The communication and monitoring project for the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in Benin has been launched, aiming to simplify language, involve various stakeholders, and promote territorialization for effective grassroots climate action.

 

Read on to find out more.

In its ambition to align with international commitments on climate change, Benin has implemented its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), developed in 2017 and updated in 2021 under the Paris Agreement. Following the provisions of Articles 6 and 8 of the Paris Agreement, Benin has requested the support of international partners such as the NDC Partnership and UNITAR, through the UN CC Learn program, to better publicize the work undertaken by the country, to ensure better accounting of actions linked to the reduction of greenhouse gases, and greater ownership by all stakeholders. This is why on 16 November 2023, in Cotonou, Benin, the Ministry of the Environment and the Livelihood through the General Directorate for the Environment and Climate Change and its partners – the NDC Partnership, UNITAR, and stakeholders from other ministerial departments, civil society, medial – took part in the launch of the “Communication and monitoring of the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contribution and the Partnership Plan in Benin and the validation of the NDC synthesis report” project.

In his introductory remarks, Richard EDIKO-AKANNI, national coordinator of the project, recalled the importance of the project, including:

The general objective of this workshop is to effectively launch the Communication and Monitoring of the Implementation of the NDC and Partnership Plan in Benin project, and to validate the NDC summary report. Specifically, the aim will be to launch and validate the NDC summary document and the key messages for the communication materials, to make the document accessible to all sections of society, for better grassroots involvement.

As Angus MACKAY, Director of UNITAR’s Planet Division, pointed out:

The climate emergency affects us all. We all need to get involved.

To this end, Professor Martin PEPIN AÏNA, Director General of Environment and Climate Change, expressed his satisfaction:

I am very pleased and grateful for your presence at this workshop to think outside the box to speak a language accessible to the public.

Then, Professor AÏNA gave a brief history of the context of the NDC in Benin recalling that:

Following the completion of the status report of the NDC concerning the actions implemented in the 2017-2019 period, Benin has updated this instrument. This ambition, translated by the government of Benin, clearly shows its adherence to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its support as a partner country to the Paris Agreement.

To ensure that all participants had the same level of information, Antoinette SAGBO, communications consultant for the project, gave a presentation of the NDC summary document. This revealed the need to simplify the language to make it accessible to all. As Albert COMPAORE, UNITAR Adviser to the countries of West Africa, said:

This document must be understood by all Beninese so that everyone can act in the same direction. This is the first time a country has made the effort to translate a document of this scope for its people.  And we congratulate Benin.

The Director General of the Environment and Climate Change added:

We can’t make progress on nationally determined contributions (NDCs) as defined in the Paris Agreement without the ownership by all stakeholders. It is essential to review the language we speak, to review policy at the grassroots level, and to go as far as territorializing our NDC.

This concern for returning to the grassroots has been at the heart of the project since its inception,

In developing the NDC, we have reached out to communities in several ways.  For the adaptation part, we conducted vulnerability studies by going into the field.

said Oloadjewou Odjougbele, Country Facilitator of NDC Partnership in Benin.

For a better involvement of politicians, Angus MACKAY, Director of the Planet Division at UNITAR mentioned the Declaration on Climate Change Learning that was signed by 6 countries at COP 28 in Dubai.

Working groups serving as communication activities

The media, ministerial departments, associations, and civil society gathered in sub-groups to watch a mural on climate change, which introduced them to a better understanding of the term “nationally determined contribution (NDC)”.

Alexandre Samuel GACHOUD, Coordinator of the UN CC Learn regional program, echoed Professor AÏNA’s call for a “territorialization of the NDC”, and outlined some of the communications actions to be developed in 2024.

“Specifically, for this year, we will be working on the production of television and radio programs. In addition, there will be special activities to celebrate National Tree Day (1 June 2024). The idea is to have a participatory process by engaging with the various stakeholders”.

