UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development 2021 (Up to $50,000)

UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development 2021 (Up to $50,000)

Deadline: April 30, 2021

Nominations are open for the UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development 2021. The prize seeks to reward exceptional projects and programmes undertaken by institutions, organizations or other entities in the field of education for sustainable development (ESD).

The Prize aims to generate and scale up action at all levels of education and learning, and contribute to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The Prize was established by the UNESCO Executive Board in 2014, and has been awarded five times since the first edition in 2015. The Prize was renewed in November 2019 for a period of six years (2020-2025) with a biennial cycle.


  • The three laureates of the 2021 Prize will receive an award of US $50,000 each.
  • In addition, winners will be invited to join the ESD for 2030 Global Network (ESD-Net), in order to establish long-term collaboration with UNESCO beyond the award ceremony.


Eligible for the 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 presence of evidence of results and a high impact relative to the invested resources;
  • 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 local level.

Evaluation Criteria

Eligible projects will be assessed by the jury on the basis of the following three criteria:

  • Transformation: practices ESD as transformative education in support of sustainable development, leading to individual and social change.
  • Integration: addresses the three dimensions of sustainable development (society, economy, environment) in an integrated way.
  • Innovation: demonstrates an innovative approach to ESD.


Direct applications to UNESCO are not accepted. All candidates have to be nominated by:

  • The government of a UNESCO Member State, via their Permanent Delegation to UNESCO. They advise you to contact first your country’s National Commission for UNESCO OR
  • An NGO or Foundation in official partnership with UNESCO.

Nominations should be submitted in English or French, by midnight on 30 April 2021 (Paris time, UTC+1), via an online platform.

Click here to nominate

For more information, see FAQs and visit UNESCO-Japan Prize.