Knowledge Globalization Conference, 13th International Knowledge Globalization Confernece 2018

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Education for Sustainable Development as a Medium for Achieving Sustainable Development Goals

Muhammad Rehan Dastagir

Last modified: 2018-01-07


This paper describes the role of Education in fostering Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Sustainable Development Goals have been proposed by United Nations in 2015 that are to be achieved by 2030. There are 17 sustainable development goals and 169 targets. Both the quantity and quality of the goals are large in numbers and very ambitious by nature to be fulfilled within next 12 years on a global scale. The objectives of the goals are multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary by nature as these goals possessed a lot of content on science, humanity and economic affairs. That is why a uniform understanding on the content of sustainability is a must to achieve the SDGs. To spread knowledge on sustainable development, Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) program was proposed by United Nations (UN) in 2005. Its role has been to educate students, teachers, the broader community and government about sustainability. In 2003, the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) launched the ESD project, with funding support from the Ministry of the Environment, Japan. The ESD project designs and implements research and development activities through a global multi-stakeholder global network of Regional Centres of Expertise (RCEs). So far 157 RCEs have been formed and are operational all over the world. This paper proceeds to describe role of one regional centre in Bangladesh that is RCE Greater Dhaka on achieving SDGs. RCE Greater Dhaka is trying to scale up ESD in Bangladesh. There are enormous challenges in this process but many obstacles have been overcome. Sustainable Development education by developing appropriate course curricula is the biggest achievement so far: 7000 students have been trained on sustainable development education. Youth are being activated through school-based project work as well as awareness campaigns have been undertaken in 50 schools. The IUBAT campus is noticeable in Dhaka city for its greenery and floral diversity. We now consider environmental impacts for all construction projects on the campus and integrate sustainability in engineering processes. Henceforth the development of sustainable culture is a crucial stepping stone to bring about changes in the road towards achieving the SDG goals and also enhance the importance of the necessity of education development at all levels.