Similarly, Charlène MOUBOULOU, Communication and Project Management Assistant at UN CC Learn, acknowledged the existing empirical expertise:

“We are aware that people are implementing adaptation and mitigation actions.  So, it is important that people can take ownership of the NDC and implement its activities that really contribute to reducing the greenhouse gas emissions rate for Benin for better accounting at the national level.

The workshop concluded with recommendations from participants on the second national radio frequency, which covers more than sixty vernacular languages, and a glossary in the main vernacular groups of Benin.

The TEDxGeneva team, speakers, and volunteers at the TEDxGeneva Breathing edition.

For the third consecutive year, UN CC:Learn joined forces with TEDxGeneva to provide a platform for people with ground-breaking ideas on how to solve the current environmental and social problems of the world.

 

Read on to find out more.

The act of breathing is essential for the living things on Planet Earth. But to breathe is as much biological and mechanical as it is personal and emotional. Each breath tells a story, from joy to sadness, from hope to light. Every breath is a reminder of the life around us and that all life is part of a greater, interlinked system.

To explore the correlations between the different meanings of ‘’breathing” and the current environmental challenges societies are facing, UN CC:Learn partnered for the third time with TEDxGeneva to organize TEDxGeneva’s Breathing edition, a TEDx event that brought forward innovative ideas and put the environment and climate change action at the core of it. The event built on the collaboration UN CC:Learn has had with TEDxGeneva since 2021 and that has already resulted in two TEDxGeneva events: The Tide is Rising and Regeneration.

With the question “Who are the agents of change shaping a breathable future for all?’, the event set out to provide a platform for speakers with great ideas to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues, from water supply in drought-stricken areas to the deployment of new technology to foment conservation practices. In total, seven speakers from different parts of Europe took to the stage to deliver seven TEDx talks – 4 in French and 3 in English – to over 100 attendees at the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), in Geneva, Switzerland, on 1st December 2023.

Ms. Astrid Humbert-Droz delivering her talk at the TEDxGeneva Breathing edition.

Ms. Astrid Humbert-Droz delivering her talk at the TEDxGeneva Breathing edition.

The event kicked off with Mr. Noam Yaron, a Swiss eco-adventurer and swimmer who takes part in extreme physical challenges, such as the crossing of Lac Léman (over 80km) to raise awareness of the importance of nature and biodiversity conservation. Mr. Yaron highlighted how he improved his performance, both mentally and physically, when he learned ancient breathing techniques.  He was followed by Ms. Fiona Beenkens an architect specialized in neuro-architecture, a new field that puts well-being at the core of architectural projects. She spoke about how neuro-architecture can contribute to tackling problems, such as anxiety, and help people feel safer in different environments.

After Ms. Beenkens, Mr. Paolo Mastrocola, an engineer specialized in water management, stepped on the stage to speak about the work he has been doing to improve the lives of the rural populations of Somalia’s drylands through the construction of natural dams. These natural dams have reshaped communities there, bringing potable water, employment, more biodiversity, and increased crop yields. Then Mr. Thierry Pick, a self-made businessman and creator of the “naturist business management” style, took over to speak about how he uses well-being as a criterion for his company’s growth and performance, and how this unique indicator can increase employees’ commitment, happiness and dedication.

Ms. Astrid Humbert-Droz, seamstress and student at the École Hôtelière de Genève, spoke about how Switzerland, the second largest fashion consumer in the world, could implement strategies, such as take-back programmes, to reduce the country’s staggering 100,000 tones of annual textile waste. She was followed by Mr. Thomas Elliott, founder of Restor, a spin-off start-up from ETH Zurich that uses technology to help make biodiversity protection and conservation economically viable for local people. Lastly, Ms. Giorda closed the evening by explaining how hypnosis can be used as a tool to shift people’s mindsets and encourage more sustainable lifestyles, with less consumption and more respect for nature and other human beings.

The TEDxGeneva team, speakers, and volunteers at the TEDxGeneva Breathing edition.

The TEDxGeneva team, speakers, and volunteers at the TEDxGeneva Breathing edition.

After the event, guests were invited to attend a post-event reception at IFRC itself, where they met and interacted with the speakers, and got an opportunity to network with the rest of the audience.

