Since April 2015 MEdIES is participating in the GAP Partner Network by UNESCO’s official invitation. The GAP – Global Action Programme-  on ESD  was launched by UNESCO as a follow up of the UN Decade on ESD in its World Conference on ESD in Nagoya, Japan (November 2014). It started end of 2014 and ended in 2019, while it is expected to continue within another context for the Decade 2020-2030 (more information on this soon). UNESCO has set up five “Partner Networks”, one for each Priority Area – as identified by the Final Report of the UN Decade on ESD. these priority areas and the respective partner networks will help UNESCO to implement the GAP. They are consisted of a limited number of strategically selected key ESD stakeholders whose actions are expected to have a catalytic effect. MEdIES participates in the Partner Netork 1 “Advancing policy”, and actually, Prof Scoullos, MEdIES Coordinator is also Co-Chairing the Network.

priority areas & partner networks of gap

  1. Advancing ESD Policy (strengthening and scaling-up ESD in national and regional level education and sustainable development policies).
  2.  Transforming learning and training environments (promoting the whole-institution approaches in formal education at all levels and in non-formal education).
  3. Building capacities of educators and trainers (integrating ESD in teachers’ pre-service and in-service training; supporting the capacity building activities in non formal and informal education).
  4. Empowering and mobilizing the youth (supporting youth-led initiatives for ESD; empowering the role of youth).
  5. Accelerating solutions at local level (developing ESD programmes for local communities/municipalities).

More information about the GAP as well as the Roadmap that was set up for Implementing the GAP can be found the UNESCO link 

medies activities within the gap

2015- formulation of the flagship projects

The Partner Networks have met for the 1st time in Paris on 26-27 May 2015, when they discussed the goals and function of the Networks, and worked on ideas for particular work plans and joint activities within each Network. Particularly for the PN1, the members have been in e-communication and in September 30, they held a teleconference during which they shared proposals for a Workplan of the network and its respective Flagship ProjectThe Flagship Projects will be the concrete collaborations amongst the Key GAP Partners on advancing ESD in policies, at national level, using regional level cooperation and to demonstrate how ESD facilitates the achievement of the SDGs. It will be also very useful to demonstrate how the various regional or international frameworks are used at national level in order to promote ESD.

In this context, MEdIES participated in a series of e-meetings for the formulation of the flagship projects while, in the end of 2015, submitted a flagship project on the implementation of the Mediterranean Strategy on ESD through the finalization and mainstraming of its Action Plan. 

2016 - 2nd GAP meeting

On 5-6 July 2016 the annual GAP Working Meeting took place in Paris while on July 4 a meeting of the Chairs and Co-Chairs of the Partner Networks was held. During the meeting partners reported on their activities and status of the Flagship Projects while the participants worked in groups to scale up individual activities and to discuss the future steps of the GAP. Prof Scoullos contributed actively in the meeting’s sessions and made the presentation on the developments of the PN1 as one of its Co-chairs.  Read more about the meeting here

2017 - GAP Review

From 6 to 8 March 2017 the Review Forum for the GAP (third meeting) took place in Ottawa, Canada, aiming to review the progress so far, in the implementation of the projects and initiatives under the GAP, from all  five Networks. On 8 March the GAP Forum (noon) was succesfully completed  and in the afternoon, the Conference was lauched. The 3-day Forum was organized along interactive concurrent sessions and town hall debates on different topics such as “Effective teaching and learning for transformation”, “Preparing educators for ESD” and “Emerging global issues for ESD”. Prof Scoullos, MEdIES Coordinator and PN1 Co-Chair participated actively in all sessions of the GAP Forum and attended the UNESCO Week on Peace and Sustainable Development: the role of Education (8-10 March) as well.


In September 2017 MEdIES was officially requested by UNESCO to renew and extend its membership (to end of 2019) in the GAP Partner Network 1,  which MEdIES proudly accepted. Actually during the last quarter of 2017, MEdIES ‘proved’ its role as a GAP Partner competent in advancing ESD policy in the Mediterranean  by organising a series of national meetings and events for mainstreaming and promoting  the application of the Action Plan of the Mediterranean Strategy on ESD in various countries of the region (all supported by the SWIM-H2020 SM Programme) and one regional (Mediterranean-wide) event. More for these activities at this link.

2018 - the future of esd

The 2018 meeting of the GAP Partners took place on 9-10 July 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand having the format of a technical consultation meeting to discuss and elaborate the draft UNESCO position paper on the “Future of ESD” (as a post-GAP position paper) and to plan the work of the Partner Networks until the end of 2019 (when the GAP is actually ending).

The draft position paper on the future of ESD had been elaborated in a series of (online) consultations, in which MEdIES took part while Prof Scoullos contributed in Bangkok Meeting as well. Read more about the meeting at this link

2019- GAP final meeting / Learning and Teaching for Peaceful and Sustainable Societies

The Final Meeting of the GAP Partners  took place back-to-back with the Global Conference entitled: “Learning and Teaching for Peaceful and Sustainable Societies” from 2 to 5 July 2019 in Ha Noi, Viet Nam. The 2019 Forum presented the outcomes of the UNESCO’s study on how the three learning dimensions of ESD – cognitive, socio-emotional and behaviora – are reflected in curricula at all levels of schooling in a select number of countries, with a view to understanding trends, identifying major gaps and challenges and highlighting innovative approaches to harness the potential of the 3 domains of learning in order to support sustainable development and global citizenship. The GAP Partners participated in the working sessions discussing next steps and the legacy of the GAP that is coming to an end in December 2019, while the gave feedback to the roadmap for ESD 2020-2030 proposed by UNESCO. Prof Scoullos participated actively in all meetings. Find also  here  comments by MEdIES on the draft position paper about ESD for 2030.

More about the Forum and the GAP Meeting in Ha Noi can be found here.

2019 - ESD FOR 2030

The policy paper prepared since 2018 by the GAP Partners “Education for Sustainable Development beyond 2019” was approved and adopted at the 206th session of UNESCO’s Executive Board. The paper provides the goals, the proposed approach, an implementation framework as well as some administrative implication for the application and monitoring of ESD in the countries fully in line with the SDGs and particulalry the SDG 4.7 and Agenda 2030. It covers the period of 2020-2030 and is available at this link

2020 - Key Partners in Action: GAP Report

The Report highlighting the actions of the GAP key partners in the five priority areas during the period 2015-2019 is accessible at this link.


postponed for May 2021 due to covid 19 pandemic

UNESCO will gather 800 stakeholders from all regions of the world on 2-4 June 2020 in Berlin, Germany to launch its new Framework “Education for Sustainable Development: Towards achieving the SDGs” (ESD for 2030). The conference, organized with the generous support of the Government of Germany, will seek to raise global awareness on sustainable development challenges and the crucial role of ESD as a key enabler for the successful achievement of all SDGs.

MEdIES reconfirmed its commitment to continue the cooperation with  UNESCO within this new context.