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Greek Corner
MEdIES in the GAP Partner Network 1

Neroupoli, the Greek water-city

MARLISCO exhibition


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The "Mediterranean ESD Strategy" was inspired by and has utilized the UNECE Strategy for ESD (2005) that follows the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Developmentand (DESD, 2005-2014). The "mediterranean" strategy is fully compatible with it, so that its philosophy and implementation does not present any inconsistencies to the countries which have already adopted the former. The "Mediterranean ESD Strategy" is a contribution also to the achievement of "Education for All" Goals and of Quality Education and in line with the "Implementation Scheme" developed by UNESCO, which is the lead institution for the DESD.


The Mediterranean countries after the Rio World summit (1992) have adopted the Mediterranean Agenda 21 (Tunisia, 1994) where "Education" together with "Raising Awareness and Training" was acknowledged as the prerequisites of sustainable development in the Mediterranean. They established the Mediterranean Commission for Sustainable Development (MCSD) and therein a Thematic Group on "Information, Awareness Environmental Education and Participation". The MCSD developed the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD) adopted by the Mediterranean countries in 2005, which explicitly stated that "Education and training particularly Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) are recognized as a prerequisite for improved Governance" and "Introduce sustainable development (SD) into educational curricula, from primary school right up to universities and graduate schools and contribute to the implementation at Mediterranean level of the Thessaloniki UNESCO Conference Declaration (1997), the UN Decade for Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) and the Strategy for ESD (Vilnius 2005)".

The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) reconfirmed the importance of Education acknowledging the synergies within education and sustainable development as one of the pillars on which the future of the Euro-Mediterranean region lies (Joint Declaration Paris Summit, 2008). The Ministers in the Rio+20 Resolution "The future we want" (2012) emphasise the importance of greater international cooperation to improve access to education, and encourage international educational exchanges and they resolve to promote ESD beyond the United Nations Decade of ESD while. In the Mediterranean Side Event at Rio+20 confirmed the need for a Mediterranean Strategy on ESD to be completed within the finalization of the UN DESD.

The explicit mandate to develop the Mediterranean Strategy on ESD derives from the Statement made by the Conference for the Official Launching of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNDESD) in the Mediterranean region in Athens (26-27 November 2005).


2005: The UN Decade on ESD was launched in 18 March 2005 in Vilnious, Lithouania. The UNECE strategy was adopted to promote sustainable development through education across Europe and North America (UNECE region).

18 March 2005 in Vilnius, Lithuania
The UNECE strategy was adopted to promote sustainable development through education across Europe and North America (UNECE region).

2005: The UNECE Strategy for ESD was lanuched for the entire Mediterranean region (Athens, Novemner 2005). In this meeting the explicit mandate was given to develop a strategy to cover the Mediterranean countries. Read more...

2010: The first draft of the "Mediterranean Strategy" was developed by the University of Athens/UNESCO Chair on Management and Education for Sustainable Development and MIO-ECSDE/MEdIES Secretariat.

2011: During the Horizon 2020 Training "Revisiting University Curricula: are the H2020 priority areas appropriately reflected?"(Athens, 12 & 13 December 2011) the first draft was revised by university professors and ministries officers from 18 Mediterranean countries, delivering the 2nd draft.

2012: The second draft of the "Mediterranean Strategy on ESD" was reviewed during the 4th Meeting of the Network of the Mediterranean Universities for sustainable development focusing on ESD (Athens, 3-4 December 2012); thus, producing the 3rd drafT.Β Read more on the meeting.

2013: The 3rd draft was reviewed during a H2020 University Professors training in Morocco (Rabar, 23-24 April) coming up with the forth draft.

2013: The Strategy was presented during the Side Event "The Mediterranean Strategy on ESD as a tool to promote ESD in Higher Education" (12 June 2013) organised by MIO-ECSDE/MEdIES and H2020 in the 7th WEEC Congress, in Marakesh, Morocco, June 2013.

2013: An Mediterranean ESD experts' working meeting took place in Zagreb, Croatia (17-18 June 2013) during which the 4th draft of the Strategy was reviews resulting to the fifth and final one.

2014: The Mediterranean Strategy on ESD has been formally and unanimously endorsed by the 43 Ministers of Environment of the UfM including the EU and the Mediterranean non-EU countries, on 13 May 2014. Read more on the Ufm Meeting.

