Green Balloons @ Climate Conference in Warsaw

16 November 2013, Warsaw, Poland. The COP 19 side event "Combatting Climate Change through Education and Training” (organized by the United Nations Alliance on Climate Change Education, Training and Public Awareness) featured nine panellists from a range of youth initiatives, the education sector and UN agencies. Each presented a different project, programme or principle, reflecting the breadth of initiatives the UN Alliance umbrella draws together and brings into dialogue and collaboration. Diverse as they were, each initiative was underpinned by the principle that climate education was the way forward to build a sustainable future.

A little educational game by two teachers from the Dominican Republic delightfully illustrated this: random audience members were given a balloon upon their arrival. Those holding yellow ones were asked to let them fly without tying a knot in their ends, making them deflate: if resilience is weak, the system collapses, the teachers explained. Those holding red ones were asked to pop them – no resilience at all. And those holding green ones were asked to buffet them around: a truly resilient society can bounce back. That’s the kind of society we build through education.

UN CC:Learn has supported the Dominican Republic in initiating a comprehensive training programme for teachers on climate change, working jointly with UNESCO.

About UN CC:Learn

UN CC:Learn is a partnership of 33 multilateral organizations which supports Member States in designing and implementing results-oriented and sustainable learning to address climate change. The Secretariat for UN CC:Learn is provided by UNITAR. An important aspect of UN CC:Learn is to support countries develop a National Strategy to Strengthen Human Resources and Skills to Advance Green, Low Emission and Climate Resilient Development through a multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder process. During the course of 2012-2013, Benin, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Malawi, and Uganda are participating as UN CC:Learn pilot countries. Core funding for the 2011-2013 implementation phase of UN CC:Learn is provided by the Swiss Government.