Applications are currently being invited for the UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development in 2021.

The Prize honours outstanding projects by institutions and organizations related to Education for Sustainable Development. It is little wonder that UNESCO works so that each child and citizen has access to quality education and develops educational tools to help people live as global citizens.

Worth of Award

For this award,

  • Each laureate will receive an award, a diploma and the sum of US$50,000. The funds will be transferred to their bank account in the week of the award ceremony.
  • UNESCO will invite two representatives of each laureate to the award ceremony, which usually takes place in Paris in October or November.
  • All winners will be invited to join the ESD-Net 2030 for exchange and collaboration with ESD stakeholders from all over the world.
  • Successful candidates will be notified by UNESCO shortly before the official announcement.


Eligible for the UNESCO-Japan Prize are institutions and organizations with a specific ESD project/programme that must:

  • be ongoing and have been running for at least 4 years.
  • show the presence of evidence of results and a high impact relative to the invested resources.

In a similar vein, they must

  • be replicable and scalable.
  • contribute to one or more of the 5 priority action areas of the ESD for 2030 framework (i.e. advancing policy, transforming learning and training environments, developing capacities of educators and trainers, mobilizing youth, accelerating sustainable solutions at the local level).

Selection criteria

It is important to note that the project/programme of the nominee is assessed by a jury on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Transformation

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

This can mean, for example, taking action against climate change or changing one’s consumption patterns. It can also mean developing social entrepreneurship and sustainable livelihoods or supporting those struggling against poverty.

  • Integration

The project/programme addresses the three dimensions of sustainable development (society, economy, environment) in an integrated way. It should, therefore, help learners understand the interdependence between them and act accordingly.

The last but by no means the least criteria is

  • Innovation

The project/programme demonstrates an innovative approach to ESD. Sustainable development requires ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking and going beyond ‘business as usual’. 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.

How to Apply

Having established the above, all applicants are hereby informed to make their applications online via the official website.

Deadline: In conclusion, the 2021 call for nominations is open until April 30, 2021.

Click here for more details and to apply