The importance of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

ESD is important because it is a positive response to the global challenge of how to live sustainably, without compromising quality of life for future generations.

Children today are growing up in a world that’s very different from the one we know, one that is creating new demands and opportunities across borders. With such immense pressure to succeed in life, individuals who lack values on sustainable living might take natural resources for granted and expect such resources to always be there when they need them.

WWF-Malaysia believes that ESD integrates the importance of natural environment with the social well-being and green economy, featured prominently in both formal education system and non-formal activities, in order to instill values and appreciation for Mother Nature whilst sensitising children on sustainable development issues.

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Our Eco-Schools programme is designed to educate and empower students to adopt sustainable lifestyles within their school community and beyond, and to position the students as eco-ambassadors for the next generation.

Watch this interesting animated explanation of Eco-Schools 

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The Eco-Schools programme follows a simple seven-step process which helps them address a variety of environmental themes ranging from litter and waste to healthy living and biodiversity conservation. Examples:

Water theme

Students are educated on the importance of water and are introduced to simple actions that can substantially cut down water use. Schools can reduce their water consumption by assessing how much they use every day and setting targets for reduction, identifying leaks and drips, adapting the flow rate on taps and reducing the amount of water used in toilets.

Energy theme

As part of the Environmental Review, Eco-Schools are required to carry out an energy audit and then set targets to reducing unnecessary energy through their Action Plan. It can be used to increase awareness on energy matters and to improve energy efficiency within the school.

Currently, the Eco-School programme is being implemented in over 50 countries around the world, involving more than 40,000 schools.

The first school to register for the Eco-Schools Programme in Malaysia was Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Lanchang, Pahang in March 2011. Thanks to donors like you, the Programme has grown from strength to strength, and more than 112 schools in Malaysia have now embarked on the journey of an Eco-Schools Programme.

Eco-Schools Awards: Bronze… Silver… Green Flag!

There are three award levels within the Eco-Schools programme. Schools will work towards gaining one of these three internationally recognized awards – Bronze, Silver and the Green Flag award. Currently, we have two Green Flag schools in Malaysia which are Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Muhibbah, Sandakan and International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL).

By donating to our Eco-Schools programme today, you will help WWF-Malaysia in the following ways:-

  • Training teachers and students on the Eco-Schools concept.
  • Development of new and relevant contents, materials and activities.
  • Organise the annual International Eco-Schools Malaysia Conference.
  • Reach out to more schools in the country; therefore spreading the knowledge of sustainable living.


©WWF-Malaysia / Green Mentor
SJKT Ringlet student (green jacket) showing others how to cultivate orchids during International Eco-Schools Conference 2014