Education for Sustainable Development in Action Project shared results of their 10 year long project at an event in Kyiv

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    Education for Sustainable Development in Action Photo: Madeleine Lerup

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    Education for Sustainable Development in Action Photo: Madeleine Lerup

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    Education for Sustainable Development in Action Photo: Madeleine Lerup

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    Education for Sustainable Development in Action Photo: Madeleine Lerup

184 000 households, about 1300 schools and 450 kindergartens in 14 regions of Ukraine have been involved in the large scale educational program that aimed at teaching children and adults skills for a sustainable lifestyle. Results, achievements, lessons learned and outlook for the future of the program were discussed during the Lunch for Sustainability event at the Teacher’s House in Kyiv on Tuesday the 22nd of March.

The Project was implemented during 2009-2016 in Ukraine by a partnership of non-governmental organizations: Teachers for Partnership and Democracy (Ukraine) and Global Action Plan International (Sweden). The main purpose of this educational initiative was to teach children and adults skills for a sustainable lifestyle and to facilitate behavior change towards rational use and resource saving. In this way the project sought to address a global issue – reducing the ecological footprint. Project participants, both students and adults, learned how to rationally use resources, e.g. they reduced their consumption of water by 12 – 17%, energy by 14 – 18% and now they throw away and ‘buy’ 16 – 28% less garbage. The key outcomes of Education for Sustainable Development in Action include actual saved liters, kilograms and kilowatt-hours that were recorded in the online platform ‘Resources Saved’ on the Project website – www.esd.org.ua. Financing for the project has been provided by the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (Sida).

During the event, that attracted the attention of Ukrainian teachers,
government officials, media and donor Community, the project administrators shared the results and experiences they had with the project. The Ambassador of Sweden to Ukraine, Mr. Andreas von Beckerath, in his opening remarks mentioned that in order to achieve true results in solving complex environmental issues like climate change it is important not only to have good policy and financial instruments but also to change the way we think and live our lives which is best achieved by educating children from an early age, engaging their families and communities in the process.  Olena Pometun (Teachers for Partnership and Democracy) reported that teaching children actionable resource and energy saving lessons, providing information on sustainability provided results not only in terms of energy saved or garbage avoided but also in enhanced social skills of the students. Marilyn Mehlman (Global Action Plan International) has commemorated her Ukrainian partners for the remarkable work they have done with engaging students from kindergartens to secondary schools into participation in the project, preparing learning materials and textbooks and training the teachers. She mentioned that results of this project in Ukraine should be used for further development of the sustainability education in the country but also that this experience can and will be used in other countries. Ms. Liliya Grynevych (Head of the Committee on Science and Education, Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine) thanked the project managers for the viable results and information but also invited them to join the effort of the new secondary education concept development.