Edinburgh Seminar 2015

International GAP Seminar 2015: “Capacity Building for Educational Action in ESD”


The Learning Teacher Network organised the 2nd International Seminar on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Edinburgh, Scotland UK on 5-7 November 2015. The title of the seminar was ‘Capacity Building for Educational Action in ESD’. With input from internationally recognized experts and interactive discussions among the participants the seminar learned more about capacity building and local action for the implementation of UNESCO’s new Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development (GAP/ESD).

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) allows every human being to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to shape a sustainable future. ESD means including key sustainable development issues into teaching and learning.

The UNESCO 2014 World Conference on ESD adopted the UNESCO Roadmap for implementing the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development.

The GAP has two objectives:
* to reorient education and learning so that everyone has the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that empower them to contribute to sustainable development – and make a difference;
* to strengthen education and learning in all agendas, programmes and activities that promote sustainable development.

The GAP focuses on five Priority Action areas:
1. Advancing policy;
2. Integrating sustainability practices into education and training environments (whole-institution approaches);
3. Increasing the capacity of educators and trainers;
4. Empowering and mobilizing youth;
5. Encouraging local communities and municipal authorities to develop community-based ESD programmes.

The Learning Teacher Network is an official UNESCO GAP Key Partner on the capacity building of educators and trainers (GAP, Priority Action Area 3).

The Seminar Hotel and Venue


The 2015 Edinburgh International Seminar was located to the four star Novotel Edinburgh Centre Hotel, which is situated in central Edinburgh, Scotland UK.

The hotel is in the heart of Edinburgh, close to Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, Princes Street, Grassmarket and the city’s shopping and nightlife.

The hotel rooms have Free WIFI throughout and satellite TV, and the hotel includes an indoor heated pool, fitness room, etcetera.

The meeting facilities and meals are top class, which will contribute to a pleasant stay and a comfortable event.

With Planet 21, the hotel has made 21 commitments in favour of sustainable development. Health, nature, carbon, innovation, local development, employment and dialog: 21 commitments for the well-being of our world.

Programme for the 2015 Edinburgh International Seminar

Thursday 5th November
Afternoon: Delegates arrive at hotel
16.30 Initial welcome in the Conference centre
17.00 Transport to Parliament
17.30 Reception at the Scottish Parliament
19.00 Free time and dinner at own choice

Friday 6th November
08.45 Registration of delegates
09.00 Overall introduction and introductory sessions
09.30 Keynote
Guest speaker Rosa Murray, Edinburgh University
10.30 Coffee
11.00 ‘Town Hall meeting’: Emerging Pedagogy and Whole-institution Approaches for ESD
Moderator: Prof Charles Hopkins, UNESCO
12.20 Group photo followed by Lunch at 12.30
13.30 Excellent holistic ESD practice
Presentation by head teacher, teachers and pupils from St Eunan’s Primary School, Clydebank
15.00 Coffee
15.30 Free time
19.00 A ‘Taste of Scotland’ evening dinner

Saturday 7th November
09.00 Case study of Scotland’s approach to the UN Decade and initial response to the GAP
Presenters: Prof Peter Higgins, University of Edinburgh and Dr Alan Britton,
University of Glasgow
with opportunities for reflection/round table responses
12.00 Lunch
13.00 ‘Town Hall meeting’: Emerging Pedagogy and Whole-institution Approaches for ESD (cont’d)
14.00 Coffee
14.30 ‘Town Hall meeting’: Designing Programmes and Curricula in ESD
Moderator: Dr Martin Fitzgerald, Limerick Institute of Technology, Ireland
16.30 Summing up, looking ahead and closing of seminar

Documentation from the 2nd International GAP/ESD Seminar