Meeting sustainability educators at the UNESCO conference

On July 2-3, I had the chance to take part in UNESCO’s forum on education for sustainable development and global citizenship in Hanoi, Viet Nam, followed by a meeting on July 4-5 for Global Action Plan members, which Let’s Do It Foundation is also part of.

The discussions emphasized the need for education to create a transformative change in people, both in their thinking and behaviour. Cleanups can be a good starting point for that, as they offer what we call a point of intervention – a new experience for many. But in order for this to be turned into more permanent behavioural change, we need a moment to reflect and analyse the learning, to keep practising these new habits and skills, then support it with opportunitiesand a way to start making meaningful changes in our communities. And, as pointed out in our Keep It Clean Plan, it also means cooperation between different stakeholders  – we need both the proper rules set by governments for waste infrastructure and community initiatives to show zero waste solutions in practice.

Another important element is that our everyday environment should support our learning. For example, it’s not enough for kids to learn about environmental activities in the classroom; for it to have meaningful impact, the school itself should offer the possibilities to practice these skills – for example, waste recycling, collecting and composting food waste from the cafeteria.

This meeting provided a good opportunity to gather ideas for LDIF’s next activities in education for sustainable development, and to meet many likeminded people from all over the world, many of whom are potential future partners.

a group photo with all the UNESCO –Japan Prize for education for sustainable development 2015-2018

Let’s Do It was awarded with the UNESCO-Japan Prize on education for sustainable development in Autumn 2018 for coordinating the World Cleanup Day and creating the Keep It Clean Plan. Since then, we have been included in a network of sustainability educators from all over the world. At the forum and partners’ meeting I could explore the many activities happening in different countries.

It was especially nice, of course, to meet winners of the prize from previous years. You can check out all these organisations and what they do from here.

You can also read about the event from the UNESCO newsletter here.

Kadri Kalle

Kadri Kalle is Let’s Do It team member since 2017, her tasks focus around education and circular economy solutions.