Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)


Education for Sustainable Development Programme Profile

In order to equip Central Asian people with knowledge of and skills in sustainable development, making them more competent and confident and increasing their opportunities for acting for a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature and with concern for social values, gender equity and cultural diversity, the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) promotes education for sustainable development (ESD) principles, methodologies and key themes of sustainable development (SD) into education systems of Central Asian countries since 2003 by means of:

  • raising awareness and practical experience on SD
  • facilitating sub-regional inter- government, -sector and -agency cooperation for SD
  • supporting sub-regional dialogue and networking for SD
  • promoting SD principles and ESD methodology into education policies and national standards of the Central Asian countries
  • developing capacity on ESD for different target groups
  • bringing and adaptation of the best education practices in Central Asia
  • developing and introducing modern educational, learning and methodological materials for SD
  • evaluation of progress of mainstreaming SD themes and principles into national education systems

CAREC ESD Programme objectives meet UNECE ESD Strategy and aim: to promote SD through formal, non-formal and informal learning in Central Asia by:

  • developing and incorporating ESD into national formal education systems, in all relevant subjects
  • ensuring that policy, regulatory and operational frameworks support ESD
  • equipping educators with the competence to include SD in their teaching
  • ensuring that adequate tools and materials for ESD are accessible
  • promoting research on and development of ESD
  • strengthening cooperation on ESD at all levels within the Central Asian region

Target groups and stakeholders:

  • Central Asian ministries of education, energy, economy, environmental protection, health, culture
  • local authorities
  • non-formal and informal levels of the primary, secondary and higher education
  • educators
  • teachers of schools and universities
  • students
  • NGOs
  • business sector

CAREC ESD Programme has a long term cooperation experience with its supportive partners: EC, REC, Cluster Bureau of UNESCO for Central Asia, OSCE Centre in Astana, GEF SGP UNDP, Governments of UK, Italy (IMELS), The Netherlands, Venice International University, ITF, UNU/IAS, RCE for ESD centers, as well as from private sector – Chevron, AGIP, BG Group.

Practical deliveries achieved under CAREC leadership in Central Asia:

  • Mechanisms of coordination and joint decision-making in the ESD sphere are working since 2003
  • Regular sub-regional conferences and working meetings became a platform for experience and best practices exchange and for bringing innovations to national education systems
  • New mandatory discipline “Ecology & Sustainable Development” for the Higher Education System of Kazakhstan was developed in 2008 and approved by the Ministry of Education and Science of Kazakhstan in 2009. In 2009-2010 it was tested in all universities of Kazakhstan and recognized as a value discipline
  • New voluntary discipline “Energy Efficiency & Sustainable Development” for the Higher Technical Education System of Kazakhstan was developed in 2009 and tested in the Kazakh National Technical University for bachelor-level students
  • New educational recourse “Green Pack for Central Asia” with 25 SD themes, including three special themes for CA: desertification, radioactivity and mountains/glaciers was developed in CD-ROM format. In 2011 it was approved by the Ministry of Education and Science of Kazakhstan and recommended for national education system
  • The Course for Sustainability: Strategies, Methodologies, Policies and Actions for Civil Servants of Kazakhstan on the base of the Venice International University was arranged in 2008-2009 for 40 high level governmental officials from 10 ministries of Kazakhstan
  • The Course on Sustainable Development and Education for Sustainable Development for Governmental officials of five Central Asian countries was arranged in 2009 for 20 governmental officials from ministries of education, environment, economy and energy of all five CA countries. The participants became part of a high-level network of Central Asian government officials
  • Mechanism of self-evaluation of ESD status in Central Asia was developed through preparation of CA annual reviews/reports on ESD

Regular reviews and reports for ESD:

