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The UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) aims to impart knowledge, abilities, perspectives and values for a sustainable futures. The key questions of ESD are:

Picture of being awarded as Official German Project of the UN Decade
Our Earth Charter education is an Official German Project of the UN Decade

1. What is the meaning of sustainability in terms of ecological, economic, social, political and cultural dimensions? In what kind of world do we want to live?

2. Which are the ethical principles for a sustainable way of living?

3. Which competences do we need for its implementation?

Education for Sustainable Development with the Earth Charter

If we want to change our lifestyle, different attitudes and ways of thinking are needed, i.e. an attitude adjustment. The Earth Charter offers basic ethical principles. It is also a vision and an agenda for sustainable development. In 2003, the UNESCO General Assembly therefore acknowledged the Earth Charter as an important ethical guideline for sustainable development. This resolution assures the good-will of the member states, to “use the Earth Charter as a tool of education, especially in connection with the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development“.

UNESCO-Logo: Ausgezeichnet als offizielle Maßnahme der UN-Weltdekate "Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung"

Holistic and Global – Awarded as an Official German Project of the UN Decade

The German Earth Charter Initiative facilitates the exchange of  youth activists within Germany and with the Earth Charter's International Youth Initiative. It shares materials of the international Earth Charter Centre for Education for Sustainable Development at the UN University for Peace in Costa Rica.

By using the Earth Charter in education, we want to encourage young people to deal with present development-oriented questions. In June 2012, the UNESCO awarded our work as an Official German Project of the UN Decade. Our education is part of the National Plan of Action for Germany. 

The Earth Charter education is based on competences. That means, skills and knowledge for the creation of a sustainable global society are necessary: empathy, intercultural competence, cooperation and communication skills, conflict resolution etc. Based on a holistic and integrated ESD approach, we develop methods and organise workshops to strengthen such skills, values and perspectives. For more information see the Action Handbook.

The German Earth Charter Initiative is part of the Round Table of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development in Germany. Sustainable stakeholders from all over Germany come together once a year to work on the implementation of the Decade and contribute to the embedding of its principles towards a sustainable development in education worldwide. 


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