Outstanding ESD initiatives honoured at Germany’s first national GAP congress

More than 500 ESD stakeholders from all over Germany met on 11 and 12 July at the first national congress for the implementation of the Global Action Programme on ESD (GAP), to share innovative practice and ideas driving the ESD agenda forward.

Germany’s Federal Minister of Education, Professor Dr Johanna Wanka, and the President of the German National Commission for UNESCO, Professor Dr Verena Metze-Mangold, honoured 65 local communities, education institutions and civil society organizations as well as networks from all over Germany for their high quality work on ESD. The 65 initiatives illustrate how sustainability can be mainstreamed into the structures of the German education system.

Furthermore, the chair and vice-chair of each of the six German GAP Expert Forums received honours for their outstanding work as “change agents”.

At the congress, education experts, representatives from politics, the private sector and civil society shared experiences, innovative practice and ideas to drive forward ESD activities. Participants pointed out that action creates new structures. Everyone can contribute with solutions to global challenges to scale up sustainable development.

In 18 different workshops, dedicated to topics such as early childhood education and ESD action among youth, ESD strategies for local communities and long-term partnerships in education, ESD as a driver for the integration for refugees, sustainability in vocational education and training and higher education, participants developed objectives for the national action plan for the GAP. A documentation of the programme, key-notes, panel discussions and summaries of the workshops are available here (in German only).

The German Federal Government attaches considerable political importance to the national implementation of the GAP. The German Ministry of Education and Research is a key partner of the GAP and in its role as lead ministry has established a National Platform with supporting structures. The congress is an essential part of the GAP implementation in Germany.


For further information on the national GAP implementation process in Germany: