In the context of supporting countries through training, UN CC:Learn delivers regional and country-level trainings, to equip national policymakers with the skills needed to tackle long-term vulnerability to climate change. Mr. Aliou Gory Diouf, a Senegalese Geographer and Senior Programme Officer participated in one of our training workshops and told us about his experience.

Developing countries are more likely to be exposed to the negative effects of climate change. Extreme weather events such as droughts, heatwaves, and heavy precipitation present new risks to development work. How then, can people and societies adapt to new human-induced environmental changes?

To facilitate climate change adaptation planning, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process as part of a global effort to help the most vulnerable countries to design, coordinate, implement and monitor their efforts in managing climate risks.

NAP Training pm Executives of ministry of planning. Togo, 2015

The National Adaptation Global Support Programme (NAP-GSP), provides a global support mechanism to enable countries to identify, finance and implement appropriate medium to long-term adaptation actions at national, sub-national and local levels. It is financed by the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) and the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The programme implemented by UNDP and UN Environment, in collaboration with other UN agencies, assists developing countries to advance their national adaptation plans (NAP) processes. The programme provides Least Developed Countries(LDCs) and other non-LDC developing countries with technical and organizational support to advance their NAPs.

NAP-GSP works in three areas: 1) institutional support, 2) technical support, and 3) knowledge brokering. As the principal training of the United Nations, UNITAR is a NAP-GSP partner that provides training and skills assessment services.

Training individuals to advance the NAPs

In the context of supporting countries through training, UN CC:Learn/UNITAR delivers Training of Trainers (TOT), regional and country-level trainings, to equip national policymakers with the skills needed to tackle long-term vulnerability to climate change and examine adaptation options through training workshops. These trainings are aimed at operationalizing tools (such as the LEG NAP Technical Guidelines) developed to assist countries in their NAP journeys. The trainings have been designed to enhance understanding of NAP processes and to provide tools to advance these at the country level.

In the spring of 2015, Aliou Gory Diouf, a Senegalese Geographer and Senior Programme Officer in the Climate Change Vulnerability Adaptation Resilience department of EDNA Énergie, participated in the NAP Training of Trainers workshop in Bangkok.

From learning to manage time better to structuring learning modules in a more efficient way, Aliou admits that he’s also been able to strengthen his network. Since the workshop, Aliou has been invited to lead or co-lead training in Togo (twice), in Benin, in Tunisia and in Senegal.

We interviewed Aliou, and this is his experience participating in a Training of Trainers from UN CC:Learn/UNITAR. I hope they respond to your expectations.

Aliou was training local policymakers, CSOs, women and youth on methods and tools of climate change vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning. At Niodior Island, Senegal, 2014.

Which specific skills did the NAP Training of Trainers help you to strengthen?

AGD: Time management and workshop facilitation were extremely helpful for me. In Togo, for example, I had to run training for Executives of the Ministry of Planning for 4 days. I was in charge of preparing all the training materials, exercises, and logistics. Managing these activities, while also facilitating the training at the same time was a good test for me to practice and improve my time management skills.

How did the NAP Training of Trainers, as well as the NAP training delivery impact you as an individual?

AGD: The main impact, and subsequent training, is that I have organized and delivered training in other countries. This has helped my confidence and has given me the ability to master the NAP process of mainstreaming climate change adaptation into planning. Second, I now have a clear understanding and vision of how the NAP process can help countries fight climate change impacts.

I am recognized as a NAP Trainer and have helped mainstream NAP policies and strategies in the fishery sector to help fund some adaptation actions by the Government and encourage donors to support the implementation of the policies in Senegal.

Community Training on climate change vulnerability and adaptation planning. At Niodior Island, Senegal, 2014.

How did the NAP Training of Trainers lead to an impact on your affiliate institution ENDA Énergie?

AGD: ENDA Énergie is benefiting from the NAP Training of Trainers through me as a NAP trainer working for them. In countries where I have conducted training, I am known as someone working at ENDA Énergie and this makes their visibility higher.

In your opinion, how could the NAP-GSP network enhance the potentiality of NAP trainings to generate positive outcomes at the individual and/or institutional level?

AGD: I think the NAP-GSP network could be known more if it engaged more trainers in Africa. I do not know of other trainers (I may be wrong), but my feeling is that the NAP-GSP network is a matter of some UN Agencies and bilateral institutions, where stakeholders in Africa are not very present. Perhaps, this is partly due to the fact that the engagement of trainers is not done with institutions but directly with individuals.

