UNESCO-Japan Prize 2018 calls for outstanding projects in Education for Sustainable Development


Paris, 29 January 2018 - UNESCO has launched the fourth edition of the UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). Funded by the Government of Japan, the Prize annually rewards three outstanding ESD projects and programs with US$ 50,000 each.

Governments of all Member States as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in official partnership with UNESCO are now invited to nominate up to three individuals, institutions or organizations engaged in ESD for the 2018 edition.


The project/program of the nominee are assessed by the Jury on the basis of the following criteria:

A) Transformation:

The project/program practices Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as transformative education in support of sustainable development, , leading to individual and social change.

ESD is transformative education in that it empowers learners to transform themselves and the society they live in. The nominated project/program should therefore enable learners to bring about changes for a more just, peaceful and sustainable world. This can mean, for example, taking action against climate change, changing one’s consumption patterns, developing social entrepreneurship and sustainable livelihoods, or supporting those struggling against poverty.

B) Integration:

The project/program addresses the three dimensions of sustainable development (society, economy, environment) in an integrated way.

Sustainable development calls for the integration of the social, economic and environmental dimensions of development. The nominated project/program should be in line with this definition of sustainable development. It should address the three dimensions (society, economy, environment), and help learners understand the interdependence between them and act accordingly.

C) Innovation:

The project/program demonstrates an innovative approach to ESD.

Sustainable development requires going beyond ‘business as usual’ and ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking. The nominated project/program should demonstrate an innovative approach to ESD, be it in the themes it covers, the methodology it employs, or the way the learning environment is designed. Reaching out to sectors beyond education and working with new partners can also be a sign of innovation.

In addition to these three criteria, the project/program should:

  • be ongoing and have been running for at least four years

  • have a high impact relative to the invested resources

  • be replicable and scalable

  • contribute to one or more of the five Priority Action Areas of the GAP.


3 awards of USD 50,000