12.8 Information and awareness for sustainable development
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One milestone in Germany is the National Action Plan for the implementation of the UNESCO Global Action Program Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), which was adopted by the National Platform for ESD in 2017. The action plan serves to anchor ESD in the educational landscape structurally and has become an important element of the National Programme on Sustainable Consumption. One concrete initiative with a high degree of communication impact is the German Sustainability Code for Higher Education Institutions (HS-DNK), which is being developed by universities and the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE). The Federal Ministry for the Environment also offers educational materials on sustainable consumer behaviour via the online portal for teachers www.umwelt-im-unterricht.de. There are also numerous educational competitions aimed at raising awareness of sustainability issues in different population groups. One example of this is the challenge ‘Lass’ Machen’ (‘Let’s Make’) (UBA), which is aimed at younger generations. Funding programs such as ‘Promoting Vocational Training for Sustainable Development’ (BMU), for example, address people making decisions about higher education.
In addition, there are numerous initiatives that make sustainability information about product labels or eco-labels widely available. Examples include the national eco-label ‘Blue Angel’ or the promotion of the implementation of the EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme). Germany is also involved in the international ‘Consumer Information Program’ for the development of guidelines for product information. There are also various multi-stakeholder partnerships and networks, such as the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, which promotes sustainable consumption. With regard to the various eco-labels, the Centre of Competence for Sustainable Procurement offers helpful guidance to the public sector and creates transparency. For consumers, the information portal ‘Seal Clarity’ (BMZ) was created for this purpose.
Currently, there is no established monitoring methodology for this sub-goal. However, the ‘UNESCO 1974 Recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, Cooperation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms’ provides a basis for the development of a monitoring tool. Preliminary work on the development of indicators in Germany exist, for example, in the framework of the implementation activities of the UN Decade of ESD, the Curriculum Framework of the Standing Conference or the German Resource Efficiency Programme II. The BMBF also offers support for the development of indicators for sustainable development education.