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Empowering Futures: Education for Sustainable Development

On 18 June 2024, the Education Department organised a dynamic Thematic Session on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Strasbourg. The event brought together education policy makers, educators, NGOs, researchers, academics, invited experts and school students for an engaging and insightful discussion.

The Session featured a series of presentations and panel discussions exploring various aspects of ESD. It began with an overview of the Council of Europe’s environmental framework and recent rulings of the European Court of Human Rights on environmental human rights.

The first panel discussed environmental education through history teaching, highlighting how understanding the past can help shape sustainable practices for the future. This included diverse perspectives on integrating history with environmental education in classrooms, research, intergovernmental collaboration and digital museum curation.

A subsequent presentation provided data on young people’s knowledge and engagement with global issues and the environment, based on recent studies by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement.

The final panel showcased innovative ESD practices. Teachers and students shared their insights into the implementation, challenges and impact of a multi-regional initiative from Spain, “Let’s Take Care of the Planet”, and a local project from the French-German High School in Freiburg am Breisgau, “School as State”.

Following this thematic session, the Working Group on the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (RFCDC) and ESD convened for its third meeting on 18-19 June. The group discussed the outline of the upcoming guidance document on how the RFCDC and its “butterfly” of competences can interrelate with ESD.

Both the Thematic Session and the Working Group meeting marked a significant step forward in promoting Education for Sustainable Development.


Strasbourg 18-19 June 2024
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