Investing in People and Learning to Foster a Climate Resilient and Green Transition

UN CC:Learn in Central America

Scaling-up Climate Change Education, Training and Awareness-Raising through a Regional Programme 

The programme in Central America was initiated in 2015 as the first regional programme supported by the UN CC:Learn partnership. It aims to leverage the region’s existing experience and capacities in the area of climate change learning, define a concrete action plan that generates synergies among participating countries, jointly implement priority actions and scale up this collaboration for long-term impact. The programme is implemented by Members of the Central American Integration System (SICA) as part of measures for further implementation of the 2010 Regional Strategy on Climate Change (RSCC). It emerged following the successful development and implementation of the National Climate Change Learning Strategy of the Dominican Republic.

Vision – National climate change learning activities are scaled-up through regional cooperation and experience-sharingVision – National climate change learning activities are scaled-up through regional cooperation and experience-sharing

Programme Goal and Objectives

The overall goal of the regional programme is to increase climate change knowledge and skills throughout Central America in ways that promote improved personal and social resilience. Specific objectives include: 

  • Foster a higher quality public debate about climate change informed by evidence-based media coverage and awareness-raising activities.
  • Integrate climate change in national education systems throughout the region building on existing experiences.
  • Equip professionals in Central America with the necessary competencies to address climate change issues that are of relevance for countries across the region.
  • Increase capacities of national and regional training institutions to act as service providers in climate change related education and training.
  • Strengthen regional cooperation to maximize synergies and common initiatives to plan better and make use of existing resources, channel more funding and increase the effectiveness of climate change learning.

Intervention logic of the regional climate change learning programmeIntervention logic of the regional climate change learning programme

Outputs and Activities

During the initial project phase 2015-2017, a number of information gathering, planning, coordination and experience-sharing activities were carried out, together with a resource mobilization effort to be able to roll out a full programme in all SICA countries for a further five-year period (2017-2022). The pilot phase also included early implementation activities demonstrating the value of a regional approach to climate change education, training and awareness-raising.

Specific outputs include:

Background Report

An important aspect of the regional programme is that it is based on and provides value added to existing climate change policies, initiatives and institutions in Central America. Therefore, as a first step in the process relevant information was gathered by the SICA Member States and compiled in a background report. The report is also reviewing existing capacities of Central American countries in terms of delivering climate change learning and highlights a number of learning priorities for the three areas of education, training and public awareness-raising.

Regional Action Plan on Climate Change Education, Training and Awareness-Raising

With support by UN CC:Learn, the eight SICA Member States developed a joint Regional Action Plan on Climate Change Education, Training and Awareness Raising. The Plan that covers the period 2017-2022 was approved by the Central American Commission on Environment and Development (CCAD) in October 2017. The Regional Plan is the first of its kind, setting out ambitious action to build human capacity to adapt to climate change risks and take advantage of investment opportunities.

The Plan aims at using synergies and sharing knowledge, good practices and learning materials, and establishing cooperation processes among countries in the region. It builds directly on the Regional Strategy for Climate Change (RSCC) of 2010. While the development of the Plan was initiated by Environment Ministers, over time Education Ministries from all eight SICA countries joined the process and provided substantive contributions to the final content of the Plan.

Implementation of Priority Learning Actions in SICA Countries

In support of the Action Plan, SICA Member States have developed a joint project proposal to mobilize resources from national, bilateral and multi-lateral sources, as well as the private sector. At the same time, SICA Member States are working on a 2018-2022 implementation plan for the Regional Strategy on Climate Change, of which education, training and awareness-raising should be an important part.

Working group on a sub-regional action plan for education for sustainable development and climate change, 13 May 2015, University of Peace, Costa Rica.Working group on a sub-regional action plan for education for sustainable development and climate change, 13 May 2015, University of Peace, Costa Rica.