar 1  26 February 
Course 2: Values and Principles for Sustainability: The Earth Charter as an Ethical Framework and a Call to Action    Session 1: 26 February – 4 March     Session 2:   5 – 11 March    Session 3: 12 – 18 March    Live Session in Zoom: 19 March    Session 4: 19 – 25 March    Session 5: 26 March – 1 April   Mirian Vilela and Alicia Jimenez   26 February – 1 April 
Final Activity Preparation – Assignment  2 April  
Transition Seminar 2  2 April 
Reflection week  2 – 8 April 
Seminar: Education Policies for Agenda 2030  9 April 
Course 3: Transformative Learning, Worldviews, Sustainability: Experiential Education and the Earth Charter    Session 1: 9 – 15 April    Session 2: 16 – 22 April    Session 3: 23 – 29 April 
   Live Session on Zoom: 23 April    Session 4: 30 April – 6 May    Session 5: 7 – 13 May  
   Mark Hathaway     9 April – 13 May 
Transition Seminar 3  14 May 
Reflection week  15 – 20 May 
Course 4: Transformative Learning and ESD: A Holistic Pedagogy Grounded in the Neurosciences    Session 1: 21 – 27 May    Session 2: 28 May – 3 June    Session 3: 4 – 10 June    Live session on Zoom: 10 June    Session 4:  11 – 17 June    Session 5:  18 – 24 June     Sam Crowell     21 May – 24 June 
End of courses Seminar  25 June 
Final Project due date   7 July 
Final Seminar  9 July 

*Every course session starts on Wednesdays.   

*All Seminars are on Wednesdays at 7:00am Costa Rica time.  They last 1.5 hours 


Dr. Sam Crowell

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Dr. Crowell is professor emeritus of education at California State University–San Bernardino and a founder and co-director of the MA in Holistic and Integrative Education and the Center for Holistic and Integrative Learning. He has worked as an elementary school teacher, a principal, an administrator, and a university professor. He considers himself a holistic educator and an advocate of the artistry of teaching. He has been actively engaged with Education for Sustainable Development and the Earth Charter and co-authored the book, “The Re-Enchantment of Learning: A Manual for Teacher Renewal and Classroom Transformation” published by Corwin Press, and just released his new book, “Emergent Teaching: A Path of Creativity, Significance, and Transformation.”

Maria Garcia- Alvarez

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Maria Garcia- Alvarez (Spain) is a Senior lecturer by the Global Project and Change Management BBA program at the Windesheim University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. She is a lecturer in Geopolitics u0026 Globalization and Global Challenges, using the Earth Charter to teach on values approach to sustainable development. She is co-developer and coordinator of the educational concept Value Creators, awarded by the Dutch Ministry of Education with the higher award on education innovation. She is an Earth Charter certified ESD Educator and she is involved in other international networks working on Sustainable Development, such is UN SDSN, UN Habitat, Wellbeing Economy Alliance and the IDGs initiative. She is a PhD Candidate at the Faculty of Philosophy, Anthropology and Education at the University of the Basque country, where she carries research on innovative learning environments to foster Education for Sustainable Development. She is also a guest lecturer for the Master of Leadership and Sustainability Aldatuz, faculty of Economics at the university of the Basque Country, where she lecturers on alternative futures for sustainable development. She has authored and co-authored different articles published internationally in the field of ESD. At the moment, she is also Special Editor for Springer Nature series on Discover Sustainability, where she guides an edition highlighting tools and concepts to overcome barriers for a full implementation of ESD in higher education. In the Netherlands, she is member of the Board of Directors of the National Comenius Network, fostering innovation in higher education.

Dr. Mark Hathaway

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Dr. Mark Hathaway is an adult educator with extensive experience in both Canada and Latin America. He is the principle author (along with Leonardo Boff) of The Tao of Liberation: Exploring the Ecology of Transformation (Orbis, 2009) which integrates perspectives from economics, ecology, social justice, spirituality, and post-modern cosmology. Mark is currently a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar in the Adult Education and Community Development Program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada. His doctoral research explores the cultivation of ecological wisdom – along with the intersections between transformative learning, worldviews, ecopsychology, and engagement for sustainability – by examining the significant life experiences of 24 environmental educators and activists.”

Dr. Mirian Vilela

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Mirian Vilela is the Executive Director of the Earth Charter International Secretariat and the Center for Education for Sustainable Development at UPEACE. Mirian has been working with the Earth Charter Initiative since early 1996. She is coordinating the UNESCO Chair on Education for Sustainable Development with the Earth Charter. She was a member of the UNESCO Expert Reference Group for the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD) and has been a professor on Sustainable Development at the University for Peace since 2005.

Dr. Alicia Jimenez

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Alicia Jimenez is the Director of Programmes at the Earth Charter International (ECI) Secretariat in Costa Rica. She is a biologist with a MSc in Resource Development from Michigan State University in the US and since 1998 has been working in the field of conservation and sustainable development. She worked in the IUCN Mesoamerica’s Regional Office and the National University of Costa Rica, and has been involved as a visiting professor at the University for Peace. In 2006, she joined the ECI, where she oversees the promotion of the Earth Charter as widely as possible, especially in Latin America, Africa u0026 Middle East and Asia Pacific. In addition, she is involved with the Secretariat’s projects on education for sustainable development.