It is Earth Day on 22 April 2021

It is Earth Day on 22 April 2021

Dear Colleagues, Network Partners, and Friends,

It is nice to hear that some of you have already been able to get their vaccination in the fight against COVID-19. While others are still waiting, we wonder about what the Next Normal in education might look like. Will we be rushing to pick up where we left off when COVID-19 hit or will we be able to reconsider what might be more important in the future? Have our values and priorities changed during this prolonged time of virtual teaching and learning? How will the virtual learning environment influence us and future generations in the long run? Is there anything positive that we have learned and that can be saved from the disruption?
We have been in contact with many of you, especially with our Nigerian Chapter of both associated networks, the International Network of Teacher Education Institutions (INTEI) and the #IndigenousESD research network. We love to learn more from your work and hear about your thoughts. Please let us know about your publications, webinars and other activities that address a rethinking of education.
As Earth Day 2021 is approaching with new strength, seeing a lot of interest in North America and other parts of the world, this newsletter highlights a number of activities with environmental aspects of sustainability at focus. Please have a look at the events in the upcoming weeks and feel free to share this newsletter with your networks. Most of all, please continue to stay both healthy and happy. We will keep in touch. 

Best wishes from Toronto,
Charles Hopkins
UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability
York University

Full Report on Research Initiative No. 2 in the #IndigenousESD Research Now Online

It is with gratitude to researchers, Indigenous communities and other contributors, that we announce the second report in the global research project on Reorienting Education and Training Systems to Improve the Education Outcomes of Indigenous Youth (short: #IndigenousESD) focusing on a Collection of “Good Practice Examples using Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)” in delivering quality education for Indigenous youth.
Thanks to all that helped us to compile data for this new report during a worldwide pandemic that will be used to inform the UN process on COVID-19 recovery for Indigenous Peoples through the Human Rights Council at its 48th session in September 2021. Please share your feedback and reach out to unescochair(at)
The third initiative performing action research in selected locations will be rolled out when the pandemic lifts making it safe to be together in person again.

Attend EECOM 2021 on 21-24 April 2021. Exploring the Nature of Cities

EECOM 2021, Canada’s national Environmental Education conference, will be held online from 21-24 April 2021, and welcomes all who are interested in exploring environmental education. This year’s general conference theme: Urban Environmental Education.
In addition to over 100 presenters in 70+ sessions in the general conference, unique social events will support networking with others passionate about environmental education across the country and beyond.
Register for the conference and to attend the bienniaResearch Symposium on Environmental & Sustainability Education in Teacher Education (ESE-TE) on 21 April 2021. Join 50+ researchers and teacher educators dedicated to ESE-TE, learn more about leading research, and participate in identifying a national research agenda in this field.

Last Pre-Conference Workshop Leading up to the UNESCO World Conference on ESD Planned for 14 April 2021. Time to Act – Now or Never

This last workshop in the series of pre-conference events held by UNESCO since September 2020 will summarize the learnings and highlight the focus areas of the new ESD for 2030 Framework and its Roadmap on the way forward, starting from the virtual UNESCO World Conference on ESD in May 2021.

In an interactive final session, participants will reflect on how we can operationalize these discussions and put them into practice under the ESD for 2030 framework. Register for the event.

Progress Update of the International Commission on the Futures of Education: Share Your Feedback with UNESCO

The International Commission on the Futures of Education has released a Progress Update on the Futures of Education Global Initiative. The report includes background information, an update on the  conceptual work and consultation process, and a provisional outline of the upcoming global report with the main arguments.
UNESCO invites you to read the update and to share your feedback by 30 April 2021.
Click to read the Progress Update in English or French.

UNESCO´s Global Survey on Teachers’ Readiness to Integrate ESD and GCED into their Teaching

UNESCO, together with Education International, is conducting a global survey of teachers’ readiness to integrate Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Global Citizenship Education (GCED) into their teaching. The study will gather information on teachers’ readiness to teach ESD and GCED, the training and support available to them, approaches taken to teaching ESD and GCED across the curriculum and in assessing learning outcomes as well as other ESD- and GCED-related activities in school and with local communities.
The survey is available in several languages including the six official UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish) and will take 30-40 minutes to complete. Teachers are invited to participate before or on 25 April 2021.
The results of the survey will be presented at UNESCO’s next Global Forum on ESD and GCED which will be hosted by the Republic of Korea in September 2021.

