ESD Learning Outcomes

These are the knowledge, skills and values relevant to sustainable development that Learning for a Sustainable Future considers necessary to ensure a sustainable future.


This is a list of the knowledge that today's youth will need to acquire in order to become responsible citizens in the 21st century.

  • The planet earth as a finite system and the elements that constitute the planetary environment.
  • The resources of the earth, especially soil, water, minerals, etc., and their distribution and role in supporting living organisms.
  • The nature of ecosystems and biomes; their health, interdependence within the biosphere.
  • The dependence of humans on the resources of the environment for life and sustenance.
  • The sustainable relationship of native societies to the environment.
  • The implications of the distributions of resources in determining the nature of societies and the rate and character of economic development.
  • Characteristics of the development of human societies including nomadic, hunter gatherer, agricultural, industrial and post industrial and the impact of each on the natural environment.
  • The role of science and technology in the development of societies and the impact of these technologies on the environment.
  • Philosophies and patterns of economic activity and their different impacts on the environment, societies and cultures.
  • The process of urbanization and implications of de-ruralization.
  • The interconnectedness of present world political, economic, environmental and social issues.
  • Aspects of perspectives and philosophies concerning the ecological and human environments; for example, the interconnectedness of matter, energy and human awareness.
  • Cooperative international and national efforts to find solutions to common global issues, and to implement strategies for a more sustainable future.
  • The implications for the global community of the political, economic and socio-cultural changes needed for a more sustainable future.
  • Processes of planning, policy-making and action for sustainability by governments, businesses, non-governmental organizations and public.


This is a list of the skills that today's youth will require to contribute to a sustainable future.

  • Frame appropriate questions to guide relevant study and research.
  • Apply definitions of fundamental concepts, such as environment, community, development and technology, to local, national and global experiences.
  • Use a range of resources and technologies in addressing questions.
  • Assess the nature of bias and evaluate different points of view.
  • Develop hypotheses based on balanced information, critical analysis and careful synthesis, and test them against new information and personal experience and beliefs.
  • Communicate information and viewpoints effectively.
  • Develop cooperative strategies for appropriate action to change present relationships between ecological preservation and economic development.
  • Work toward negotiated consensus and cooperative resolution of conflict.


This is a list of the attitudes and values that today's youth will need to acquire in order to become responsible citizens in the 21st century.

  • An appreciation of the resilience, fragility and beauty of nature and the interdependence and equal importance of all life forms.
  • An appreciation of the dependence of human life on the resources of a finite planet.
  • An appreciation of the role of human ingenuity and the individual creativity in ensuring survival and the search for appropriate and sustainable progress.
  • An appreciation of the power of humans to modify the environment.
  • A sense of self-worth and rootedness in one's own culture and community. A respect for other cultures and recognition of the interdependence of the human community.
  • A global perspective and loyalty to the world community. A concern for disparities and injustices, a commitment to human rights and to the peaceful resolution of conflict.
  • An appreciation of the challenges faced by the human community in defining the processes needed for sustainability and in implementing the changes needed.
  • A sense of balance in deciding among conflicting priorities. Personal acceptance of a sustainable lifestyle and a commitment to participation in change.
  • A realistic appreciation of the urgency of the challenges facing the global community and the complexities that demand long-term planning for building a sustainable future.
  • A sense of hope and a positive personal and social perspective on the future.
  • An appreciation of the importance and worth of individual responsibility and action.

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