Workshop on Leadership for ESD at the UNA Costa Rica

Every Friday from 28 July- 17 November 2017, 36 students from Professor Heidy Vega García’s class, Ecocitizenship IMG_20170901_111438741_HDRin Action with the Earth Charter (Ecociudadanía en Acción con la Carta de la Tierra) at the National University in Costa Rica, participated in the UNESCO Youth Leadership Training on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). This leadership training was organized by Christine Lacayo, Earth Charter International Youth Projects Coordinator in collaboration with Danelia Zúñiga, Dennis Perez, and Julian Arias Varela, Earth Charter Young Leaders.


This training for youth leaders is part of UNESCO’s Global Action Programme Priority Area 4 “Youth Mobilization and Empowerment”, which seeks to mobilize and commit youth leaders across the world to become multipliers in ESD actions in their communities giving them the necessary tools to inspire more youth peers towards building a more sustainable, just and resilient future. The curriculum for this programme was developed by the Earth Charter International in 2016. Students were first given a pre-online session, Introduction to Sustainability, to begin with the foundations of sustainability IMG_20170825_112406458

Throughout the 17 weeks we continued with topics such as Education for Sustainable Development, Systems Thinking, Conflict Transformation, Leadership, Tools for ESD, Communication, Facilitation, and Networking. We introduced various methodologies such as World Café, role-play, we had students draw their vision of a sustainable future and we opened the floor for dialogue as much as possible putting the students at the center of the curriculum

To complete the training, students had to go into their communities and facilitate their own workshops related to one of the themes we covered in class. The workshops took place in schools and other university settings on many different topics such as environmental education, the Sustainable Development Goals, Systems Thinking, Our actions for a Sustainable 2030, and many more:

Conservation Action for a Better Future– Centro Educativo Montebello Heredia
Sustainable Development– Escuela Alberto Paniagua Chavarria, Getsemaní22792522_10201221663239893_4618508779149683772_o
Let’s Learn how to Recycle- La Abejita Maya
Gardening and Recycling– UNA Programa de la Atención Integral de la Persona Adulta Mayor (PAIPAM)
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Refuse– UNA Programa de la Atención Integral de la Persona Adulta Mayor (PAIPAM)
The Sustainable Development Goals– CEUNA
Environmental Conciousness and the SDGs- Escuela Alberto Paniagua SAM_9699Chavarria, Getsemaní
Systems Thinking– Asociación de Estudiantes de Comercio y Negocios Internacionales
Developing Sustainable Thinking with an Enphasis on our Ecological Footprint– UNA Estudiantes de Modelos Pedagócios de la Enseñanza de Ingles
Our Actions for Agenda 2030


At the end of the training programme, students presented in class what their workshop was about and received a certificate of participation for all of their dedication and efforts. These Costa Rican students now form part of a global network of ESD youth leaders around the world working towards inspiring other youth to take actions for a sustainable future. They are invited to become multipliers and leaders in spreading the importance of education for sustainable development around the world


Watch our video made my University for Peace student and Earth Charter volunteer Gloria Shultz for more information:


Written by Christine Lacayo- Earth Charter International Youth Projects Coordinator