The interconnected crises of global depletion of natural resources, food shortages, biodiversity loss, and climate change are strongly linked to the fact that more is demanded from nature than it can provide. In order to avoid catastrophic consequences and move forward, values, attitudes and behaviours must change at many levels.

In order to find responses to address these problems, WES organises 2 sets of Regional Trainings on Awareness Raising and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), each one including three webinars. The first webinar of the first set under the title: “Distilling the priorities and updating the ESD Action Plan for 2030 in the Mediterranean” gathered more than 70 participants from ministries, international organisations and relevant agencies, academic institutions and educators, CSOs and NGOs working on ESD, on July 14th, 2021.

Prior to the meeting (via an online survey) and during the sessions, participants shared their views and priorities in relation to the update of the Action Plan of the Mediterranean Strategy on ESD. Distinguished panellists from international and regional organizations, namely UNESCO Paris and the UNESCO Regional Office in Venice, UNECE, UNEP/MAP, Union for the Mediterranean and League of Arab States, presented their initiatives and practices embedding and/or promoting ESD, acknowledged ESD as a key enabler for the achievement of the SDGs and reconfirmed their commitment in advancing ESD in the region. This commitment came hand-in-hand with the participants’ recognition that ESD needs further advancement in their countries.

WES Team Leader, professor Michael Scoullos, underlined that now is the time for urgent action to achieve the transformation needed. We need to encourage more Ministries of Education and other Ministries to invest more resources in ESD, as well as to use the existing resources more efficiently. In addition, while there are successful ESD initiatives that are taking place in the region by different stakeholders, better coordination and synergy is required to maximise their efficiency and outreach.  Educators’ competencies development continues to be one of the priorities scoring high in demand, while the focus on young generations as change-makers is becoming urgent in the region. Lastly, the region is ready to adapt to the global content of ESDfor2030 through various participatory and co-created actions, initiatives and means, such as trainings, new publications and online tools, campaigns, etc.

The next two Webinars are scheduled as follows: Webinar 2: September 14th, 2021, ‘Designing and coordinating campaigns and ESD actions on Sustainable Consumption related to Food’

Webinar 3: October 25th, 2021, ‘Designing and coordinating campaigns and ESD actions on Sustainable Consumption and Packaging’.