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harnessing nature for sustainable development Tommy Clark/Flickr

Educating for Sustainable Development

This year, the international community will adopt a new global development strategy and negotiate a universal deal to combat climate change. The key to success on both fronts is to bring about a fundamental shift in how we think, act, and discharge our responsibilities toward one another and the planet.

PARIS – This year marks a turning point for the world, with the international community adopting a new global development strategy in September and negotiating a universal deal to combat climate change in December. To succeed, policymakers must recognize that today’s global imperatives – to eradicate poverty and improve wellbeing, while restoring the Earth’s balance – form a single agenda, and that the most effective means of achieving it is education.

The good news is that the proposed set of Sustainable Development Goals, which will underpin global efforts for the next 15 years, reflect this recognition. Likewise, Article 6 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) stipulates that education, training, and public awareness on climate change must be pursued.

But, with negotiations on these global agreements far from complete, it is vital that policymakers’ emphasis on education continues to be reinforced. To this end, the world’s education ministers must take the opportunity offered by this month’s World Education Forum in Incheon, South Korea, to highlight the role that education can and should play in advancing sustainable development.

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