UN CC:Learn Support to Advance Climate Change Education Showcased at COP21
Education plays a key role in responding to climate change and achieving Sustainable Development Goals. On the occasion of Education Day at COP 21/CMP11 of the UNFCCC, UNITAR/UN CC:Learn support to climate change education, both formal and non-formal, was presented at two UN side events.
UN Side Event on Climate Change Education in the Formal Education System: Learning to Live with Climate Change – Accelerating Climate Change Education
Opened by Ms. Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, this side event aimed to showcase examples of activities promoting the integration of climate change in the formal education system. It included: a presentation of the results of the World Wide Views survey, following a global citizen consultation on how to address climate change; a moderated discussion on the role of education for a transition towards resilient and low carbon societies and economies with Ministers of Education and Environment; and a panel of experts on innovative approaches for climate change education.
Among the various interventions, the Honorable Flavia M. Nabugere, Minister of State for Environment, Republic of Uganda presented two Climate Change Readers for primary education that Uganda has developed with support from UN CC:Learn. Furthermore, the Minister highlighted the importance of promoting climate change learning, not only in education, but also across all other relevant sectors, such as energy and agriculture. Mr. Omar Ramirez, Secretary of State, Dominican Republic and UN CC:Learn Ambassador for Climate Change Learning highlighted that the country is supporting teachers’ training on climate change education, with more than 4,000 teachers involved. This activity also benefitted from UN CC:Learn support.
Mr. Nikhil Seth, Executive Director, UNITAR provided closing remarks, stressing that public awareness, education and training are the bridge between the global promises made in 2015 and their implementation.
UN Alliance Side Event on Non-Formal Climate Change Education and Innovative Approaches for Climate Change Learning
This side event presented innovative ways to promote non-formal education with a special focus on alternative approaches for climate change learning, such as music, social media and video games. It was opened by a video message by singer Pharrell Williams and included interventions by Mr. Nick Nuttall, UNFCCC Spokesperson, Ms. Yoka Brandt, Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF, Mr. Paul Watkinson, COP 21/CMP 11 French Presidency, Mr. Francesco La Camera, Italian Ministry of the Environment and Mr. George Marshall, Climate Outreach Information Network. It then showcased a variety of initiatives promoting climate change learning in non-fromal settings and addressed the role of youth. Three youth representatives also shared their views.
Focusing on the role of youth, Mr. Nikhil Seth, Executive Director, UNITAR introduced the Youth Climate Dialogues. This is an initiative of the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) and UN CC:Learn that aims to provide a forum for youth both in Switzerland and UN CC:Learn partner countries – Malawi, Niger and Uganda – to share their perceptions of climate change via videoconference. Three dialogues have been organized during the first phase of the project. A short video presenting this experience was shown to all participants.