Namibia, Estonia and Indonesia home to 2018 winners of the Education for Sustainable Development Prize

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Paris:The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, has named the three winners of this year’s UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development. They are: the Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust (NaDEET) from Namibia; the Kalabia Foundation (YaKIn) from Indonesia; and the Let’s Do It Foundation from Estonia. Each of the three non-profit organizations will receive an award of US$ 50,000.

NaDEET was selected for its project “NaDEET Centre on NamibRand” which, located deep in the Namib desert, runs programmes offering hands-on immersion in ESD for everyone from schoolchildren to community groups, educators and parents. Through experiential transformative learning, sustainable living is put into practice. With a focus on energy, waste and water, NaDEET also helps young people in their struggle to overcome poverty.

The Kalabia Foundation wins the Prize for its experiential programme: “Environmental Education for the Heart of the Coral Triangle”. It consists of a 34 metre-long ship staffed with local educators, bringing interactive marine conservation education to remote coastal villages of West Papua. Regional youth acquire knowledge, awareness and appreciation of their communities’ natural resources, while building a sense of responsibility to preserve the unique ecosystems around them.

The Let’s Do It Foundation is awarded for its international projects “World Clean Up Day” and “Keep it Clean”, tackling environmental and social problems related to mismanaged solid waste. Initially started as a national scheme in Estonia, these projects are now mobilising and crowd-sourcing 20 million volunteers in 113 countries to map and deal with waste and to develop waste management plans for communities.

This year’s winners were chosen by an independent international jury from 87 nominations, submitted by the governments of UNESCO Member States and organizations in official partnership with UNESCO. The core selection criteria were the projects’ potential for transformation, their innovative quality and the ability to embrace all three dimensions of sustainability – the economy, society and the environment.

Funded by the Government of Japan, the Prize was established by UNESCO’s Executive Board in the framework of the Global Action Programme on ESD (GAP), to showcase and reward outstanding ESD projects and programmes. This is the fourth edition of the Prize.

UNESCO’s Director-General and the Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Japan to UNESCO will award the Prize to the three laureates in a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 9 October 2018, during the 205th session of the UNESCO Executive Board.