  • “The Best Practices on Education for Sustainable Development in Central Asia. A Review”, CAREC, Almaty, 2009
  • “Legal Acts, Programmes and Regulatory Frameworks of Education in the Central Asian region”, CAREC, Almaty, 2009
  • “Progress Review on Education for Sustainable Development in Central Asia: Achievements, Good Practices and Proposals for the Future”, CAREC, Almaty, 2007
  • “Progress Review on Education for Sustainable Development in Central Asia” on the base of UNECE ESD indicators, CAREC, Almaty, 2006
  • “Situational Analysis of Education for Sustainable Development in the Asian-Pacific region”, Bangkok, UNESCO, 2005
  • “Situational Analysis of Education for Sustainable Development in the Central Asian sub region”, CAREC, Almaty, 2005
  • “Status, Prospects and Ways of Environmental Education Development in Central Asian countries”, CAREC, Almaty, 2003

List of the projects implemented by ESD Programme since 2003:

  • Establishing of the Central Asian network on ESD – 2003, Bishkek Conference, Donor EC
  • Development of the Textbook “Environment for future generations” for secondary schools of Kazakhstan, 2003-2004. EC, British Council, NGO FSC – UK
  • Development of the posters, video and manual for teachers on climate change for secondary schools of Central Asian countries, 2005-2006. UK Embassy in Almaty, EC, NGO FSC
  • Adaptation and translation into five Central Asian languages of the posters, video and manual for teachers on climate change for secondary schools of Central Asian countries, 2006-2007. PECE -UK, EC, UNESCO-Almaty, NGO FSC
  • ESD & climate change – energy saving lamps in secondary schools of Kazakhstan. PECE, Climate Care, UK, NGO FSC
  • Promotion of ESD into formal Education System of Kazakhstan, 2006-2007. OSCE Centre in Almaty
  • Promotion of ESD into Higher Education System of Kazakhstan – development and introduction of new obligatory discipline “Ecology & Sustainable Development” into higher education system of Kazakhstan, 2007-2008. OSCE Centre in Astana
  • Central Asia Initiative Dialogues and Sub-Regional Networking on ESD, 2008-2009. EC
  • Integration of Sustainable Development themes and methodology to the national Education Systems, 2008-2009. EC
  • Development of educational materials for Sustainable Development for secondary schools of the CA countries, 2008-2009. EC
  • Development and introduction of new discipline “Energy Efficiency & Sustainable Development” into higher technical education system of Kazakhstan, 2008-2009. Chevron, SGP GEF UNDP
  • Course for Sustainability for Kazakhstani Governmental Officials, 2008-2009. REC, Italian Government – IMELS, VIU, BG Group
  • Course on Sustainable Development and ESD for Central Asian Governmental Officials, 2009, UNESCO-Almaty)
  • Development of the “Green Pack CD-ROM for Central Asia” in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan”, 2009-2011. REC, Chevron, UNESCO-Almaty, OSCE Centre in Astana, SGP GEF UNDP
  • Approbation of the “Green Pack CD-ROM for Central Asia” in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan during the national seminars in Almaty, Bishkek and Dushanbe in 2011”, UNESCO-Almaty
  • “Central Asian Leadership Porgramme” – the 1-st training during the 6-th Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development of the Asian-Pacific region in Astana-2010, and the 2-nd training – on the eve of the 7-th Ministerial Conference “Environment for Europe” in Astana-2011, in cooperation with UNEP, RRC, Nazarbayev University in Astana
  • Adaptation and translation of the “Green Pack CD-ROM for Central Asia” for Kazakhstan, 2010-2011, Chevron, OSCE Centre in Astana, SGP GEF UNDP
  • “Health and Environment” in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, 2011-2013, REC, ITF, Italy
  • Promotion of the “Green Pack CD-ROM for Central Asia” in the Caspian Sea region of Kazakhstan thought national seminar-trainings for teachers of the Western region of Kazakhstan” (partner OSCE Centre in Astana)
  • Contact persons:
    Shakirova Tatiana, programme manager,
    Ludmilla Kiktenko, resource mobilization coordinator,
    More detailed information on CAREC is available at