International Congress of UNESCO Chairs on Education for Sustainable Development

(Khanty-Mansiysk Declaration)

September 17-19, 2009

Khanty-Mansiysk, Russian Federation

Participants of the International Congress of UNESCO Chairs on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) held in Khanty-Mansiysk (Russian Federation) on 17-19 September 2009

* Taking into account the principles of the UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) and recognizing their social, cultural, ecological and economic importance;

* Following up on recommendations of the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (Bonn, Germany, 31 March – 2 April 2009), World Conference on Higher Education (Paris, France on 5 – 8 July 2009), UNESCO 48th session of the International Conference on Education “Inclusive Education: the Way of the Future” (Geneva, Switzerland, 25-28 November 2008) and following the decision of 182nd session of the UNESCO Executive Board (182 EX/8);

* Recognizing that ESD is based on such human values as humanism, justice, responsibility, credibility and encourages harmonization of relationships between humans and nature, development of gender equality, social consolidation, poverty reduction, and convergence between developed and developing countries;

* Confirming that sustainable development involves peaceful future, universal respect for human rights, and continuing concern for the environment;

* Considering that philosophical, scientific, cultural, and ecological components, targeted to sustain high living standards in all regions of the world, form a basis for education for sustainable development;

* Convinced in the necessity of consolidation of efforts of universities, UNESCO Chairs and UNESCO/UNITWIN networks that serves as important modalities to achieve DESD goals

Call for actions and request:


* Create on the basis of the intersectoral platform for ESD the Internet-portal for placing educational and methodological materials on ESD issues, ESD strategies and action plans of UNESCO member-states, and qualitative indicators of their implementation;

* Form an ESD expert group, which is to include Heads of UNESCO Chairs, and leading scientists and educators, which represent all regional groups;

* Support the establishment and development of international networks of UNESCO Chairs related to different aspects of the education for sustainable development.

At international level:

* Support academic mobility and practice and programme exchange in the framework of UNESCO/UNITWIN network;

* Assist all countries, in particular, developing countries and countries in transition, in development of methods for interdisciplinary research for incorporating education for the sustainable development into educational programmes;

* Promote ESD through coordinated inter-sectoral/inter-ministerial approaches involving large social partnership, participation of state authorities, business, institutions of civil society and scientific community;

* Support the development of existing international, regional and national cooperative mechanisms of ESD focused on protection of cultural diversity;

* Foster constructive dialogue for ESD policy development applying data from relevant research, monitoring and evaluation strategies, promote recognition and exchange of accumulated experience and good practices;

* Promote the proclamation of 2011 as the Teacher’s Year, which should be stated as the UNESCO memorable date, based on the UNESCO’s experience with 5 October as the Teacher’s Day and experience of the Russian Federation having 2010 as the Teacher’s Year, and facilitate work of international society with regard to this event.

At national level:

* Develop harmonized indicators to measure the effectiveness of ESD implementation;

* Support an introduction of innovative information and communication technologies for ESD by creating conditions for improving and modernizing recourses of UNESCO Chairs and establishing cooperation with universities from other countries;

* Encourage introduction of ESD throughout all phases of education;

* Promote activities in the sphere of additional and non-formal education for supporting training of qualified ESD educators through organization of courses, summer schools, competitions, development of distance education;

* Assist in increase of youth involvement in ESD development and implementation; to utilize potential, solidarity and dedication of youth organizations in enhancement of ESD; to support young people to solve independently different issues and problems of ESD;

* Strengthen a familiarization with and understanding of sustainable development issues among a wide society through education and mass media.

The participants of the Congress express hope that the held discussions will attract wide public attention and receive international responses from public, politicians, ESD experts and scientists, and will contribute to confirmation of values, required for harmonized and sustainable development of the modern society.

The participants of the International Congress of UNESCO Chairs on Education for Sustainable Development express appreciation to the Government of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Ugra, Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO, UNESCO Moscow Office, Coordination Committee of UNESCO Chairs in the Russian Federation for organization of the Congress, and to the Intergovernmental Foundation for Educational, Scientific and Cultural Cooperation.

In addition the participants of the Congress adopted resolutions of three round-tables (on education, environment and social aspects of sustainable development), which were held in the framework of the Congress.