In 2002, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD: 2005-2014), based on the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. In response, UNU-IAS launched the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) project in 2003, with the support of the Ministry of the Environment, Japan. Contributing to the goals of DESD, the ESD project designs and implements research and development activities through two flagship initiatives: a global multi-stakeholder network of Regional Centres of Expertise on ESD (RCEs), a network of higher education institutions called the Promotion of Sustainability in Postgraduate Education and Research Network (ProSPER.Net).
The RCEs are a network of existing formal, non-formal, and informal education organizations, mobilized to deliver ESD to local and regional communities. The network includes educational institutions, NGOs, museums, private enterprises, local municipalities, and others committed to using education to build a sustainable future. As of December 2014, there were 135 RCEs worldwide, each serving as a platform for multi-sectoral, interdisciplinary information-sharing, dialogue, and collaboration. The global network of RCEs constitutes a global learning space for sustainable development, and supports collaboration on key sustainability issues such as biodiversity, traditional knowledge, climate change, disaster risk reduction, sustainable consumption and production, youth, higher education, and teacher training.
The ProSPER.Net initiative includes 33 higher education institutions in the Asia-Pacific region as of December 2014, all of which are committed to working together to integrate sustainable development into postgraduate courses and curricula, through a series of activities involving research and capacity building.
Through these initiatives, the ESD project makes substantial contribution to the promotion of ESD. For more information, please visit www.rce-network.org (for RCE) and http://prospernet.ias.unu.edu/ (for ProSPER.Net).