2014 : Presentation of the MSESD to the Director General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova at the World Conference on ESD (November 2014, Nagoya, Japan). Approval of the MSESD and its Action Plan (under preparation) as one of the Initiatives under the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD led by UNESCO.

2015, March: National training in Lebanon entitled: "Water in the framework of the Mediterranean Strategy on ESD: training of trainers on water issues" (organised by the Rotary Clubs of Lebanon, the Notre Dame University and GWP), during which the MSESD and the elements of its Action Plan (with emphasis on water issues) were presented and discussed to a diverse ESD audience.

2015, April: A special Session during the World Water Forum (Korea) organised by MIO-ECSDE, UNESCO Chair of UoA, and other stakeholders from the Mediterranean, during which the MSESD and the elements of its Action Plan were presented, among others, and comments were collected. Among the participants HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco attended the entire Session.

2015, June: International Conference on ESD (Khanty-Mansyisk, the Russian Federation) within the Session "Mainstream ESD into International and National Education and Sustainable Development Policies" Prof Scoullos presented "The evolution of ESD and the prospects of the Global Action Plan with some inputs from the Mediterranean Region". During the Conference representatives from the Educational Sector of Russia expressed interest to promote a Strategy on ESD in Russia and apply relevant activities.

2015, July-October : Formulation of the Flagship Project of GAP Partner Network 1 (on Advancing Policy) within which the MSESD and its Action Plan provides a core-backbone to be complemented by the other Partners with relevant initiatives from countries and other regions to integrate policies and scale up ESD (country to international level).

2016, February: The MSESD was accepted as an integral part of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD), that was formally adopted by Barcelona Convention CoP19 in Athens, on 9-12/02/2016. Furthermore the MSESD is included in the "Athens Declaration" as instrumental to achieve the SDGs.

2016, December: The Ministerial Conference on the Action Plan for the MSESD took place in which the 60 participants, 19 countries and international organisation delegates adopted the Action Plan and the Nicosia Declaration on ESD in the Mediterranean. Within the Action Plan the following four implementation areas have been developed in a comprehensive and concise way:

A. The priority areas of institutional and operational interventions for the implementation of the MSESD, with recommended activities and an indicative roadmap.

B. A set of identified common regional programmes/ projects of institutional and non-thematic nature.

C. The priority thematic areas for region-wide programmes.

D. Proposed indicators for monitoring the progress More about the Conferece at this link.

2017: The EU SWIM-Horizon 2020 Project supported capacity building activities related to the promotion of the Action Plan, including five training-of-trainers held from September to December 2017 in Jordan, Palestine, Tunisia, and Algeria and one major "Regional Training on ESD" in Nicosia, Cyprus (22-24 November 2017) where senior educators were given the opportunity to meet and exchange views with the Circle of Mediterranean  Parliamentarians for Sustainable Development (COMPSUD), the media and other stakeholders from the Mediterranean countries. More information about these activities can be found here.

The proceedings of the Cyprus meetings were published as a special issue of the "Sustaianble Mediterranean" available here


2018 The UN Environment MAP Secretariat in cooperation with MIO-ECSDE produced a factsheet for the Strategy. You can download the factsheet from this link.

Two national trainings on the Action Plan of the Mediterranean Strategy on ESD and one inter-institutional meeting  took place in Cairo during the week 2-6 December in the framework of the SWIM-H2020 SM Programme. More information is available here.


2019 The 2nd Meeting of the Mediterranean ESD Committee was succesfully held in Heraklion, Crete on 24-26 June 2019 hosted by the Heraklion Development Agency and the Region of Crete, organised by MIO-ECSDE and the UNESCO Chair on ESD in the Mediterranean, supported by the UN Environment/MAP, UfM and the Ministry of Education of Cyprus and under the official auspices of the Hellenic Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, the Hellenic Ministry of Environment & Energy and the Hellenic National Commission for UNESCO. More about the Meeting here.


Reference Documents

Download the Action Plan of the Strategy in English French and Arabic the Nicosia Declaration

Download the Booklet including the full text of the Strategy in three languages (English, French and Arabic).

Download the Relevant UNECE publication on Competences in ESD (Learning for the future: Competences in Education for Sustainable Development, ECE/CEP/AC.13/2011/6)



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