Education for Sustainable Development | WWF South Africa

Education for Sustainable Development



Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is an initiative that aims to motivate and empower learners into action to address conservation and development challenges of their communities, nations and the world. It is a holistic approach aimed at building action competence, involving the use of participatory teaching methods and practical activities to make education relevant and help learners tackle issues that immediately affect their local communities while considering national and global challenges.
 
Implementation of ESD is aimed at bridging the gap between theory and practice, with focus on environmental and development challenges, and adopts the Whole School Approach (WSA) that focuses on six thematic areas: school culture and ethos, school estate, community, pupils, teaching and learning, and monitoring and evaluation. 
 
ESD involves formal, non-formal and informal educational methods, targeting schools and communities with, inter alia, conservation, environmental, and development issues and best practices. It is on this premise that ESD is assumed to have the potential to contribute to biodiversity conservation.
 
While a number of policy initiatives have already been implemented, with the Ministries of Basic and Secondary Education issuing letters of authorization to WWF, pending the signing of MoUs, to implement ESD throughout Cameroon, efforts are also underway to incorporate conservation and sustainable development issues in the curricula of Secondary and Technical Schools, and Teacher Training Colleges.
 
Core teams of Trainers (ESD Teacher Coordinators, Head Teachers, School Inspectors, and Divisional Delegates of Basic and Secondary Education) have continued to receive training in ESD principles (definitions, philosophies, scope…) and practice (methodologies, exercises, best practices…), with successful replication in the pilot schools.
 
In order to enhance the capacity building effort, one of our partner civil society organizations, with our technical support, is working closely with the pilot schools in the Bakossi Landscape to produce an ESD Model Lesson Notes manual aimed at consolidating teachers’ knowledge and skills in the application of the Competency-Based Approach (CBA) currently being implemented by Cameroon’s Ministries of Basic and Secondary Education. The continued capacity building of teachers and the production of the manual are aimed at making teaching more effective and focused on building action competences of the youth in school.  
 
ESD is already creating positive conservation impact on the Bakossi Landscape, notably reductions in poaching and some decrease in forest destruction. These positive changes are due to the combined effort of general awareness-raising on conservation issues and transfer of conservation-based ESD best practices to community households by programme participants, which suggests that the two conservation strategies—education and livelihood support—are  complementary.

We believe ESD can contribute to the fulfilment of WWF’s mission, as can be seen from the following UNESCO’s considered definition: “ESD provides an opportunity for every human being to acquire quality knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to shape a sustainable future. It involves including key sustainable development issues in teaching and learning, such as climate change, disaster risk reduction, biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction, and sustainable consumption.”

 
Pilot school - Ecole publique Nsoung celebrates ESD award 
	© Janet Mukoko/WWF
Pilot school - Ecole publique Nsoung celebrates ESD award
© Janet Mukoko/WWF
Primary school kids at Government School Mosongiseli-Balondo SWR, Cameroon 
	© Janet Mukoko/WWF
Primary school kids at Government School Mosongiseli-Balondo SWR, Cameroon
© Janet Mukoko/WWF
 
	© Ernest Sumelong/WWF
Baka children in Cameroon receiving an outdoor lesson
© Ernest Sumelong/WWF
 
	© Ernest Sumelong/WWF
School kids in East region, Cameroon cleaning up the school campus
© Ernest Sumelong/WWF