Sergiy Kurykin, Deputy Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine, greeted the participants. He stated that the education for sustainable development was among the priorities for Ukraine and implementation of adequate policies in this area was impossible without active involvement of the civil society, teachers and the youth. In his welcoming speech Oleksandr Bondar, Rector of State Ecological Academy of Postgraduate Education and Management, noted that potential of young participants of the Forum, their teachers and public leaders was the driving force which fostered development of education for sustainable development (ESD) system in Ukraine, in line with the UNECE Strategy “Education for Sustainable Development”. Sergiy Volkov, Senior Programme Manager, Head of Sustainable Development, Energy and Environment Cluster at the UNDP in Ukraine, said it was a pleasure for him to see so many young environmental activists, thanked them for paying so much attention to this area and added that it would be children and the youth who would influence the state of the environment in the future.
More than 200 participants from 20 regions of Ukraine took part in the Forum, which includes 100 active schoolchildren, 60 teachers, scientists, representatives of the youth and children’s NGOs, state institutions and universities. This year special attention was paid to orphans and displaced children.
The program of the Forum was interesting both for representatives of educational institutions, youth public organizations and schoolchildren. In the framework of the Forum the conference and round table discussion “Current progress in the development of the education for sustainable development in Ukraine” was conducted, involving leading Ukrainian and international education experts and teachers from all Ukrainian regions. They developed a platform for discussion and identification of the key areas of ESD in Ukraine, and shared their experience on best practices to implement ESD principles. The participants developed and voted for the Voluntary Commitments.
The ecological exhibition, which included the exhibition of organic cosmetics, herbal teas and medicinal plants, photos, green tourism and various eco-souvenirs was organized. In addition, a range of ecological workshops for children was held and two eco-games “Green Manager” and “Green City” were conducted.