Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

Project completed
A national forum organised by the Office of President and the ESD Project on 13.10.2015 highlighted the importance of water governance. © SDC / ESD Project

Education for sustainable development (ESD) project is SDC and Government of Mongolia co-funded project that aims to mainstream ESD principles in Mongolia and to support creating legal and institutional framework that is conducive for sustainable development.

“Education for sustainable development” project will closely collaborate with 628 schools, government organizations, private sector and civil society organizations for promoting and mainstreaming sustainable development which defined as “Development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generation to meet their own needs”.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Education policy
Secondary education
01.12.2013 - 31.12.2018
CHF  8’460’000

Mongolia is the landlocked country with population size of 3 million, in a vast geographical territory of 1.5 million square kilometers. As economy of Mongolia rapidly grows, widening gap between rich and poor increases and inequity among society come to reality. Moreover, people become increasingly urbanized and now 66% of the population are living in urban areas.
Technological development brought dramatic change into Mongolians’ life and causes daily problem such as traffic jam, air pollution and litter.

People are getting more aware of ecological challenges that arise due to prospects for wealth by using natural resources which gradually leads to unsustainable development.

Therefore, public attention towards increased air pollution in the cities, destruction of land as a result of mining, exploitation of natural resources, overgrazing, increased desertification, water shortage, poor sanitation and contamination of rivers and lakes, forest degradation and the increased numbers of endangered wildlife are getting more prominent.

Furthermore, people become more aware of preserving cultural heritage and values, healthy eating habits, proper life style and choice and size of commodities.


The vision of the project is to contribute to sustainable development in Mongolia.

The overall goal is:

Education for sustainable development (ESD) is integrated in the Mongolian school system and a framework (institutional, legal, and organizational) for sustainable development (SD) and green development (GD) is in place.

Target groups
  • Public national institutions and their staff responsible for ESD and SD inclusive of MES, MEGD, Education Institute, IPTD, MSUE, aimag municipalities, 628 schools,
  • 25 aimag/district ESD networks
  • 25,000 teachers (male & female)
  • 468,000 students (male & female)
  • Leaders and decision makers



Expected results:  

  • ESD is integrated and adjusted in the curriculum of all the 628 schools (1-12 grade).
  • Awareness among leaders and the people (adults, youth, parents, community, and organizations) on ESD/SD/GD is increased and selected companies and organizations are certified according to ISO 14001.

Results from previous phases:  

The Government of Mongolia has started integration of ESD into over 40 laboratory schools with support from donor organizations (GIZ, WWF, etc.). Since 2008, “Eco school” program has been introduced first time, within the framework of “Coping with desertification project” of SDC and involved over 100 schools from targeted aimags. SDC conducted “Multi-level baseline study” for connecting these practices into ESD project implementation. This study has been used as baseline of the ESD project. 

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
  • Other international or foreign NGO North

Other partners

  • Institute of Teacher’s Professional Development
  • Mongolian State University of Education
  • Institute of Education and Research 
  • Aimags (provinces)
  • Departments of education (at aimag level)
  • Primary and secondary schools
  • Local NGO’s
  • International organizations (WWF; GIZ, JICA)


Coordination with other projects and actors
  • Youth Development (SDC/UNFPA);
  • TVET (SDC/GFA) and Skills Development projects (SDC/GIZ)
  • Education coordination group in Mongolia under the lead of MECS (GIZ, ADB, WB, UNICEF, UNESCO, JICA, and SDC);
  • PAGE: Partnership for Green Economy (UNEP)
  • Biodiversity (GIZ) programs


Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    8’460’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    8’187’012
Project phases Phase 2 01.06.2019 - 31.12.2023   (Current phase)

Phase 1 01.12.2013 - 31.12.2018   (Completed)