Organizing webinars would also be helpful, especially for recent trainers to come together and share their thoughts with other NAP-GSP members.

Prior to participating in the NAP Training of Trainers, Aliou was already conducting training on issues related to the NAP process. However, the training “added a great value” to his skills. For Aliou, two major takeaways from participating in the Training of Trainers are:

  1. The NAP process is crucial for developing countries, much more than he had been taught;
  2. There is a need for more time, resources, and activities than what is currently being mobilized to anchor climate change adaptation in structures, practices and the system.

 

The strong link that needs to be built between the NAP process and NAP implementation is still missing. Against climate change, it’s crucial to plan but it’s also vital to implement,” he conclude

Aliou is now the Head of the climate finance department at Africa Sustainability Center (ASCENT), a pan-African Project/Programme incubator for climate finance.

This newly launched e-tutorial brings to you UN Capital Development Fund’s two decades of experience in local development finance. Learn how local governments in least development countries can unveil and maximize action towards climate change adaptation through the Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility (LoCAL) Mechanism.

How effective local governments can be in tackling climate change? Aiming to answer this question and shed light on the importance of local government in the fight against climate change, UN CC:Learn has partnered with UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) to deliver a new e-tutorial on The LoCAL Mechanism which touches on the role these governments in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have in identifying and executing the best climate change adaptation responses.

Local governments in LDCs are uniquely equipped to meet the needs of the local population and provide small-to -medium-sized adaptation investments. Nevertheless, they often stumble across financial constraints that hamper these activities. To bridge this gap and help solve this issue, the Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility (LoCAL) Mechanism can be an effective tool to empower local governments towards the achievements of their national determined contributions (NDCs) and their national adaptation plans (NAPs).

This e-tutorial aims to provide an incursion through the LoCAL mechanism. Through a 4-minute video and an interactive lesson, this learning resource provides answers to a series of questions such as: Why are local governments in a position to address climate change at the local level? How does LoCAL mechanism help local governments to address climate change? What are the components LoCAL relies on and how are they interlinked? Where does LoCAL operate? and others more.

While being open to everyone, people who may benefit greatly from this tutorial are:

  • Field officers/UN Volunteers, and local/central government staff who are actively involved in LoCAL implementation at country level.
  • UNCDF and national experts who contribute to the scoping and design phase and lead during LoCAL implementation.
  • The engaged public and practitioners with an interest in understanding ways to leverage climate adaptation finance at the local level.

This e-tutorial is currently available in English and can be accessed here.

Sirajul Islam from Bangladesh took the MOOC e-course on National Adaptation Plans: Building Climate Resilience in Agriculture. In this story, he explains his experience with the e-course and how it has contributed to his work as a researcher on climate-resilient agriculture and food security.

Agriculture turns to be the most vulnerable to climate change. The effects of climate change on agriculture will have consequences for food security through changes in crop yields, food prices and processing, storage, transportation, and retailing. Adaptation measures can help delay and reduce some of these impacts.” — Sirajul Islam

Sirajul (in the middle) with his daughter and son. /©Sirajul Islam

Sirajul Islam is a linguist. Originally from Bangladesh, Sirajul has over 35 years of experience working with national and international NGOs. Currently, he serves as an adviser at a national NGO and recently retired as the CEO of ASHRAI, a Bangladeshi charity.

Throughout his career, Sirajul has worked in the social development sector in Bangladesh: from managing programs on humanitarian actions to climate-resilient agriculture and food security.

He considers himself a lifelong learner, which is why he took the “National Adaptation Plans: Building Climate Resilience in Agriculture” (NAP-Ag MOOC) delivered by UNITAR, FAO and UNDP which is available on the UN CC:e-Learn platform.

©Sirajul Islam

The course was particularly interesting because I had the chance to engage with global experts on climate change and explore best practices, country examples, and new approaches for building climate resilience in an interactive video-based format. It made my learning process more interesting, effective and engaging.”

Sirajul experienced this exchange through the peer assessment, which asked participants to develop a four-step process with an adaptation action in agriculture that could be implemented in their preferred focus area. The tasks were not easy and required careful adaptation planning.

His research focused on the coastal areas of Bangladesh; his small country in the South Asian green belt is the ninth most densely populated country in the world today. A country of 160 million, Bangladesh has been hit severely by climate change.