This TEDxGeneva event was supported by UN CC:Learn, the Government of France, Haute École de Gestion de Genève, École Hotelière de Genève, and the International Federation of the Red Cross.

Photo Credit: Minister of Environment, United Arab Emirates

At COP28, West African nations, including Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Togo, and Guinea signed a Regional Declaration on Climate Change Education, committing to increase funding for comprehensive climate literacy efforts in the region.

 

This initiative, supported by the UN CC:Learn programme, aims to mobilize resources from national and international sources and is expected to garner support from other West African countries and regional institutions.

 

Read on to find out more.

While it has been clear for some time that climate change education is one of the most fundamental unmet needs of countries bearing the brunt of the crisis, it has proved difficult to unlock to necessary resources to meet that need at scale. For several years the UN CC:Learn programme (supported by Switzerland) has been working in West Africa to better understand the gap and to build a regional approach to strengthening climate literacy at all levels (formal, non-formal, and informal).

On 4th December 2023 at COP28 the first 4 West African Environment Ministers met in the margins of the negotiations, under the auspices of the Ministry of Education of the United Arab Emirates, and signed a Regional Declaration on Climate Change Education.  The force of that meeting and those initial signatures, including Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and Togo followed by Guinee on 6 December, has energised a process that will see all 13 Member States of the Comité Permanent Inter-Etats de Lutte contre la Sécheresse dans le Sahel (CILSS) signing the declaration in the coming months.

Seated - Ministries of Environment of Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal and Togo (M. Roger Baro, M. Jacques Assahore Konan, M. Alioune Ndoye, M. Katari Foli Bazi). Standing - UNITAR's Executive Director, Mr. Nikhil Seth.

Seated – Ministries of Environment of Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and Togo (M. Roger Baro, M. Katari Foli Bazi, M. Alioune Ndoye, M. Jacques Assahore Konan). Standing – UNITAR’s Executive Director, Mr. Nikhil Seth.

Beyond this, it is expected that other West African nations will also provide their support together with significant regional institutions.  The Declaration states that its signatories will ‘increase efforts to significantly raise the level of funding for climate change education in West Africa by mobilising national budgetary resources and based on multiple sources (international public and private)’.

M. Alioune Ndoye, Minister of Environment, Senegal, signing the Declaration. Photo Credit: Minister of Environment, United Arab Emirates

M. Alioune Ndoye, Minister of Environment, Senegal, signed the Declaration. Photo Credit: Minister of Environment, United Arab Emirates

The Declaration will, at the same time, pave the way for important discussions to be held with development partners to bring the support that the region needs to build climate change literacy at scale.  As recently set out in a UNDP-UNITAR article on climate education :

“Small investments in planning for climate education can unlock much larger financing. For example, the Dominican Republic was one of the first countries to receive a UN CC:Learn grant back in 2012 which it used to leverage millions of dollars of public money to train primary school teachers across the country. More recently Zambia has been successful in leveraging a major IKI grant (17 million Euro) for climate education based on a UN CC:Learn grant of $100,000 in 2018.” – UNITAR and UNDP

M. Roger Baro, Minister of Environment of Burkina Faso, holding the Declaration alongside Mr. Angus Mackay, Director, Division for Planet, UNITAR. Photo Credit: Minister of Environment, United Arab Emirates.

M. Roger Baro, Minister of Environment of Burkina Faso, holding the Declaration alongside Mr. Angus Mackay, Director, Division for Planet, UNITAR. Photo Credit: Minister of Environment, United Arab Emirates.

The Declaration signed by Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal and Togo at the Financing Climate Change Education: Challenges and Successes at COP28, in Dubai, UAE. Photo Credit: Minister of Environment, United Arab Emirates.

The Declaration signed by Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and Togo at the Financing Climate Change Education: Challenges and Successes at COP28, in Dubai, UAE. Photo Credit: Minister of Environment, United Arab Emirates.

UN CC:Learn has trained 58 negotiators in Zimbabwe to better prepare them for the climate change negotiations taking place at COP28.

