Living Sustainably: the Australian Government's National Action Plan for Education for Sustainability

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, 2009

National Action Plan for Education for Sustainability

The aim of Living Sustainably: the Australian Government's National Action Plan for Education for Sustainability, launched in April 2009, is to equip all Australians with the knowledge and skills required to live sustainably. The plan has been prepared in conjunction with the National Council on Education for Sustainability by the Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.

About the plan

Living Sustainably: the Australian Government's National Action Plan for Education for Sustainability sets out a framework for national action that adopts the following four strategies to respond to the needs and priorities of education for sustainability.

  1. 'Demonstrating Australian Government leadership' aims to strengthen the government's leadership role in education for sustainability as an exemplar for change through its own policies, programs and operations and by promoting system-wide change through greater coordination and collaboration with state, territory and local governments.
  2. 'Reorienting education systems to sustainability' focuses on achieving a culture of sustainability in which teaching and learning for sustainability are reinforced by continuous improvement in the sustainability of campus management.
  3. 'Fostering sustainability in business and industry' will build capacity in business and industry to plan for sustainability, adopt appropriate frameworks and tools, and harness incentives for change such as improved efficiencies, cost savings, corporate reputation, and staff morale and retention.
  4. 'Harnessing community spirit to act' emphasises collaboration with the many diverse providers of education for sustainability to help improve community and practitioners' access to knowledge and tools. It also supports research to better understand issues, attitudes and behaviour.

This is Australia's second national action plan. It builds on the foundation laid by the first plan released in 2000 and represents a significant contribution to Australia's participation in the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, 2005-2014.