©Sirajul Islam

[Bangladesh] is facing trouble in agriculture due to sea-level rise, salinity-intrusion in the south, floods in the river basins, and drought in the north,” he says.

More specifically, he picked the paddy and rice since it’s considered a staple crop and key to food security, but at the same time, highly vulnerable to climate change. He observed that agricultural communities are already adapting by working with the private sector to develop new tolerant seed varieties for rice, by cultivating saline-tolerant varieties, which can withstand the salty water infiltrating their fields from the ocean. He also observes that farmers are now cultivating vegetables above ground.

©Sirajul Islam

An interesting fact is that saline water tables can cause productive land to become barren, causing loss of agricultural production. Soil salinity also enhances erosion and loss of farm income. So, the upshot of the use of saline-tolerant rice seed to keep rice production stable and cost-efficient alternative may not sustain as a long-term adaptation option.

Despite this challenge, he chose this project for its impact on potential and relevance.

Salinity became one of the major soil problems in many rice-growing areas in the world, including Bangladesh. About 1.9 million hectares of land in the humid regions of Southern Bangladesh are technically suited for rice production but remain idle or are grown with poor results due to salinity.

Studies show, however, that sustained and profitable production of crops, specifical rice on salt-affected soil is possible if appropriate farm management practices are implemented.

©Sirajul Islam

After completing the NAP-Ag MOOC, Sirajul Islam recommends people to take it too.

The agricultural system depends critically on climate. Agriculture plays a complex role in the rural, national, and social economic systems and everybody concerned should know how climate change has the potential to affect the productivity of crops, livestock, and fishery systems at the local, national, and global scale both in a positive and negative way.”

It’s important to be aware of this because it will alter the stability of food supplies and create new food security challenges for many countries,” he says.

To read more about the work of Sirajul Islam, check out some of his selected publications:

To access all the papers, you can also visit: https://independent.academia.edu/SirajulIslam1

Jaz Randhawa is a young 25-years-old student from Singapore who uses technology in her favor to raise awareness on climate change. She decided to enroll in our NAP-Ag MOOC and have learned more about climate change and how the rising temperatures are affecting the world’s land, water, and air. As a millennial, she doesn’t miss an opportunity to become a proactive member of her community and is already making a difference in her country.

Perhaps mine is not a story of what I do now to make a difference, but rather my goal, my dream, and what I aspire to be. Taking this course in climate change was my first real step in understanding what needs to be done and how people are making progress every day.”

Jaz Randhawa /©Jaz Randhawa

I found this course incredible in a variety of ways — how the content was interjected with real-life stories of people who are working hard to make a better world for all, having quizzes to make sure knowledge is retained, and the peer assessments.

The peer assessments, seem to have been her favorite. This unique learning tool asks participants to develop their own agriculture adaptation projects and share their work with their fellow learners for feedback and support.

Sentosa, Singapore

Through her peer assignment work, Jaz found that multiple adaption projects are currently underway that curtail low water supply by developing water reservoirs in-country and abroad in Malaysia. But these were not enough. For her,

Are you also using technology to tackle climate change? Spread the word, and tell us what difference are you making in your community or country. Share your story with us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

Some time ago, UN CC:Learn team went to Kenya to film the story of Zipora for the MOOC e-course on National Adaptation Plans: Building Climate Resilience in Agriculture. They have shared how this adventure went out and how they were welcomed by the locals. The course is currently available as a tutorial at our e-learning platform.

Ahead of the National Adaptation Plans: Building Climate Resilience in Agriculture (NAP-Ag) MOOC, Lorenzo and I, Elena, flew to Kenya to film the story of our protagonist Zipora, who took us on a journey in rural Kenya to show how she grew up in a traditional homestead and what it takes to find our way to the United Nations and build climate-resilient agricultural systems. Along the way, we were confronted with climate change and its snowballing impacts on people today.

Our first stop was Kitui, a town located 180 kilometers east of Nairobi. We met with farmers and agricultural extension officers. We were often received with beautiful melodies sung by farmers. Traditionally, farmers sing because they feel proud to be farmers because they know that the community respects them. So, to show their pride and appreciation, they sing!

On our way to one of the farms, our car got broke down, literally in the middle of nowhere and we had to find a way back.

Lorenzo (right) petting the dog while we were waiting for our car to be fixed.

