CEE was the nodal agency in India for the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD) from 2005 to 2015. The first conference of the DESD was held at CEE in January 2005 which resulted into Ahmedabad Declaration. In this there was a reaffirmation that “We firmly believe that a key to sustainable development is the empowerment of all people, according to the principles of equity and social justice, and that a key to such empowerment is action-oriented education.” Post 2012, leading up to the process of finalisation of SDGs, CEE played a critical role. It was given the responsibility of collecting view from all the Ministries in Delhi and connecting this to our principle negotiators at the UN. After the SDGs were finalised, CEE held two international conferences, one in January 2016 to highlight the role of education could play in order to achieve the SDGs and in September 2016 a conference was held to look specifically at Goal 4 which deals with education and within that target 4.7 to promote ESD, global citizenship, culture and peace.
Today several programmes of CEE integrate SDGs into their work. SDG Handprint Lab, a local area study and sustainability action pedagogy for Higher Education Institutions is a pioneering programme by CEE that provides a unique learning environment to youth to work towards the SDGs. The programme involves understanding of the SDGs and relating it to issues of a local area and using their skills and knowledge to conduct research and executing handprint activities
Established as a Centre of Excellence of the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Government of India.