 

Read on to find out more about the training.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) is the supreme decision-making body of the Convention and assesses progress on combatting climate change. Since the first COP or COP 1 in 1995, COPs have been used to review what Parties have achieved, and measure progress. They are also where negotiations take place for the next round of emissions reductions. They are a vital means of monitoring the progress made so far and working out the targets that need to be achieved in the future if we are to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement.   As one can imagine, the process can be quite complex. This complexity arises from the multi-faceted and global nature of the climate change issue, involving diverse stakeholders, technical considerations, long-term commitments, political sensitivity, and legal frameworks. The challenge lies in finding common ground among nations with different interests and priorities to address the urgent and complex issue of climate change.

Countries need to know how to navigate the complex international climate change negotiations environment to ensure that their interests are heard and considered.   Experienced negotiators have, over the years, developed the skills, knowledge, and confidence necessary to navigate the complex and high-stakes world of international climate change negotiations through a combination of active participation, training, networking, mentorship, and continuous learning.

However, for new and young negotiators, this process can be quite overwhelming. Negotiators must deal with complex issues of climate change, intimidating the international arena, power dynamics between different Parties, limited resources, and support, and balancing between advocating for ambitious climate action and adhering to diplomatic protocols.  Despite these challenges, the presence of young negotiators is crucial for the UNFCCC COP process.

In preparation for COP 28, a week-long “Climate Diplomacy Programme for Zimbabwe Negotiators” training, was designed and delivered by UNITAR in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe from the 30th October – 3rdNovember 2023.  This is built on the long-standing partnership between UNITAR and the Government of Zimbabwe through UN CC:Learn. This training was a support request that the Government of Zimbabwe submitted to the NDC Partnership Action Fund (PAF).

It was opened by Mr. Mangaliso Ndlovu, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Environment, Climate, and Wildlife. Mr. Ndlovu stressed the world is going through a climate crisis and highlighted the importance of global efforts to emissions.

Mr. Mangaliso Ndlovu, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Environment, Climate and Wildlife. Photo credit: Chronicle Zimbabwe

Mr. Mangaliso Ndlovu, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Environment, Climate and Wildlife. Photo credit: Chronicle Zimbabwe

“We have a climate crisis, and that is precisely the reason why parties convene annually to discuss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience in communities across nations. As we are in the implementation period for the Paris Agreement, climate change diplomacy and negotiations are critical towards ensuring that all the objectives of the Paris Agreement are fairly and equitably delivered.” – Mr. Mangaliso Ndlovu, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Environment, Climate and Wildlife

The training workshop was designed for UNFCCC focal points, civil servants in line ministries (e.g. Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Industry and Ministry of Energy), national negotiators who attend UNFCCC bodies as observers or Party members, prepare submissions to UNFCCC bodies and participate actively in the UNFCCC processes in the country.

The training lasted 4,5 days and trained a total of 58 participants. The main goal of the training was to train participants on relevant topics for the upcoming COP28, with a particular focus on building the capacity of the country’s youth negotiators.  Some of the key topics, that are of particular interest to Zimbabwe, covered during the training include:

  • Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF)
  • Climate Finance
  • Article 6
  • Global Goal on Adapatation
  • Mitigation work programme
  • Koronivia joint work on agriculture
  • Loss and damage
  • Action for climate empowerment (ACE)
  • Global stocktake

The training workshop brought important issues to the fore and sparked relevant discussions. A highlight, for instance, was the discussion around the particular circumstances of Zimbabwe, which is a fossil fuel-dependent country that, historically, has contributed very little to the climate crisis but, at the same, is quite vulnerable to climate change impacts.

Two key recommendations that came out from the workshop were the importance of having more training sessions to go in-depth into key topics and the need to get more people trained, regardless of their participating in climate change conferences, such as COPs. Participants received their Certificates of Participation.

Two key recommendations that came out from the workshop were the importance of having more training sessions to go in-depth into key topics and the need to get more people trained, regardless of their participation in climate change conferences, such as COPs. Participants received their Certificates of Participation.