At the time of our filming, it was supposed to be the rainy season. Instead, Kitui was going through the second period of drought; the land was cracking. It was shocking to see how scarce water was.

Photo: UNITAR/ Franchi

To get water, some people were digging holes in already dry river beds. Then, they used donkeys to take the water back to their homes.

Photo: UNITAR/ Franchi

We are very grateful to everyone that walked great distances to come out for the filming and welcomed us in their homes and offices.

Shooting some scenes for our first episode of the MOOC. Photo: Elena Zheglova

Are you interested in watching the full story? Sign up today and discover what National Adaptation Planning really is! Go here.

About NAP-Ag MOOC

This November, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the United Nations Development programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) jointly organized a free-of-charge massive open online course (MOOC) on “National Adaptation Plans: Building Climate Resilience in Agriculture.”

The NAP-Ag massive open online course is designed for a broad audience with an interest in climate change adaptation, agriculture, and sustainable development.

The course leverages expertise from a diverse group of experts and practitioners in adaptation planning and climate resilience for the agriculture sectors with experience at international, regional, national, and even local levels.

The content is structured around the four elements of the formulation and implementation of national adaptation plans and delivered through a series of case studies, video-stories and interviews spread over six weeks. The curse is currently available as a tutorial at UN CC:e-learn platform.

Young activists and researchers from Argentina participated in a tailored workshop on climate change mitigation. They discussed ways on how to prepare cities for the context of climate change and how a local cooperative can play a key role in raising awareness at the community level.

The countries of the Southern Cone are no exception to the greater frequency and intensity of extreme events due to climate change. According to the National Meteorological Service, 2017 was the warmest recorded year in the history of Argentina, both in the summer and winter, with an average annual temperature of 16.66°C. In addition to the progressive rise in temperature, variations in precipitation have resulted in more intense rains and longer periods of drought throughout the country.

Poster of the workshop, disseminated through the channels of CEVA, FECOOTRA, CECOOP, the Secretary of Extension of the Faculty of Natural Sciences and the Museum of the UNLP.

For the first time, the Center for Education and Cooperative Training (CECOOP) of the Federation of Cooperatives of Labor of the Argentine Republic (FECOOTRA), together with the José María Arizmendiarrieta Study Center, held a workshop focused on climate change. Following UN CC:Learn’s premise of “leaving no one behind” in its goal of disseminating knowledge on climate change, CECOOP organized the workshop so that any interested person could attend, without any registration costs for participants.

According to Guillermo Villate, the workshop was carried out within the framework of the principles of commitment to the community and to the environment, from which the CECOOP proposes to raise awareness at the community level, with regard to taking care of the environment.

Introduction to Climate Change Adaptation of the UN CC:e-Learn course. Photo: UN Environment

CECOOP based the training on the material of the UN CC:Learn Introductory e-Course on Climate Change, which provides the foundations of climate change, covering topics from climate science to governance. Over the past three years, thousands of people around the world have learned about climate change and its threats through this online course. In terms of education on climate change, this is the United Nations initiative with greatest reach, since it is a free course and is currently available in five languages.

The workshop motivated the exchange of ideas and experiences, generating debates and making the learning experience more enriching on what to do to face climate change and the activities that produce CO2. In addition to the content of the UN CC:Learn course, complementary activities were carried out with access to other documentary materials, videos and a closing Interdisciplinary Lecture on Climate Change with researchers from the Faculty of Natural Sciences and the National University of La Plata Museum.

Activity among the participants during one of the workshop sessions. Photo: CECOOP

The delivery of the workshop was approached from the perspective of the city of La Plata, where the case of mitigation to climate change was exposed particularly in Argentina, through the experiences of the cooperative “Creando Conciencia”. The mission of this Cooperative is to take care of the environment through the differentiated collection of waste with final disposal of each of them according to their characteristics. It also classifies, conditions and reinserts recyclable waste.

Among the participants of the workshop was a victim of the floods that occurred in 2013. Since then, Francisca Pinto has set out to register indicators, which she seeks to transfer to a digital format in the future, so that these serve as a source of information to benefit society in the legislative, administrative and training fields.

Participants during one of the workshop sessions. Photo: CECOOP

I could understand an issue that is not how it should be discussed within society and at the political level. I thought it was an interesting initiative that would be good to replicate in other places to continue to reach more people to generate collective awareness and allows to put on the world’s agenda the solution to the challenge of climate change.“ – Manuel María De Arrieta, participant of the workshop on climate change.

