UNESCO GAP Youth Training on Education for Sustainable Development for Latin American and Caribbean

This past week I had the pleasure of co-facilitating UNESCO’s Leadership Training on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Brasilia, Brazil for youth all across Latin America and the Caribbean with Director of Planeta Océano, Kerstin Forsberg. This two-day training is designed to sensitize youth on ESD concepts and strengthen their capacity to become ESD multipliers in order to reach a more just and sustainable world. This effort aims in helping the implementation of UNESCO Global Action Programme on ESD Priority Area #4, which is focused on youth engagement.

The Earth Charter created the curriculum for this programme last year and UNESCO aims to train active youth across the world to replicate this ESD workshop in their communities through their own workshops upon the participants’ arrival home.

The energy and enthusiasm brought to this workshop from the participants was contagious. These youth brought so much experience from their home countries and each with very different and distinct backgrounds; some of them working with indigenous groups in Chile and Guatemala, solar energy in Mexico, public policies in the Caribbean and in Costa Rica, coral reef restoration in St. Lucia, and many already working in education for sustainable development in Mexico, Brazil, and Guatemala. We had 5 youth from Costa Rica representing the Earth Charter and two others working at the Universidad Quintana Roo implementing the Earth Charter in every major offered at the university.

After the two days of interactive activities and methods to educate on sustainability, systems thinking, leadership, conflict transformation, communication, visioning, and networking, the participants were very inspired and ready to start developing their workshops back home. At the end of the workshop UNESCO Brasilia had a local samba group ready to greet us for our hard work. On our last day together we had a wonderful hike at Chapada Imperial with a guided tour through Brasilia’s savanna biome, with waterfall stops and swimming holes. At the end of the day we enjoyed a quick visit around the federal district of the city before we headed back to the convention center.

Written by: Earth Charter Youth Projects Coordinator, Christine Lacayo