Partnerships for action



GUPES provides a lot of inspiration for how to approach the education of future professionals and leaders on a general, philosophical but also very practical level

Dr Anna Görner

Managing Director of the Centre for International Postgraduate Studies in Environmental Management, Technische Universität Dresden, May 2016.

Ensuring all of society has a stake

The Global Universities Partnership on Education for Sustainability is just one example of UNEP helping to empower citizens – in this case academia and youths – to respond to the challenges of sustainable development.

The partnership promotes the integration of environment and sustainability principles and practices into curricula development, teaching, research, community engagement and the management of universities, including the greening of facilities and operations.

I am glad we are part of this network, because it provides a great opportunity for exchange with enthusiastic educators working towards sustainable development from all over the world. This helps keep our approach fresh and does inform our curricula. For example, we have included the sustainability literacy test - developed by another GUPES member - in our classes, as well as the Aqua Republica game to make integrated water management more tangible. We have also shared several case studies from GUPES colleagues with our participants,” reveals Dr Görner

GUPES also works to enhance student engagement and participation in sustainability activities both within and beyond universities. The 2016 edition of the GUPES ‘Green Gown’ award seeks to reward initiatives where staff and students have worked together to achieve a green goal.

More than 130 European universities now form part of the network in Europe. The story is just one example of UNEP working with one of its nine Major Groups and Stakeholders so that all of society can work as partners for the environment.

The Geneva Environment Network (GEN) plays a crucial role in this too. As a partnership of more than 75 organisations – including UN offices and programmes, NGOs, academic institutions and local authorities active in the field of environment and sustainable development – GEN promotes increased cooperation network for all stakeholders through dialogues, briefings and other events. The GEN Secretariat has been active since 1999 and is led by UNEP and supported by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment.