Rapid urbanisation, economic growth, and changes in lifestyles and consumption patterns have resulted in a dramatic increase in the amount of waste generation, depletion of natural resources, and increase in environmental and climate change impacts in Asian countries. Governments in the region have made some progress in establishing relevant policies, strategies, and legislation for achieving sustainable development goals and actions. Such strategies and legislation have positioned behavior change and capacity development, especially in the context of youth and the younger generation, as critical factors. Education for sustainable development (ESD), including environmental education (EE), climate change education, and sustainable lifestyles, have been identified as important elements by key international agencies, such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). National governments have also recognized the importance of these initiatives. Through several international initiatives, such as The Decade of Education for Sustainable Development 2005–2014 ), the formal education systems of UN member states have been encouraged to incorporate ESD into their mainstream educational curricula.
In this context, governments in Asia have been trying to transform their education policies, practices, and teaching approaches to enhance ESD and EE over the last few decades. In reality, however, practical implementation of such policies and innovative practices through formal and nonformal education systems has been limited in many countries. This special session, therefore, aims to discuss (1) how the global initiatives and consensus have been planned to move forward with ESD, including the outcomes of the recent Transforming Education Summit 2022 by the UN; (2) how governments’ policies and regulations have been designed to promote ESD and EE in Asia; (3) national curriculum development for ESD and EE; and (4) opportunities and challenges, as well as gaps in policy and practices. This session will be an opportunity for policy makers and government officials from Asian countries (Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Vietnam, and Japan) to exchange their experiences and innovative ideas to promote ESD and EE and achieve the global goals established by the UN and other key international agencies.
The key target audience includes policymakers involved in ESD and EE, schoolteachers, students, academicians, and international and national agencies that are involved in promoting ESD and EE.