Participating in this training is one of the criteria that the Government of Zimbabwe is using in building their delegation to COP 28 in Dubai.

Participating in this training is one of the criteria that the Government of Zimbabwe is using in building their delegation to COP 28 in Dubai.

In November 2023, UN CC:Learn organized two Dialogue Spaces that brought several partners together to discuss key topics within climate change education and explore synergies.

 

Read on to find out more.

November marked the last series of UN CC:Learn’s Dialogue Spaces of the year. The Dialogue Spaces are dedicated platforms for UN CC:Learn partner organizations and countries to discuss, co-create ideas, and share experiences to accelerate efforts on climate change education, training, and public awareness. This month, two Dialogue Spaces were held: Learning for Countries and Learning through Youth.

UNESCO’s Greening Education Partnership was the highlight of the Learning for Countries Dialogue Space. The Greening Education Partnership (GEP) is a global initiative that takes a whole-of-system approach to support countries in tackling the climate crisis by harnessing the critical role of education. UN CC:Learn, having begun to support partner countries over a decade ago through the development and implementation of National Climate Change Learning Strategies, is a partner to GEP. UN CC:Learn aims to leverage synergies with GEP to scale up climate education in countries around the world.

The Learning through Youth Dialogue Space showcased several UN CC:Learn initiatives that are specifically tailored to strengthening the knowledge and skills of youth to take action on climate change. During this Dialogue Space, the results of UN CCLearn’s Youth Survey were presented, in which – 91% of respondents (18- 35 years old) believe they have been affected by climate change. The results of the survey serve as a guiding document to which UN CC:Learn develops its youth programs, including the Youth climate Dialogues, TEDx talks, online resources on climate change, radio programs on climate change, and much more.

With immense interest from UN CC:Learn alumni, a dedicated package of resources will be developed focusing on the soft skills the alumni need to excel in their climate action endeavours. The skills identified have been leadership, project management, inclusivity, communication, and resource mobilization, and they will be part of the “How to Become a Climate Change Champion” e-course This course will be offered in addition to the technical knowledge from the other e-courses on the UN CC:e-learn platform to build skills of alumni interested in becoming agents of change in their respective fields.

Stay tuned to UN CC:Learn for more exciting news about these and other initiatives as we close yet another year of delivering climate knowledge to the people.

This course will introduce you to the Paris Agreement Implementation and Compliance Committee (PAICC). It will provide you with a detailed description of the function, nature, and operation of the Committee.

Enroll
  • Climate Change

Self-paced course

3 hours

Welcome!

The Paris Agreement Implementation and Compliance Committee (PAICC), established under Article 15 of the Paris Agreement, facilitates the implementation of and promotes the compliance with the Paris Agreement.

This course will introduce you to the Paris Agreement Implementation and Compliance Committee (PAICC). It will provide you with a detailed description of the function, nature, and operation of the Committee.

What will you learn?

By completing this course, learners will be able to:

  • Define the operating context of the Committee in the reporting and review process under the Paris Agreement.
  • Summarize the role, key features, and conduct of meetings of the Committee.
  • Identify and categorize the four modes of initiation of the work of the Committee and enumerate  the measures the Committee can take to facilitate Party’s implementation and compliance with the Paris Agreement.

Course at a glance

This online course includes one online lesson with two learning modules and a quiz that take an average of two hours to be completed.

Module 1: Operating context of the Paris Agreement Implementation and Compliance Committee (PAICC).

Module 2: Facilitation of implementation and promotion of compliance with the Paris Agreement.

Who is this course for?

This course caters to both Party and non-Party stakeholders, including members of civil society, policymakers, advisors, government officials and parliamentarians.

Certification

Participants who successfully pass the quiz with a minimum grade of 70% within three attempts will get an official UN Climate Change certificate.

Picture of a forest in the shape of a set of lungs.

The Climate Change Negotiations and Health e-course has been updated ahead of COP28.

