Education for Sustainable Development

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The world in his hands
Working in the catchment of Lake Victoria with schools, communities, local leaders, partners and governments through education for sustainable development.
Education for Sustainable Development East Africa Programme (ESD) covers four countries and its focus geographical areas are the Mara River Basin in Kenya and Tanzania, Katonga River Basin in Uganda and Kagera River Catchment in Rwanda. The aim is to promote the conservation of the Lake Victoria catchment while at the same time promoting sustainable livelihoods.

Working through partnerships, the program is also working in peri-urban areas adjacent to cities along the Lake Victoria including Kampala (Uganda), Kisumu (Kenya) and Mwanza (Tanzania). Partners on the the ground include the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya, Nature Uganda, WWF Tanzania Country Office and the Rwanda Environment Management Authority. 

Working together with schools, community groups, youth groups and policy makers, the program aims to ensure that we create an enabling environment to support conservation work through education.

1. Policy Work

The program is supporting national governments in the ESD policy process to ensure that the countries move from strategy to policy. It is working with the national curriculum centres to build capacity on re-orienting the curriculum to address sustainable development concerns.

In December 2012, WWF mobilized the policy makers in the current five members of the East Africa Community (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi) to a consultative meeting held in Mwanza. It was to push for mainstreaming of ESD concerns in curriculum harmonization process. It is an agenda that WWF will continue to support. This is a critical key that opens the doors to policies that promote sustainable development and mainstreaming of sustainability in many other fields.

With the support of all our Africa offices, we have promoted national consultative processes across Africa. The most notable was the January 2013 Pan African Youth Conference held in Nairobi Kenya. Over 35 countries were represented. It resulted in the development of a Pan African Youth Strategy on Learning for Sustainability that provides clear guidelines for diverse stakeholders on how to engage with and empower the youth towards green economies and sustainable development in Africa.

2. Formal and Non Formal Education

WWF works with schools through the whole school approach that ensures the participation of the entire community in transforming teaching and learning both in the school curricula and extra curricula activities to promote learning for sustainability and transformation of entire communities.

Under the non-formal component, we are also working with communities to transform their villages into ESD Villages that involve community-based natural resource management guided by a framework that calls for a holistic approach, good governance, cooperation and partnership and promoting innovations towards sustainable development.

3. Networking and Partnerships

It is under this component that the programme set up a Regional ESD Day. It is a platform for all stakeholders including government, private sector, civil society organizations, teaching and learning institutions, and the media to come together. This is a celebration to showcase our capacity to build each other on best practices and innovations towards sustainable development.

The first Regional ESD Day was celebrated in July 2010 in Kisumu (Kenya). This has become an annual event in the Lake Victoria Basin held on a rotational basis between the East African countries. The Lake Victoria Basin Commission of the East Africa Community recognized this day as an official day in its calendar during the ESD Day celebrations held in Mwanza, Tanzania in July 2011.

The 2013 ESD Day is marked under the theme “Sustainable Livelihood Options for Climate Change Adaptation”. This is in view of the various threats and risks that the region faces as a result of climate change.

This calls for increased awareness and capacity building for all stakeholders and especially for the communities who are hard hit by the effects of climate change on the ground. We are making our small contribution by promoting capacity within the region and amongst stakeholders to ensure that all conservation efforts and socio-economic interventions are not watered down by the effects of climate change.

WWF has been hosting this event since its inception in 2010 under the Lake Victoria Environmental Education Programme. WWF would like thank the Lake Victoria Basin Commission for having been a strong partner and supporter of this annual regional event. WWF would also like to now urge the Lake Victoria Basin Commission to consider hosting this event within its body as a strong arm of the East Africa Community to ensure its continued sustainability in the future.


To secure the ecological integrity and sustainability of the Lake Victoria catchment for the benefit of its inhabitants and biological

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