21 June 2012, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A range of projects and initiatives to foster learning for sustainable development have been implemented with support of international and national organizations as well as civil society. While these practices have contributed to fostering democratic governance, creating jobs, developing more resilient communities and more competitive productive practices, they often retain a status of “good examples”. The Rio+20 side-event “UN Multi-stakeholder Strategies for Scaling-up and Mainstreaming Learning for Sustainable Development”, 21 June 2012, Rio de Janeiro called for new concerted efforts to implement, in partnership between various sectors, transformational learning strategies for a sustainable future. The event was organized by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the UN University (UNU), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and UNITAR.
The side event was moderated by Dr. Kartikeya Sarabhai, Director of the Center for Environment Education. The first cluster of presentations focused on the theme of “A World Fit for Children”. Dr. Nicholas Alipui, UNICEF Director of Programmes introduced the approach of child-centered programming. Dr. Alexander Leicht, Head of the UNESCO Secretariat for the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development spoke about learning towards a sustainable future.
The second cluster covered initiatives that facilitate information sharing, knowledge generation and capacity development for sustainable development. Mr. Nils Boesen, Director of the UNDP Capacity Development Group presented the organization’s work in the area of community-level adaptation. Mr. Ricardo Cerruti Oehling from the Foundation for Environmental Education presented eco-schools projects. Dr. Zinaida Fadeeva, Research Fellow, UNU introduced supported Regional Centers of Expertise.
The third cluster featured case studies from education and the private sector that aim at transforming learning systems. Mr. Achim Halpaap, Associate Director and Head, Environment Unit, UNITAR introduced UN CC:Learn, a One UN Initiative involving 32 multilateral organizations to support Member States in designing and implementing results-oriented and sustainable learning to address climate change. Ms. Fanny Demassieux, Head of the Responsible Consumption Unit, Sustainable Consumption and Production Branch, UNEP discussed institutional aspects of strengthening education for sustainable development. The intervention of Dr. Heinz Leuenberger, Director of the Environmental Management Branch at UNIDO focused on clean technology in enterprises. The panel presentations were followed by an interactive discussion on the theme of “The Way Forward – Pathways to Sustainable Development”.
UN CC:Learn is a One UN Initiative which supports Member States in designing and implementing results-based and sustainable learning to address climate change through collaboration involving UN agencies and international development partners. The 2011-2013 Pilot Phase covers five country pilot projects including Benin, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Malawi and Uganda. UN CC:Learn is included in the ‘One UN Climate Change Action Framework’ of the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) through the High Level Committee on Programmes (HLCP). To date, 32 multilateral organizations are collaborating in UN CC:Learn.