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DESD in Germany

In this section you will read about Germany's "Hamburg Declaration", the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD) in Hamburg, the City of the Decade Award and annual DESD events in Hamburg.

> Hamburg Declaration
> DESD in Hamburg
> City of the Decade Award
> Annual DESD Events in Hamburg

Hamburg Declaration
In the summer of 2003 the German commission for UNESCO (DUK) adopted the so-called "Hamburg Declaration". DUK and requested national, regional and local politicians and interested institutions of the private sector, of scientific research and teaching  and of the general public to form an "Alliance for Sustainable Education". This alliance was to develop a common action plan for the Decade and to design programmes with the necessary co-ordination instruments for their realization.

In July 2004, the German Parliament (Deutscher Bundestag) unanimously decided on a National Action Plan (NAP) for the Decade and appointed the DUK to co-ordinate the respective activities in Germany. A National Committee was set up who adopted the German NAP in January 2005. Its major aim is to re-orientate the German educational system towards sustainable development and to function as a basic guide for all the players that wish to get involved.

Both the Hamburg Declaration and the yearly updated NAP are an integral part of Germany’s sustainability strategy. The strategic goals are as follows: (1) achieve further development and concentration of activities as well as the spreading transfer of "good practice", (2) build networks between DESD players throughout Germany, (3) increase public awareness of DESD, (4) enhance international co-operation. Additionally, Prof. Gerhard de Haan, Chairman of the German National Committee for the Decade, has developed the concept of "Participation Skills" (Gestaltungskompetenz) originally comprising of ten (and now 12) subskills to guide the setting of educational goals.

In June 2009, our website was recognized by the UNESCO as an "Official German Project of the Decade 2009/2010". In September the respective ceremony took place in Hamburg-Harburg.

Learn more on DESD in Germany:
German Annual ESD Topics
Participation Skills
DESD in Germany (German Commission for the UNESCO)

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DESD in Hamburg
Logo Learning Sustainability in Hamburg (HLN)In accordance with the National Action Plan (NAP), the first German Federal land to produce a regional educational framework for the Decade was Hamburg -  the so-called Hamburg Action Plan (HHAP) for Sustainable Development.

Under the leadership of the initiative  "Learning Sustainability in Hamburg"  (Hamburg lernt Nachhaltigkeit) run by the Urbanization and Environment Authority (Behoerde fuer Stadtentwicklung und Umwelt BSU), the HHAP aims to identify educational projects in Hamburg, monitor their progress and evaluate their contribution to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. It is essentially a list of eligible activities and a tool to focus the educational measures across various learning spaces: nusery schools, schools, vocational training, further general, vocational and political education, higher education (at universities, polytechs etc) as well as informal learning contexts.

The first HHAP was released in 2005 and has since been updated on a yearly basis. In December 2008 our sustainability portal was accepted as a suitable measure in support of the Decade in Germany. It has therefore been included in the recent edition of the HHAP (2008/2009) for the first time and is listed amongst other informal educational projects.

For more details follow this link.

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City of the Decade Award
Next to Heidelberg and Neumarkt, Hamburg was awarded the title "City of the Decade" (Stadt der UN Dekade) by the German Commission for the UNESCO (DUK) in 2006 - appreciating the fact that Hamburg has a host of educational projects preparing the ground for the city's environmentally integritive, social equitable and economically viable future. In 2009 Hamburg received this title for the second time.

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Annual DESD events in Hamburg
During the nationwide Event Days for DESD (Aktionstage Bildung fuer Nachhaltige Entwicklung) - usually held in September - Hamburg's citizens, from the very young to the very old, are offered a wide range of activities centering on various aspects of human sustainability in the shape and size of workshops, presentations, study tours, experiments, trade fairs and the like. These event days are integrated into a bigger frame of activities, termed the "Hamburg Future Weeks" (Hamburger Zukunftswochen) designed to both inform the general public about sustainability and to help them to adopt a viable way of life.

Click here to read more about sustainable developments in Hamburg

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Chris Baudy

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