UNESCO Beijing Supported International Conference on ESD and CCE in Mongolia

Within the framework of ESDfor2030 Roadmap, the UNESCO Beijing Office in close collaboration with ACCU and Okayama University had supported the International Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Mongolia 2022 and the Third ATECCE (Asian Teacher Education for Climate Change Education) Meeting, which were held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, from May 3-5, 2022. The meetings were co-organized by Mongolian National University of Education (MNUE), National University of Mongolia (NUM) and Okayama University (OU), Japan, with support also from the UNESCO Regional Education Bureau in Bangkok, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Academy Mongolia and Mongolian Physics Olympiad Committee.

Both events were intended to promote the incorporation of ESD into teacher education, with a particular focus on Climate Change Education (CCE) aligned with the ESDfor2030 core priority. The major outcome of the conference was exchange best practices in CCESD implementation at country level. During the conference, over 33 speakers representing 17 institutions from the network of Asian Centres of Excellence on ESD in 9 countries (China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines) discussed current practices and future prospects of CCE in teacher education, including the development of modules, training programs, courses and workshops. In addition, students and faculty from a local institution presented posters on activities related to ESD.

 

On the first day of the event, Mr. Robert Parua, Education Programme Specialist from UNESCO Beijing, delivered virtually the opening remarks, stating: “Education is crucial to promote climate action. It helps people understand and address the impacts of the climate crisis, empowering them with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes needed to act as agents of change.Climate action is one of the key thematic priority of ‘ESD for 2030’, the Education for Sustainable Development’s global framework for the next 8 years to 2030. UNESCO encourages/supports innovative approaches and enhances non-formal education programmes through media, networking and partnerships.” UNESCO Beijing is strongly committed to partnering with ACCU and Okayama University and UNESCO Chair in ESD to further advance the CCE at the country and regional level.

 

Given that Mongolia is one of the top ten nations that are most susceptible to climate change, the organization of the meetings in Ulaanbaatar was timely and appropriate, that is aligned with  the country’s urgent need to strengthen policy framework, mainstreaming education for sustainable development at all levels and to enhance the capacity of teachers in conducting ESD in schools and in practices.

 

The negative effects of climate change are not restricted to livestock, agriculture and industry, but impact all sectors of the society. The majority of today’s climate change is a result of human activity. Consequently, it was discussed at the conference that the education system must be enhanced by educating the young generation, teachers and future generations in Sustainable Development and Climate Change.

 

ESD, at the core of SDG 4 Target 4.7, aims to ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development. And the strenghening of teachers’ capacities is one of the key themes to be reflected in the ESD policies of countries when countries are taking a holistic approach to advance SDG Target 4.7, which is one of the key targets in the SDGs that addresses the purpose and quality of education.

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