The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)-Japan Prize on Education for sustainable development, funded by the Government of Japan, consists of three annual awards of USD 50,000 for each recipient. It was awarded for the first time by the Director-General of UNESCO in November 2015.
The Prize and award winners recognize the role of education in connecting the social, economic, cultural, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. It was established by the Executive Board of UNESCO at its 195th session within the framework of the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD and officially announced at the UNESCO World Conference on ESD (10-12 November 2014, Aichi-Nagoya, Japan).
- Each laureate will receive an award, a diploma, and the sum of US$50,000. The funds will be transferred to their bank account in the week of the award ceremony.
- All winners will be invited to join the ESD-Net 2030 for exchange and collaboration with ESD stakeholders from all over the world.
- Eligible for the Prize are institutions and organizations with a specific ESD project/programme that must:
- Be ongoing and have been running for at least 4 years.
- Show the presence of evidence of results and a high impact relative to the invested resources.
- Be replicable and scalable.
- Contribute to one or more of the 5 priority action areas of the ESD for 2030 framework (i.e. advancing policy, transforming learning and training environments, developing capacities of educators and trainers, mobilizing youth, accelerating sustainable solutions at a local level.
- Direct applications to UNESCO are not accepted.
- All candidates have to be nominated by:
- The government of a UNESCO Member State, via their Permanent Delegation to UNESCO.
- An NGO or Foundation in official partnership with UNESCO.
- Each Member State/Organization can nominate up to 3 candidates for each edition of the Prize.
The three Prize winners are selected by the Director-General of UNESCO on the basis of recommendations made by an international independent Jury consisting of five experts. The project/programme of the nominee are assessed by the Jury on the basis of the following criteria:
- The project/programme practices Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as transformative education in support of sustainable development leading to individual and social change.
- ESD empowers learners to transform themselves and the society they live in. The nominated project/programme should therefore enable learners to bring about changes with a view to building a more just, peaceful and sustainable world. This can mean, for example, taking action against climate change, changing one’s consumption patterns, developing social entrepreneurship and sustainable livelihoods, or supporting those struggling against poverty.
- The project/programme addresses the three dimensions of sustainable development (society, economy, environment) in an integrated way.
- Sustainable development calls for the integration of the social, economic and environmental dimensions of development. The nominated project/programme should be in line with this definition of sustainable development. It should address the three dimensions (society, economy, environment), and help learners understand the interdependence between them and act accordingly.
- The project/programme demonstrates an innovative approach to ESD.
- Sustainable development requires going beyond ‘business as usual’ and ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking. The nominated project/programme should demonstrate an innovative approach to ESD, be it in the themes it covers, the methodology it employs, or the way the learning environment is designed. Reaching out to sectors beyond education and working with new partners can also be a sign of innovation.
- In addition to these three criteria, the project/programme should:
- Be ongoing and has been running for at least four years.
- Show a presence of evidence of results and have a high impact relative to the invested resources.
- Be replicable and scalable.
- Contribute to one or more of the five priority action areas of the ESD for 2030 framework.
For more information, visit https://en.unesco.org/prize-esd?page=1