 

The course unpacks the interlinkages between climate change and health and aims to answer important questions, such as the current state of climate change negotiations at the international level with regard to health, and how climate change is impacting human health.

Human-driven climate change is expected to cause 250,000 additional deaths per year from 2030 to 2050 – linked to issues ranging from malnutrition to heat stress. This is forecast to amount to U$ 2 – 4 billion of extra costs to countries throughout the globe by 2030.

Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the important interlinkages between human health and the state of our environment and economies. As societies expand and develop, addressing human health and climate change as two intertwined topics have never been so important.

In light of these challenges and aiming at supporting delegates participating in the upcoming UN climate change negotiations (COP28), the Change Negotiations and Health e-course, jointly developed by UN CC:Learn, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the World Health Organization (WHO) and Climate Tracker has been updated.

The newly updated e-course is entirely self-paced, has 6 lessons and takes an average of 3 hours to be completed. It unveils the interlinkages between climate change and health and sheds light on how international treaties on climate change address health issue. Additionally, complementary online sessions will be organized for selected participants.

Upon completion of the course, users will be able to:

  1. Explain how climate change affects health;
  2. Recognize the international climate change policy framework;
  3. Identify the Parties and groups of Parties to the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement, including their respective commitments and negotiation positions;
  4. Describe the outcomes of past negotiation sessions;
  5. Discuss the key issues in the ongoing international climate change negotiations, particularly in relation to the promotion of health priorities and the integration of health in all policies.

The course is open to anybody interested. However, it should be of particular interest to the following audiences:

  • Health sector professionals participating in international climate change negotiations and in national climate change-related processes;
  • Environmental sector professionals participating in international and national climate change processes as well as climate change negotiators;
  • Other interested government officials and practitioners;
  • Academics and university students;
  • Other individuals interested in learning about the promotion of health priorities in the context of climate change and climate change negotiations.

Upon satisfactory completion of the course, which means scoring 70% or more in the final quiz within 3 attempts, users will get an official UN CC:Learn certificate.

Take the course here.

UN CC:Learn has affiliated three online courses developed by UN Climate Change that will get you up-to-speed on the international climate change process and the Paris Agreement.

 

Read on to find out more!

What is the UN Climate Change process and how does it work? How does it relate to the Paris Agreement? How is the Paris Agreement implemented at the country level?

These questions may seem complicated, but the latest e-courses developed by UN Climate Change (UNFCCC) and affiliated on UN CC:e-Learn will help you unpack these and many other questions related to the UN Climate Change process and the Paris Agreement.

The three online courses are free-of-charge, self-paced, and open to everyone. Participants who are involved in climate change negotiations will find it particularly useful as they will take a deep dive into how the climate change decision-making framework and process take place.

The courses are:

Read on to find out more about each course.

A Participant Guide of the UN Climate Change Process

In 2 hours, this e-course will introduce you to the international climate change regime and its three key instruments – the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement.

It will walk you through the ins and outs of the UNFCCC process and the mechanisms to engage the Parties to the UNFCCC in several fora.

In addition, it will shed light on UNFCCC’s decision-making and reporting processes.

Explore the course!

Climate meeting plenary

Climate meeting plenary. Photo credit: UN Climate Change

The National Implementation of the Paris Agreement

This 2-hour e-course will show how domestic legislation is key to limiting dangerous anthropogenic climate change.

It will explain why it’s important to regulate, structure, and implement national climate action legislation to meet the Paris Agreement objectives.

Moreover, the course will showcase adaptation and mitigation legislation examples while providing guidance on overarching climate change laws that governments can put in place to establish bodies and frameworks that will support their climate action efforts.

Explore the course!

People with SDG signs. Photo credit: UN Climate Change.

People with SDG signs. Photo credit: UN Climate Change.

The Paris Agreement Implementation and Compliance Committee

This course will walk you through the Paris Agreement Implementation and Compliance Committee (PAICC), which was established under Article 15 of the Paris Agreement.

In 3 hours, you will be introduced to the PAICCC and learn how it facilitates the implementation of and ensures compliance with the Paris Agreement, getting insights into its operation and objectives.

