The urgency of addressing complex and interrelated global challenges such as climate justice, the COVID-19 pandemic and racial, gender and economic justice cannot be overstated. The student climate strikes, #MeToo movement, COVID-19 and BlackLives Matter have revealed the pressing need –and opportunity –to ensure both formal and non-formal education systems include stronger elements of engaged active citizenship.
SDG 4.7 outlines the high-quality education for sustainable development and global citizenship that is needed to support and motivate people –especially young people –to tackle these global challenges. Set within the wider framework of the SDGs, SDG 4.7 enables people to understand the connections between local and global issues. For example, to address the climate emergency, we also need to understand its connection with other issues such as poverty or girls’ education. Using participatory approaches, SDG 4.7 also enables people to become citizens that enact and support positive change in their society. It supports learners’ emotional wellbeing, educators’ motivation and all people’s ability to think and act justly and sustainably for themselves, for society and for the world.
“By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.”