19 June 2019, Bonn, Germany. In order to enhance implementation of climate change education, training and public awareness as well as public participation, public access to information, and international cooperation on these matters, the 2012-2020 Doha Work Programme on Article 6 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) requests the organization of annual Dialogues on Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE). The 7th ACE Dialogue took place on 19 June and 24 June 2019, in the margins of the Bonn Climate Change Conference SB50, held from 17-27 June 2019.
This Dialogue provided a forum for Parties and other stakeholders to share experiences and lessons learned with regard to the promotion of climate change learning as well as discuss the up-coming final review of the Doha Work Programme. The event was opened by Mr. Ovais Sarmad, Deputy Executive Secretary, UN Climate Change, and co-facilitated by Ms. Roberta Ianna, Ministry for the Environment, Land, and Sea, ACE Focal Point of Italy and Mr. Bob Natifu, Ministry of Water and Environment, ACE Focal Point and UN CC:Learn Ambassador for Climate Change Learning of Uganda.
Session 1 set the scene by providing an overview of the international framework for ACE and its implementation, delivered by Ms. Adriana Valenzuela, Education, and Youth Focal Point, UN Climate Change, followed by a presentation of global efforts to promote and coordinate Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), offered by Mr. Abdoul Wahab Coulibaly, Section of Education for Sustainable Development, UNESCO.
Session 2 showcased good practices concerning the integration of ACE into climate change policies. Dr. Emmanuel Tachie-Obeng, ACE Focal Point and UN CC:Learn Ambassador for Climate Change Learning of Ghana, shared the steps followed for the development of Ghana’s National Climate Change and Green Economy Learning Strategy and highlighted outcomes and benefits so far.
Ms. Cristina Rekakavas, UNITAR/UN CC:Learn Secretariat completed this intervention by presenting general principles, good practices and lessons learned from integrating ACE into climate change policies and climate change into education policies. In particular, she highlighted 5 tips for the development of national climate change learning strategies drawn from the UN CC:Learn experience over the last 8 years, including:
1. Promoting Multi-Sectoral and Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration
2. Raising Visibility for the Strategy
3. Strengthening Collaboration with the Education Sector
4. Building the Capacities of National/Regional Learning Institutions
5. Mobilizing Resources through Partnerships.
Participants then split into parallel working groups designed to take stock of past experiences and reflect on challenges and success stories related to the implementation of the Doha Work Programme through focused discussions. The UN CC:Learn Secretariat contributed expert input to the group dedicated to training.
During the afternoon, the event hosted two-panel discussions, addressing respectively 1) the role of ACE Focal Points and international cooperation in implementing the Doha Work Programme, and 2) the role of non-Party stakeholders in implementing the Doha Work Programme. Ms. Jeniffer Hanna Collado, ACE Negotiator of the Dominican Republic and Mr. Chebet Maikut, UNFCCC Focal Point and UN CC:Learn Ambassador for Climate Change Learning of Uganda participated in the debate, highlighting multiple ACE activities in their countries, including the national UN CC:Learn projects.
The day concluded with an overview of a new study assessing progress in ACE implementation through an analysis of education content included in country submissions under the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement processes, delivered by Dr. Marcia McKenzie, Professor, Department of Educational Foundations, University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
The Dialogue continued during the afternoon of 24 June. This second segment focused on ways of enhancing the implementation of action under Article 12 of the Paris Agreement, looking forward. Among multiple interventions, Ms. Ardina Purbo, Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Indonesia, also a UN CC:Learn pilot country, shared Indonesia’s views on advancing ACE.
With over 200 participants in attendance, the Dialogue promoted experience-sharing and raised the visibility of education, training, public awareness as well as public participation, public access to information, and international cooperation as a central part of the response to climate change.