Last Chance to Participate: Mapping the Mid-Term Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education 
The second edition of the IAU Global Survey on the Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education around the World is still open. Please participate in the survey before 15 April 2021 informing the International Association of Universities (IAU) to provide evidence-based data to underline the seriousness of the impact of COVID-19 on higher education and society. Your feedback will help ensuring that the concerns of universities and higher education institutions are taken into consideration by global decision-makers.
The results will particularly feed into the UNESCO World Higher Education Conference 2021 to be held in Barcelona on 7-9 October 2021. 

Call for Papers: 2nd International Conference on Innovation in Learning Instruction and Teacher Education on 11-12 December 2021Innovation for Sustainable Education in the Changing Context

The Hanoi National University of Education (HNUE) will hold the 2nd International Conference on Innovation in Learning Instruction and Teacher Education in Hanoi (Viet Nam) on 11-12 December 2021, with the support of the World Bank and the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training.
York University’s UNESCO Chair together with the National Taiwan Normal University, a member in the International Network of Teacher Education Institutions (INTEI), is proud to partner with HNUE for this event and to serve on the Scientific Committee.
Submit your paper on or before 20 April 2021. Registration is open.

Call for Papers: Environmental Education Association of Southern Africa on 22-24 June 2021. Rethinking Education for Sustainability in an Era of Uncertainty: Opportunities and Challenges

The Environmental Education Association of Southern Africa (EEASA) conference, hosted online by the Mauritius Institute of Education (MIE), will provide a unique platform for environmental educationists, teacher educators, academia, researchers, policy makers and other relevant stakeholders to share, critically reflect and build upon their experiences of environmental education processes related to sustainable development over the last ten years and make recommendations for the future. The present world is facing unprecedented environmental changes which are impacting living organisms including human beings. This conference seeks to elicit engaged dialogue and deliberation on the above environmental issues.
York University’s UNESCO Chairholder Charles Hopkins will hold a virtual keynote at the event. Several other high-level speakers representing well-known universities, research institutes and international organizations like UNESCOUNEP and SWEDESD will also speak during the event.
Submit your abstract by 2 May 2021Registration is open.

Call for Papers: World Environmental Education Congress 2022 on 14-18 March 2022. Building Bridges in Times of Climate Urgency

The World Environmental Education Congress (WEEC) is the largest international congress addressing education for environment and sustainable development, worldwide since 2003. Next year’s event will be held in a hybrid approach online and on-site in Prague (Czech Republic) on 14-18 March 2022. It will focus on how environmental and an education for sustainability can contribute to connect the people and the planet. How can we support a more sustainable, equitable way of being in the world?
IAU SDG 4 Cluster Members Heila Lotz-Sisitka (Rhodes University, South Africa) and Jana Dlouhá (Charles University, Czech Republic) will be involved as speakers/chairs. The Congress aims to build bridges between:
  • different approaches to environmental education and education for sustainable development
  • researchers and practitioners around the world
  • formal, non-formal, informal, and community education
  • national strategies in environmental education

Submit your abstract by 31 August 2021. Registration is open.

Photo Contest 2021/22 Capturing Non-State Actors in Education

The UNESCO GEM Report holds an international photo contest to seek out new and original images to complement its innovative findings and analysis. Everyone can participate and have the chance to be featured in the GEM Report and associated communications products. Submit your photo by 30 April 2021.

This year´s 2021 UNESCO GEM Report will focus on non-state actors in education. While everyone wants to achieve the SDG 4 for all, who delivers it, who is engaged, and how they are engaged is a subject of much consternation. Generally, debates on the issue tend to be split between those who believe in the principle of full public delivery of education, and those who do not. The 2021/2 GEM Report aims to inform this debate with evidence-based examples, demonstrating that the matter is not “black and white”, but is one of degrees, and is highly dependent on context.

Find us on YouTube
Missed an event or would like to watch a certain lecture again? No problem. Check out our new channel on YouTube. You can find introductions to our work, specific lectures on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), and the recordings of virtual events. The latest addition is an interview for the Pioneers of Education Online Symposium held in March 2021.