Unesco report: Issues and trends in Education for Sustainable Development


Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is acknowledged as an important driver of change, empowering learners to take the decisions and actions needed to build a just and economically viable society respectful of both the environment and cultural diversity. This type of education addresses learning content and outcomes, innovative pedagogy and 'learning by doing', and uses a whole-school approach to engage communities in achieving sustainable change. This publication explores key issues related to ESD policy and practice with the aim of helping to accelerate the reorientation of education towards achieving a sustainable and resilient world. Topics include key ESD competencies and themes, policy, changes in the learning environment, teacher training, youth as lead actors, scaling-up action, and the monitoring of progress towards Target 4.7 of Sustainable Development Goal 4. ESD is explicitly mentioned in this target, which aims to ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development and is understood as an important means to achieve all the other 16 SDGs.

Leicht, Alexander; Heiss, Julia; Byun, Won Jung
Publication year: 


  • UNESCO. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • The Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP)

Sponsored by

  • Generalitat de Catalunya. Ministry of Business and Employment. Department of Research and Universities
  • Generalitat de Catalunya. Ministry for Foreign Action and Open Government