The Mediterranean Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development (MSESD) was unanimously endorsed on 13 May 2014 by the UfM Ministers of Environment & Climate Change and accepted as an integral part of the “Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development” (2016-2025) in the Barcelona Convention’s COP19 that was hosted in Athens in February 2016. Later in the same year, the Action Plan of the MSESD was developed, and endorsed in December by Mediterranean Ministers of Education, in Cyprus. The overall aim is to encourage the countries to develop and incorporate ESD into formal, non-formal and informal education.
The MSESD highlights of 2017-2018 were shared with the stakeholders participating in the UfM Environment and Climate Change Week in Barcelona (12-14 November 2018). MIO-ECSDE’s key message was that ESD is the most cost-effective intervention to achieve sustainable development.
- 2016: Launching of the Mediterranean ESD Committee including: League of the Arab States (LAS), UNESCO GAP, UN Environment MAP, UNECE and UfM, chaired by the Ministry of Education of Cyprus.
- 2017: 5 National Training-the-Trainers (ToT) on the Action Plan of the MSESD, organized by the EU SWIM-H2020 SM Programme in Algeria, Jordan, Palestine, Tunisia and 1 Regional in Cyprus. The ToTs covered a total of 350 educators.
- 2017: Special Session for Parliamentarians, Ministry Officials, Stakeholders & Educators hosted by the House of the Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus and chaired by the Vice President of the Parliament. The outcomes were shared with the Parliaments of the Mediterranean countries by the Parliament of Cyprus.
- 2016-2017: Summer Universities in Samothraki, Greece (2016), Sardinia, Italy (2017) and Parnon Area, Greece (2018), promoting the implementation of the Action Plan of the MSESD.
- 2018: Two Trainings of Trainers (ToT) took place in Cairo, supported by the EU SWIM-H2020 SM Programme, in addition with an inter-institutional meeting.
- Most of the countries have already or are in the process of elaborating National Strategies or Plans on ESD in accordance to the provisions of the AP/MSESD. Opportunities to adapt and better fine-tune them with the AP/MSESD have been identified.
- A wealth of experiences, initiatives and projects and processes, exist in the countries on EE and ESD.
- The strengthening of adequate interdepartmental collaboration and coordination of the aforementioned ESD initiatives, supervised by different Ministries and various Agencies, was highlighted as an urgent need by all countries. Concerted efforts towards this direction were made in all countries where the Training of Trainers were organized.
- The need of scaling up the training and re-training activities for various target groups and stakeholders engaged in ESD was highlighted in all countries.
- The urgently needed human and financial resources for the promotion of ESD are still lacking at many levels; Joint efforts and targeted activities to secure funding should be intensified.
- It was highlighted that it is critical for the AP/MSESD to receive more political support and become better known among political decision makers, particularly as a prerequisite for enhancing the impact of Agendas, Strategies and Policies of sustainable development and the SDGs.
Future MIO-ECSDE actions:
- Organizing a second meeting of the Mediterranean ESD Committee in 2019.
- Continuing the close collaboration with and contribution to the GAP of UNESCO and the post-GAP initiatives.
- Strengthening synergies at the regional level: UfM Agendas, MCSD, UN Environment/MAP, etc.
- Promoting ESD in the next Ministerial Declaration and the UfM post 2020 agenda as a prerequisite for achieving the SDGs and SD
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