Upon the positive experience and good reception of the workshop, CECOOP intends to continue replicating the course in different regions of the country and include other fields of study among them, for example, how to prepare cities for the context of climate change through infrastructure. They also intend to continue raising awareness among communities about climate change and generate a collective interest in this important issue that threatens the entire world.

Professor Sanoussi Atta from Niger and Elise Kaba from Burkina Faso work together to prepare and to equip professionals with the knowledge and skills required to contribute to a better future in the Sahel. Both received training on ‘How to Develop, Deliver, and Evaluate Effective e-Learning’ to strengthen its learning system at Aghrymet.

Have you ever thought about how powerful teams come together? What are the odds that  two talented individuals from different places and different backgrounds cross paths and start working on the same issues? Professor Sanoussi Atta grew up in Niger. After studying Agricultural Engineering, he became a doctor in Biological Sciences. Elise Kaba is from Burkina Faso. She pursued her studies in Computer Science and worked her way towards a master’s degree in Physics. For the greater part of their lives, Elisa and Sanoussi walked different paths. Little did they know that something bigger than themselves would connect them, something that for years it was just a shared notion of space but that later would become the focus of their careers: the Sahel.

Located in West Africa, just below the Sahara Desert, this region of arid land that stretches from Senegal to Chad is a cultural and historical shoreline between the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. Since antiquity it has been the arena of interaction between Arabic, Islamic and nomadic cultures from the north, and indigenous and traditional cultures from the south. For these reasons, the Sahel has a powerful but also uneasy atmosphere. Over the decades, this has been a place of growing ethno-religious tensions, political instability, and poverty, aggravated by the inherited hardships of such dry environments. To make matters even more concerning, the region is particularly vulnerable to climate change. While the prospects are of increased temperatures globally, in the Sahel temperatures are rising 1.5 times faster than the global average, meaning that in the coming decades the region will most likely be defined by extreme weather occurrences. Addressing such impacts and adapting to the changes are of critical importance of the Sahel and this is where Prof. Sanoussi and Elise Kaba’s paths have crossed.

Prof. Sanoussi is Head of the Training and Research Department at the AGRHYMET Regional Centre (CRA*), a specialized institution of the Permanent Inter-State Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS*) located in Niamey, Niger.  His department is dedicated to the development and delivery of training and information on food and nutritional security, water management, climate change and the fight against desertification. Elise oversees the centre’s distance learning platform. Both are expert trainers working to prepare end equip professionals with the knowledge and skills required to contribute to a better future in the Sahel. But to do so at scale, the duo realized it was necessary to strengthen its learning system. “We knew it would be useful to move towards online courses and make the best of current technologies to increase our reach, training the greatest number of people possible in our countries and also to reduce costs”, Prof. Sanoussi and Elise explain. What they needed was a little technical guidance, which they got through the One UN Climate Change Learning Partnership (UN CC:Learn).

Through its West African Hub, UN CC:Learn delivered a Training of Trainers (ToT) to the AGRHYMET team on “How to Develop, Deliver and Evaluate Effective e-Learning”. The training was specifically tailored to AGRHYMET’s needs, supporting them in creating e-learning modules for their face-to-face master’s degree on climate change. “During the workshop, we learned the principles and methods for creating online courses and we had the chance to experiment, by applying the different steps in the process of developing an effective e-learning pilot product”, they recall, adding that the group exercises also allowed them to practice on existing course modules delivered at the Centre.

After the training, the team lost little time in putting what they had learned into practice with their main course module: Integrating Climate Change Policies. “This course was originally delivered in a face-to-face setting and the material was all in PowerPoint format. So, we used what we learned during the workshop to transform it into an e-learning course”, said the dynamic duo, with some pride. Now, Prof. Sanoussi and Elise are prepared to share what they have learned. “We have mastered the development of e-learning courses and we are committed to support and train our colleagues to do the same” they said, with some confidence that this episode will leave a meaningful legacy at AGRHYMET. “We are driven to provide high-quality adult education and develop the centre’s diploma training courses for distance learning, reaching a larger number of participants in the CILSS countries and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)”.

UN CC:Learn is excited to see what new upcoming learning solutions will be developed by these two climate champions and their teams.