Explore the course!

Signature of the Paris Agreement. Photo Credit: UN Climate Change.

Signature of the Paris Agreement. Photo Credit: UN Climate Change.

Education provides the most consistent pathway out of poverty and vulnerability, it is said. UNDP and UNITAR look at how this argument plays out for climate change, particularly around resilience.

 

Authors: Angus Mackay, Rohini Kohli, Josefina Ashipala, Liam Fee

UN CC:Learn and UNDP logos.

Adaptation does not happen in a vacuum. It needs specific knowledge and skills to be made available to the many. We can only harness the energy and ideas of society through education, and adaptation works best if the solutions are designed as close as possible to where the impacts are being felt.

We are referring to education across the different stages of life, from schooling to universities and technical education as well as through adult learning and training in all its forms. If we take this broader view, universities, national think tanks, research entities, and local learning institutions are all part of the broad mix of institutional stakeholders necessary to transform education systems.

African student writing on board.

Student in Kenya. Photo credit: Lorenzo Franchi 7 UN CC:Learn

Here are three reasons why we think that climate change education deserves a closer look.

1- Countries are asking for help. Many countries have a keen interest in refocusing their education systems towards climate change action. This is because they realise that both current and future generations need to have a deeper understanding of the issues at stake when it comes to climate change. You only have to look as far as the NDC Partnership’s national frameworks to see this demand coming through almost universally.

Development partners, perhaps led by the UN system, need to do more in this space. Systematic (rather than piecemeal) assessments of needs can bring greater visibility and engagement. The One UN Climate Change Learning Partnership (UNCC:Learn) has been developing national learning strategies for a decade offering a wealth of experience covering formal, informal, and non-formal education measures. Learning action plans covering all NDC sectors and supporting general education provide a further step.

Investment plans to support these proposals would take us one step further, as we are seeing in countries like Namibia, Bhutan, and Zambia: Namibia has linked accessing USD 18 billion in climate finance for its NDC to ensuring ‘retention of nationals with the necessary skills and knowledge’Bhutan has made its national educational institutions a central pillar of its National Adaptation Plan, to train public sector officials in adaptation and resilience on a recurrent basis; and Zambia is launching a major climate change education project that seeks to transform its education system as a driver for green growth. These are important steps that are being taken by countries to consolidate gains made on adaptation towards a green and fair economic transition.

2- Climate education pays off. The Global Center on Adaptation documents several case studies on the relationship between climate change, vulnerability, and education. As its 2022 Report on “State and Trends in Adaptation” says:

Africa has a large and growing young population, with about 60 percent under the age of 25. While the sheer size of this young population poses challenges in terms of providing education and employment, it also brings major opportunities …. in ways that can accelerate economic growth, build resilience, and drive transformational adaptation.

Classroom in Mauritius.

Classroom in Mauritius. Photo credit: Lorenzo Franch / UN CC:Learn

The UN CC:Learn experience on financing climate education is also quite telling. Small investments in planning for climate education can unlock much larger financing. For example, the Dominican Republic was one of the first countries to receive a UN CC:Learn grant back in 2012 which it used to leverage millions of dollars of public money to train primary school teachers across the country. More recently Zambia has been successful in leveraging a major IKI grant (17 million Euro) for climate education based on a UN CC:Learn grant of $100,000 in 2018.

Long-term solutions to the climate emergency must engage those on the frontlines. We are talking about interventions that go beyond ‘consultation’ and that involve local communities as the principal architects of adaptation action. Despite well-intentioned efforts to consult more effectively in project design, many development practitioners would probably agree that those principal architects often sit many hundreds or even thousands of miles from where the impacts are being felt. And indeed there are multiple reasons for this; some having to do with global financing structures.

Turning this tendency around will require an approach that invests in education, research, and learning through partnerships with universities and other training and research institutions. Such an approach would help to unlock national potential, strengthen locally driven research, engage with indigenous solutions, and better document what works and why.

