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More about ESD and our educational approaches

One’s own actions have a direct or indirect impact on the environment and surroundings every day, even if one is often not aware of it. In order to deal responsibly with this influence, it is important to gain an understanding of regional and global interrelationships. This enables people to make conscious decisions about their own actions so that they do not harm the environment, themselves or other people, neither now nor in the future. High-quality educational offers are important instruments to raise awareness and to show concrete possibilities for action.

ESD - what is it?

Education for sustainable development (short “ESD”) aims to support people to act sustainably and to initiate social change processes. The goal is to create fair, livable and viable conditions for current and future generations. This includes careful use of the ecological, economic and social resources of the earth. Education for sustainable development aims to strengthen people’s sense of responsibility and self-efficacy in an appreciative and participatory way and to encourage them to actively shape their future, based on ethical values. As part of ESD, the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities are trained that are required for the free development of the personality and to participate in a constantly changing society. These central competencies of ESD are also called competencies to shape the future. There are three essential components:
  1. subject and methodological competencies, in order to understand technical backgrounds with different methods and from different disciplines and to draw conclusions from them.
  2. social competencies, in order to be able to act together with others, to contribute and to create.
  3. self-competence, which is about perceiving, reflecting and changing one’s own actions, thoughts and feelings.
In order to build up these competencies, it is important to offer as many different approaches and methods as possible within the framework of successful ESD.
Subject and methodological competence
Social competence


ESD in the Biosphere Region

School-based as well as extracurricular educational institutions such as the National Park Administration, the Biosphere Region Administration, the Walderlebniszentrum (Forest Adventure Center) Ruhpolding, the Bavarian Academy for Nature Conservation and Landscape Management (ANL) as well as the School Research Center provide group-oriented, up-to-date and high-quality educational opportunities for all.

For their offerings in the field of education for sustainable development (ESD), the Berchtesgaden National Park Administration and the Biosphere Region Administration Office were awarded the “„Umweltbildung Bayern” (Environmental Education Bavaria) seal of quality by the State Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection. With these two educational institutions, the region has a special unique selling point with qualified ESD offers for schools and groups, lectures, excursions as well as hands-on activities.

The National Park Administration ung offers wilderness education, education for sustainable development and focuses on hands-on experience of nature. The national park offers a wide range of educational activities:

  • The educational center of the national park follows the guiding principles of free, self-discovering learning and provides numerous offers for specific target groups.
  • As a national park center for families, groups, school classes and other interested people, the adventure-filled Haus der Berge offers a variety of exhibitions, a cinema, a library and a panorama trail around the grounds.
  • In addition, there are six other national park information hubs, offering exhibitions on the national park.

Education for sustainable development is also part of the curricula in schools and kindergartens. It takes place at other extracurricular learning venues such as learning farms, adult education centers and church educational institutions.

In 2016, 130 stakeholders from the field of education joined forces to form the Berchtesgadener Land Education Region, which is dedicated to improving the education offered in the district. Education for sustainable development is seen as a cross-cutting and competency issue that is part of the overall project. The Berchtesgadener Land district office is responsible for coordinating the Educational Region.

This is important to us:

Creativity, encouragement, walking together, being a visionary.

“You are never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream.”

(C. S. Lewis, Irish writer)

ESD in the Biosphere Region Administration Office

Promoting education for sustainable development, implementing it and anchoring it throughout the region is a central mission of the Biosphere Region.

ESD is a cross-cutting issue in the team of the Biosphere Region Administrative Office. Educational offers or activities to raise awareness can be found in all fields: Rangers are out and about in the field on guided tours and excursions and provide information on nature and environmental topics. In the field of agriculture training and farm-to-farm events take place. Volunteer events call for participation. In the field of landscape ecology, many of the joint actions aim to increase or preserve biodiversity and they take place in cooperation with actors from the region.

Our educational principles

The team of the Biosphere Region Administration Office has agreed on the following educational principles and values as the basis for its educational work:
  • Wherever possible, learning should be experience-based and holistic.
  • Our students are actively involved in the process, while we see ourselves as learning companions.
  • Our programs are always related to everyday life.
  • Our choice of topics and formats is based on the needs of our target groups.
  • In our activities, we promote decision-making and problem-solving skills, creative and critical thinking, social skills and self-awareness.
  • Our educational formats are based on voluntary action, personal responsibility and non-violence. We value respectful cooperation, mutual appreciation, support and feedback.
  • In our educational work we explore participatory forms of learning. We enable our learners to participate in the thematic, methodological and organizational design of our formats.
  • We support places of learning and help institutions in addressing sustainability in all areas of their work (Whole Institution Approach).
  • We support innovative educational approaches that correspond to the latest state of knowledge of pedagogical, neurological, learning-psychological and environmental-psychological research, We also continuously educate ourselves in this context.
  • Our educational work is politically neutral.
  • The inclusion of all people is a matter of concern to us.
  • We promote joy and enthusiasm for lifelong learning.
  • Our activities are fun and strengthen the sense of community.
  • Networking and cooperation are important cornerstones of our work.
Portrait Britta Linde

Your contact person

Britta Linde

Education for sustainable development

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