Central American Climate Leaders Endorse a Regional Approach to Education and Training
When the One UN Partnership for Climate Change Learning (UN CC:Learn) was conceived in the margins of the Copenhagen climate meeting in 2009, few could have known that the timing was just right. Ever since those somewhat infamous talks, the issue of education and training for climate change has been rising up the agenda. This week, UNFCCC Parties adopted the Lima Ministerial Declaration on Education and Awareness-raising, while the ongoing Dialogues on Article 6 of the Convention are increasing the understanding of this previously neglected element of the Convention.
Many countries are taking matters several steps further. In an innovative initiative (possibly the first of its kind globally) the Central American countries met this week at a side event chaired by the Minister of Forests, Fisheries and Sustainable Development of Belize, Ms. Lisel Alamilla, to discuss a regional programme on climate change learning. The Central American region already has a climate change strategy which was negotiated in 2010 under the Central America Integration System (SICA). Now SICA member countries want to build on this strategy through coordinated action on climate change learning.
Financial support will come from the SICA countries themselves with seed funding provided by Switzerland through the UN CC:Learn programme. Funds will be made available immediately and will allow a support office to be established in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic). In her comments Minister Alamilla commended the regional approach to climate change learning stating that it would enable a “whole of society approach to climate change”. Other speakers included Mr. Omar Ramírez Tejada, Executive Vice-President of the Dominican Republic’s National Council for Climate Change and Clean Development Mechanism; Mr. Ricardo Ulate, advisor to the Environment Ministry of Costa Rica; Mr. Emilio Sampris, Viceminister from the Environment National Authority of Panama; Mr. Vinicio Montero, Viceminister of Environment and Natural Resources of Guatemala; and Ms. Adriana Valenzuela from the UNFCCC Secretariat.
The event was moderated by Mr. Daniel Abreu of the Dominican Republic, with opening remarks were provided by Mr. Angus Mackay, Head of the Geneva-based UN CC:Learn Secretariat.
About UN CC:Learn
UN CC:Learn is a partnership of more than 30 multilateral organizations supporting countries to design and implement systematic, recurrent and results-oriented climate change learning. At the global level, the partnership supports knowledge-sharing, promotes the development of common climate change learning materials, and coordinates learning interventions through a collaboration of UN agencies and other partners. At the national level, UN CC:Learn supports countries in developing and implementing national climate change learning strategies. Through its engagement at the national and global levels, UN CC:Learn contributes to the implementation of Article 6 of the UNFCCC on training, education and public awareness-raising, and the 2012-2020 Doha Work Programme. Funding for UN CC:Learn is provided by the Swiss Government and UN partners. The Secretariat for UN CC:Learn is hosted by the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).