Mariel Bueno, a trained Agroindustrial Engineer from Cochabamba, Bolivia, is a motivated youth that never stops learning. She started questioning herself, her work and her contribution to the world and after taking a UN CC:Learn course, she discovered a new truly fulfilling career path.

If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.”

Mariel interacting with the participants of the Second Gastronomic Business Round. Here she is advising two producers. /©Wilder Córdova.

This inspirational quote kept Mariel Bueno, a trained Agroindustrial Engineer from Cochabamba, Bolivia, motivated to continue learning, and lead her to discover a new truly fulfilling career path.

Mariel graduated from Agroindustrial Engineering with excellence. Equipped with a door-opening diploma, she began her career in agribusiness. She gained firsthand experience and technical skills in logistics, agro-productive chains, and supply and demand of agri-food products. She had the opportunity to interact with many of the key industry stakeholders, producers from different regions, executives, and entrepreneurs in the agri-food sector.

And yet, despite her quick progress up the career ladder, she soon started questioning herself, her work and her contribution to the world.

From an early age, I immersed myself in two realities of which I learned a lot: the countryside and the city, the production of food and the food industry, small farmers, peasants and merchants, scarcity and abundance. This is how I grew up, appreciating each world with its differences.”

The team at the end of the Sixth National Agribusiness Wheel “Conecta”. /©Fundación Valles

Mariel’s childhood memories drew her back to the countryside, where she ventured into the world of dairy products with a private company. But even there she could not find an answer and fulfillment. Feeling lost again, she was determined to search and learn.

Despite everything I was living, I decided to continue learning. I firmly believe that we always have to go ahead and make our existence worthwhile. I took several courses online and the light finally came through the NAP-Ag MOOC.”

Mariel helping participants at the Sixth National Agribusiness Wheel “Conecta”. /©Fundación Valles

This is how Mariel discovered the Massive Open Online Course on National Adaptation Plans: Building Climate Resilience in Agriculture (NAP-Ag MOOC) on UN CC:e-Learn platform. Throughout the course, she learned about adaptation planning, food security and she focused on her own country for the peer assessment project. Bolivia is experiencing its worst water crisis in the last 25 years and is vulnerable to droughts and pollution of rivers. Mariel chose the province of Capinota, previously known for its vast potential for productive diversity, which was recently declared as “Zone of Natural Disaster.”

“At the beginning, it seems that it [the MOOC] will give you some great new ideas about climate change, the importance of adaptation plans, and agriculture for food security. However, in the end, beyond increasing your awareness and knowledge about these issues, it opens your mind and a little bit, your heart.”

Mariel at the Second Gastronomic Business Round. /©Wilder Córdova.

Mariel learned a lot from the course. But beyond that, she actively transformed the theory into her new reality. By taking the NAP-Ag MOOC, it became clear to her that she would like to support her community in adapting to severe changes in the climate, help farmers develop new skills and use better technologies and advocate for policies that strengthen the productive sector.

This course allowed me to find my way, to define what I want to do the rest of my days. I know it is not too late to do something for Capinota, Bolivia or the world. But, I also know that there is still a lot of work to be done,” she says after taking the NAP-Ag MOOC.

Currently, Mariel and her mother work at their own urban garden Huerto Urbano Agroecológico “LaVictoria.” They produce their own food, and most of the vegetables and spices that their family consumes, such as tomatoes, oregano, celery, parsley, peppermint, pumpkin, etc, come directly from their garden. The mom-daughter duo also started the production of seedlings (eco-gardening, nursery), which they sell at local fairs. They are also planning to open an agro-ecological store at their house to sell local farmers to produce and promote agro-ecological farming, organic products and local consumption.

A plant that Mariel and her mother grow in their urban garden. /©Mariel Bueno

Mariel is also a full-time graduate student. She earned a half fee scholarship for a graduate program called, “Master of Science in Geoinformation and Earth Observation,” in part, due to her innate passion for learning. Above all, she has her mindset to cooperate in the sustainable development of her surroundings.

Mariel calls for more involvement of national institutions to provide agricultural education programs, which could provide education to farmers to support the development of technical capacities, gender analysis, and sustainable agricultural food cooperatives.

You can support Mariel and her projects! Visit:

UN CC:Learn has revamped its flagship Introductory e-course on Climate Change. New features, tools, videos, and interactive lessons have been added. The instructors will facilitate the learning experience by bringing their practical knowledge and relevant information on climate change into dynamic and engaging lessons.

