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Upcoming Events | China-Southeast Asian Symposium—Towards Ecological Civilisation: Education for Sustainable Rural Development


The World Bank statistic 2020 shows that 44% of the world’s population lives in rural areas. In low- and middle-income countries, the share of rural people is 58%. Owing to demographic and environmental factors, rural areas continue to contribute to global development through the exploitation of labour and resources. However, rapid modernization and urbanization have intensified the dual crisis of the Earth’s environment and human society. Competition for limited resources (both material and non-material) has become increasingly fierce all over the world. Excessive resource exploitation and destructive development patterns have put local environmental and cultural heritage at risk. Inequalities among different groups have been further widened... These threats have further plunged rural areas, which are already disadvantaged, into a development dilemma and it requires us to reflect deeper on the past development models: how can we achieve development for all without sustainable development in rural areas?


‘Ecological civilisation’ is a concept that highlights the integrated development of the environment, economy, society, and culture and is closely related to the notion underpinning sustainable development promoted by the United Nations. The aim of ecological civilization is to strengthen the relationship between humans and nature, self-development and society. It echoes the 5Ps of the Sustainable Development Goals: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership.


Given this background, the importance of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in advancing global development cannot be overlooked. The Goal 4.7 of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development states that “By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.” Promoting sustainable development through education is necessary and urgent for raising awareness of ecological civilization and calling for collective action. In this process, the value and essential role of rural areas must be taken into account.




The Roadmap for Implementing the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development launched by UNESCO in 2014 stipulates that the priority action areas for achieving the strategic goals of sustainable development and promoting global cooperation are: advancing policy, transforming learning and training environments, building capacities of educators and trainers, empowering and mobilizing youth, and accelerating sustainable solutions at the local level.


This symposium aims to enhance the international community’s understanding of education for sustainable rural development under the framework of ecological civilisation, through the discussions and exchanges on “policy in practice”, “university and local actions”, and “youth on the move”. It seeks to establish a network of academic exchanges and experience sharing, and promote global consensus for systematic change in rural areas.


Hence, this symposium is expected to achieve the following objectives:

  • Promoting understanding: To reflect on education for sustainable rural development from the perspective of ecological civilization through ideas exchange, and to raise awareness of the role and impact of education in promoting balanced and harmonious economic, social, environmental, and cultural development in rural areas.
  • Sharing experience: To share policies and practices in education for sustainable rural development from different countries and social organization actions.
  • Seeking solutions: to reach a consensus on the promotion of education for sustainable rural development, exploring effective and innovative pathways and solutions.
  • Building partnership: to gradually establish a global network through extensive partnership building.



Towards Ecological Civilisation: Education for Sustainable Rural Development


Session 1  Policy and Practice
Session 2  University and Local Actions
Session 3  Towards a Sustainable Future: Youth on the Move


Supported by

  • National Commission of the Peole’s Republic at China for UNESCO

Hosted by

  • Beijing Normal University(BNU)


Organised by

  • The UNESCO International Research and Training Centre for Rural Education (UNESCO INRULED)
  • Faculty of Education, Beijing Normal University
  • China Zigen Rural Education and Development Association Rural Education and Development Association
  • Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization(SEAMEO)
  • Asian Institute of Technology(AIT)



December 15-16, 2022  14:00 – 18:00 Beijing Time (GMT+8)



100 estimated participants from China, Laos, Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries



Chinese & English




Please register at: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_T_jup9_qQje-7C7t2VNtKQ

We look forward to your participation!


Please click the attachment to download the Conference Manual.


UNESCO International Research and Training Centre for Rural Education