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Education & Awareness

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Section X, of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) adopted by WSSD reaffirmed both the Millennium Declaration goal of achieving universal primary education by 2015 and the goal of the Dakar Framework for Action on Education for All to eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education by 2005 and at all levels of education by 2015. The JPOI addressed the need to integrate sustainable development into formal education at all levels, as well as through informal and non-formal education opportunities.

Following the WSSD recommendation, the General Assembly, at its 57th Session (2002), proclaimed a Decade of Education for Sustainable Development - DESD (2005-2014) and designated UNESCO as lead agency for its promotion.  The Decade was globally launched in New York on 1 March 2005.  Prior to the launch, UNESCO developed an international framework for implementing DESD and later drafted an International Implementation Scheme.  The General Assembly, at its 59th session (2004), took note of these developments and requested that a mid-term progress report on the implementation of DESD be submitted at its 65th session (2010).  

The International Implementation Scheme was approved by the UNESCO Executive Board session in September 2005.

At the regional level, on 18 March 2005, in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, UNECE Ministers of both Environment and Education adopted a UNECE strategy for Education for Sustainable Development and the Vilnius Framework for Implementation.  The Decade was also launched in other regions, sub-regions and also at the national level throughout 2005 and early 2006.

Education, Public Awareness and Training is the focus of Chapter 36 of Agenda 21.  This is a cross-sectoral theme both relevant to the implementation of the whole of Agenda 21 and indispensable for achieving sustainable development.

Following the adoption of Agenda 21 in 1992,  the Commission on Sustainable Development, at its fourth session in 1996, adopted an International Work Programme on Education, Public Awareness and Training for Sustainability in order to give added impetus and visibility to this theme. The Work Programme was further elaborated in 1998 at CSD-VI (Decision 6/3) and its implementation was re-emphasized in 1999 at CSD-VII (Decision 7/4).