The Organic Farm7 is an organic farm in Zambia that uses innovative irrigation techniques to water crops and solar energy as its primary energy source. Its founder, Mr. Abel Hangoma, an engineer by profession, is committed to teaching his methods to other farmers. Photo Credit: Lorenzo Franchi / UN CC:Learn

The Organic Farm7 is an organic farm in Zambia that uses innovative irrigation techniques to water crops and solar energy as its primary energy source. Its founder, Mr. Abel Hangoma, an engineer by profession, is committed to teaching his methods to other farmers. Photo Credit: Lorenzo Franchi / UN CC:Learn

UNDP is a member of the Adaptation Research Alliance – a global coalition on action-oriented research that informs adaptation solutions.  The work of the ARA emphasises learning as a driver of solutions, particularly at the local level.  This work builds on UNDP’s long-standing support to countries to strengthen knowledge and skills both at the community level and within different tiers of government.

Learning and education take place throughout a lifetime, both in and out of school.  It may occur in the community, in more distant locations, and increasingly online. At the global level, the Massive Online courses developed by UNITAR and UNDP have reached tens of thousands of practitioners.

Below are some resources from the UN CC:Learn platform, which covers nearly 100 courses in multiple languages and trains more than 100,000 individuals per year.

Is it time for a fresh look at climate change education? We think so.

Farmer carrying produce with two kids in Southeast Asia.

The second course in our two-part learning series is out!

 

Advancing Sustainable Development in Practice teaches you how to apply in practice an integrated approach to sustainable development throughout the various stages of the policy and project cycles.

 

Read on to learn more about the course.

In July 2023, UN CC:Learn and UNDP/UNEP’s Poverty-Environment Action for Sustainable Development (UNDP-UNEP PEA) released a new two-part learning series on the integration of sustainable development approaches in poverty and environment issues.

The “Intro to Sustainable Development in Practice” e-course, the first course in this learning series, has been a great success with more than 8,500 sign-ups and over 2,500 certificates delivered in a bit over three months.

Following this successful launch, the 7-module “Advancing to Sustainable Development in Practice” e-course has been made available on UN CC:e-Learn.

The course is the final part of the learning series and takes an in-depth look at how to apply in practice an integrated approach to sustainable development throughout the various stages of the policy and project cycle, including analysis, dialogue, planning, financing, communicating, monitoring, and evaluation.

It is based on Chapter 2 to Chapter 8 of the publicationSustainable Development in Practice: A Handbook for Integrating Environment, Climate and Poverty Reduction” (Bass et al., 2023) and explores a number of tools, tips and methods that can aid practitioners put in place interventions related to the environment, climate action, and poverty reduction, at the national and sub-national levels.

The learning series aims to bring poverty, environment, and climate objectives into the heart of development plans, policies, budgets, public and private finance in partner countries. Both the Intro and Advanced coursesare based on years of experience, lessons, case studies, and practical guidance distilled by the PEI/PEA project and synthesized in the PEA Handbook.

Learn more about “Advancing Sustainable Development in Practice” below!

What will you learn?

After completing the course, learners will be able to:

  • Examine and promote evidence-based approaches to poverty and environment issues.
  • Set up effective sustainable development dialogue process with key stakeholders.
  • Develop strategies for embedding poverty and environment issues into policy processes and plans.
  • Demonstrate the integration of poverty and environment issues into public and private finance, including fiscal policy.
  • Design an effective communication strategy supporting poverty and environment issues integration.
  • Formulate approaches for effective monitoring & evaluation of poverty and environment actions.
  • Discuss institutional change approaches to enabling integrated sustainable development.

Who is this course for?

The course is open to everyone, but the following groups may find it particularly useful:

  • Technical and policy planning staff at the national, regional, and local levels;
  • Development practitioners;
  • Change agents from civil society and the private sector, including youth;
  • Citizens interested in sustainable development in practice.

Will you get a certificate?

Once you complete all videos, lessons, and activities in each module, you will need to complete the final quiz at the end of the course before the certificate becomes automatically available for download.

Take the course!