Education for sustainable development (ESD) is increasingly affecting environmental education policy and practice. Growing attention for ESD is a policy-driven tendency, highly affected by decisions made in international institutions. Although ‘sustainable development’ is omni-
present in policy discourses, the concept remains largely contested.
The fact that ESD is becoming more and more established in environmental education does not imply that the relation between both concepts is clear for everybody. A multitude of different perspectives exists simultaneously. In addition, opinions concerning the desirability of ESD as a new focal point for environmental education are sharply divided. A persistent debate is going on between advocates and opponents of ESD. The installation of the United Nations Decade of ESD and the implementation in Flanders does affect the sector of environmental education. Policymakers and practitioners are facing the ambiguity brought about by ESD. The concept turns out to be a trigger for reflection on current policymaking and practices in the field of environmental education.