After six successful years, UN CC:Learn has revamped its flagship Introductory e-course on Climate Change, making it available in three languages: English, Spanish and French. Since its launch in 2014, more than 100,000 people have registered and over 15,000 certificates have been issued, making it the most successful course in the UN CC:Learn portfolio.

From youth climate movements to the rise of environmentally friendly habits, people are more aware of climate change and its consequences than ever and are taking and demanding concrete action. In order to continue to offer the most engaging learning experience, the new course, titled Climate Change: From Learning to Action, improved on the original in several dimensions: 1) inclusion of new and up-to-date information (e.g. NDC process, youth engagement); 2) improved design and usability; 3) more practical use and interactivity for learners.

The e-course aims to enhance climate literacy across all sectors of society; therefore, it is open to anyone interested, from those who would like to learn more about the subject to those who want to turn their knowledge into action to take a stand against this issue. Upon completion of the six modules, users will be able to:

• Explain what climate change is;

• Describe how we plan to adapt to the negative impacts of climate change;

• Identify opportunities for low carbon development;

• Identify ways to plan and finance climate actions;

• Explain how climate negotiations work;

• Formulate a climate pledge, project or policy.

Each module is composed of 4 to 5 learning units featuring a mix of tools that deliver key content and engage the learners.  As part of the course, participants are also invited to develop a concrete action plan or project to tackle climate change.

Each module, which can be accessed in random order, answers a specific question:

• What is climate change and how does it affect us?

• How to adapt to climate change?

• How to mitigate climate change?

• How to plan and finance action on climate change?

• How do climate change negotiations work?

• How to tackle climate change in practice?

The course remains self-paced and free of charge. It takes an average of 8 hours to complete. However, users have the possibility to take only the modules that interest them most. A quiz at the end of each module allows participants to measure the achievement of the learning objectives. A certificate of completion is awarded to learners who score 70% or higher in all six quizzes.

Take up “Climate Change: From Learning to Action” in English, Spanish and French.

Zimbabwe has shown one more time that it is on track to enhance climate change learning within the country.

The Action Plan is an important component of the National Climate Change Learning strategy (NCCLS), which is informed by the findings from the Background and the Learning Needs Assessment Reports. This workshop in the NCCLS development process is an important step allowing for further consultations with stakeholders to i) finalize the vision for the NCCL Strategy; ii) identify and prioritize possible activities to be included in the Action Plan; iii) discuss implementation arrangements including the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework; and iv) agree on follow-up actions towards finalization and launch of the Strategy.

Remarks from all key partners, including UNITAR as the Secretariat of UN CC:Learn, UNDP Zimbabwe and the Climate Change Management Department in the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, highlighted the importance of the country’s National Climate Change Learning Strategy towards the country’s NDC implementation and the formulation and advancing of the National Adaptation Planning (NAP) process – as mainstreaming of climate change in education, awareness and skills development is key to ensure effective climate change management.

The two-day interactive event consisted of various sessions designed to devise action plans for the priority sectors which would contribute to strengthening climate change literacy in the country.  Activities aims, for instance, at integrating scientific knowledge with the indigenous knowledge systems, sensitization meetings, promoting climate proofed technologies, and improving agriculture cropping and livestock choices, among others.  The Action Plan intends to fill the climate change capacity building gaps identified:

  • Need for climate change capacity building of Teachers and Lecturers in all educational institutions in the country.
  • Scaling up of climate change education and awareness, targeting specifically rural communities with limited access to information.
  • Sensitization of small-scale miners, farmers, and rural development authorities.
  • Climate change education starting at low levels of learning.
  • Need to inform students in schools, workers, friends and relatives about the “climate emergency.”
  • Need for climate change training targeting civil protection structures at all levels.
  • Collaboration between the Climate Change Management Department and other institutions such as Agritex officers to promote Climate-Smart Agriculture.
  • Media should continue to play an active role in writing and reporting climate change issues.
  • Development of relevant and sector-specific information materials.
  • Need for engagement of faith-based organizations since they play a huge role in influencing and reaching citizenry.

Zimbabwe joined the UN CC:Learn Programme to scale up the efforts being done to strengthen climate change learning within the country. The National Climate Change Learning strategy being devised in partnership with UN CC:Learn aims to advance the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and the National Adaptation Plan (NAP), which would further help Zimbabwe address the several challenges posed by climate change, such as extreme weather events.