Global Action Programme “Education for Sustainable Development”

The Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is seeking to strengthen sustainability-oriented employability skills in order to secure the survival of our planet. BIBB will be participating by conducting pilot projects in vocational education and training.

BIBB’s tasks within the scope of the Global Action Programme

BIBB’s new main pilot project funding focus “Vocational education and training for sustainable development 2015–2019” puts the goals of the GAP at the heart of future pilot project work.

  • Multipliers will undergo further training via the development of training concepts for VET staff.
  • Institutional anchoring will be fostered by establishing VET facilities as sustainable learning venues.
  • Training concepts for sustainable development will be developed for various areas within the field of commercial occupations.

Requirements of vocational education and training

Sustainable work and economic activity secure the natural foundations of life for the coming generations. This requires a new way of thinking and acting within the area of vocational work. Vocational education and training for sustainable development promotes the necessary competencies in this regard. The aim is for ESD to be integrated into the regular system within the scope of updating procedures for occupational profiles. To this end, endeavours will be made to establish sustainable development as a firm component of curricula, teaching plans and training regulations. VET stakeholders are to be provided with instruments for this purpose. The plan is that the results which emerge from the main pilot project funding focus of “Vocational education and training for sustainable development” to be systematically transferred to further structures, areas, branches and occupations within the framework of the GAP.


The global issues and problems of the future, such as climate change, water scarcity, loss of biodiversity, soil degeneration and shortages of raw materials, urgently demand solutions. Ecological and economic challenges, social aspects such as equal opportunities, and the issue of quality of life will be of crucial significance to the following generations. Education is the key to developing the sustainable thinking and action needed and to instigating changes in trade and industry and in the world of work.

The United Nations have decided that the UN Decade “Education for Sustainable Development” 2005–2014 will be followed by a five-year Global Action Programme (GAP). The GAP was officially launched at the UNESCO World Conference that took place in Nagoya, Japan, on 12 November 2014.

The 2014 UNESCO Roadmap defines five priority areas for the Global Action Programme:

  1. Advancing policy
  2. Completely transforming learning and training environments
  3. Developing capacities of educators and trainers
  4. Empowering and mobilising youth
  5. Accelerating sustainable solutions at the local level

A National Action Plan for the implementation of the Global Action Programme in Germany will be drawn up under the lead management of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Benchmarks for a National Action Plan


  • Expand sustainability-oriented employability skills
  • Instigate new pathways for the consolidation, intensification and deepening of the structural establishment of ESD
  • Strengthen and disseminate ESD via regulatory instruments
  • Firmly establish ESD in overall institutional terms by activating and integrating champions/change agents in institutes, institutions and companies
  • Within this process, a particular objective is to acquire young people and multipliers to act as change agents/champions.

Implementation strategy for ESD

  • ESD should be integrated into regulatory systems so as to ensure firm establishment within curricula, teaching plans and training regulations.
  • ESD should be firmly established in a visible and permanent form in order to foster and strengthen successful examples that postulate and implement it as a guiding principle.
  • ESD should be imparted to multipliers to enable them to disseminate the principle and method of ESD.