ESD for 2030 – The Future of ESD

In 2020, UNESCO launches its new ESD programme “Education for Sustainable Development: Towards achieving the SDGs (ESD for 2030)”. In line with the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the related 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the programme will run until 2030.

A family walking on a field

Getty Images / Lucas Allen

"ESD for 2030" - Towards Achieving the SDGs

With just 10 years to go, an ambitious global effort is needed to deliver the SDGs by 2030. With the new programme, UNESCO will support the “Decade of Action” and contribute to accelerating sustainable solutions to all the world’s biggest challenges. “ESD for 2030” will scale up its focus on the interlinkages and tensions among different SDGs and provide learners with opportunities to practice balancing them. Many of the existing instruments, for example, the UNESCO-Japan Prize on ESD and the five priority action areas(policy, education and training, educators, youth and communities), as well as the goal to implement ESD into the educational systems will be continued within the new framework.Nevertheless, there will be numerous advancements as well, like the focus on psychological and social preconditions and the transformation of ESD into political mobilization.

"ESD for 2030" will be launched at an international conference organised by UNESCO and supported by the German Government as host. The conference intends to provide impulses to further strengthen ESD in educational policy and practice and to accompany the strategic design of the new programme. It will take place from May 17th - 19th, 2021 in Berlin. In addition, a National Launch Conference will kick off the programme in Germany on May 19th, 2021.

The road to "ESD for 2030"

Preparing the draft framework

To build a future vision for ESD, UNESCO prepared a draft position paper through a series of experts’ meetings as well as a desk review of related literature and results of the mid-term GAP implementation review.

Collaborative act

This collaborative process has included everybody: Representatives from science, politics, civil society, teachers, students and citizens were invited to bring their ideas and experiences into the draft. For this purpose UNESCO launched a public online-consultation in November 2018.

Worldwide conferences

In addition, four conferences on the future of ESD were held in Germany, South Africa, Japan and Brazil. ESD for 2030 was also discussed during the third key-partner meeting of the five international GAP partner networks. In July 2018, over 270 government representatives and experts from 116 Member States met in Bangkok to discuss and further enhance the draft.

Status quo

In spring 2019, UNESCO’s Executive Board reviewed and adopted the proposal on the draft framework in its 206th session. In November 2019, the draft was then submitted to the 40th session of the General Conference and the 74th session of the UN General Assembly for final approval.

BNE leben (Living ESD)

The German UNESCO Commission and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research present the video series "BNE Leben" (Living ESD). The video series shows examples of successful ESD implementation from Germany.

Further Informations


UNESCO website on "ESD for 2030"

UNESCO Framework for the Implementation of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Beyond 2019 [PDF | 348 KB]