From UBC Wiki

This beginning process of this page is authored by Crystal Lee Clark (2011)

What is ESD?

ESD is an acronym for “Educational Sustainable Development”

Ultimately ESD refers to using education to help promote people to practice sustainable lifestyle choices and attitudes that benefit self, local communities and global communities. The idea of ESD is to encourage learners to not just live for the day but also live and make choices with the future health of generations in mind.


ESD is an approach to teaching and learning based on the ideals and principles that underlie sustainability in relation to human rights, poverty reduction, sustainable livelihoods, peace, environmental protection, democracy, health, biological and landscape diversity, climate change, gender equality, and protection of indigenous cultures(


The aims of ESD is for people to practice responsible actions in the globalized world and for this to occur ESD needs to be integrated into the methods in which all learning occurs (life-long and life-wide, formally, informally, at work , at home and throughout society). If ESD methods are embraced then this will empower individuals to grasp knowledge, perspectives, values and skills necessary to take part in decisions that will contribute to improving the quality of life on a daily local and global scale (


ESD ties into Ecopedagogy in that its central themes stem from sustainability, collectivism, globalism and social issues.


Councilors of Ministers of Education Canada (CMEC) has included ESD as one of the key activity areas in Learn Canada 2020 with its framework designed to enhance Canada’s education systems, learning opportunities, and overall education outcomes at all levels (

2005-14 has been declared the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development by UNESCO. Canada is a member of UNESCO and via CMEC they have obligated to integrate ESD into formal, non-formal, and informal education (