A new indicator developed by UN CC:Learn and the MECCE Project is providing insights into how UN CC:Learn is promoting online climate change learning among adults worldwide.

 

Read on to find out more.

UN CC:Learn and the Monitoring and Evaluating Climate Communication and Education Project (MECCE) are shedding light on the state of online climate change learning among adults worldwide.

Building on a collaboration that was established in 2022, UN CC:Learn and the MECCE Project, an international research initiative bringing together over 100 leading scholars and agencies hosted by the University of Saskatchewan, have developed a new global indicator that gives a proxy measure of the engagement of adults in online learning about climate change.

This new indicator is available on the MECCE Project data platform and can be combined with other indicators there to analyze how the completion of UN CC:Learn courses is contributing to advancing climate learning worldwide.

The MECCE Project used the number of UN CC:Learn courses completed from 2020 to 2023 by type of course and country, as well as external data such as the number of adults with internet connection by country, to come up with a five-level indicator, with 1 being the lowest and 5 highest.

The indicator has demonstrated that UN CC:Learn courses have comprehensive global coverage (77%) and that, over the years, online climate change learning through the completion of UN CC:Learn courses among adults has ramped up in more countries, especially developing ones. These countries are ranking higher on the indicator’s scale. In 2023, for instance, 70 countries were at level three in comparison with 56 in 2022. Similarly, now 11 countries are at level four and 4 at level five, in comparison with 5 and 1, respectively, a year before.

In addition to the indicators, the MECCE Project provides insights into the state of climate change education in countries through 80 country profiles. Several UN CC:Learn Partner countries are featured there and users can explore a comprehensive overview of the country’s climate change strategies and policies over the years, divided into several key sections.

Moving forward, UN CC:Learn and the MECCE project will keep collaborating to see how the indicator evolves in the future.

Masters Students from College of Europe during the presentation at Palais des Nations.

On 4th March 2024, the Green Development and Climate Change Programme Unit was invited to present UN CC:Learn and PAGE to master’s students from the College of Europe, as part of a two-day field visit to International Geneva.

 

Read on to find out more.

Why is education and training important for climate action and climate policy?

That’s what the Green Development and Climate Change Programme Unit (GCP) set out to answer during a field trip of master students from the College of Europe’s EU International Relations and Diplomacy programme.

The students came from Brugge, Belgium, on March 4th 2024 to visit International Geneva and learn more about the work of various international organizations and the coordination between the European Union member states in the context of multilateral diplomacy. They took part in a two-day programme at Palais des Nations, where they visited the European Headquarters of the United Nations, and attended presentations by DiploFoundation, IPCC, UNHCR, WHO, and UNITAR.

On behalf of UNITAR’s GCP, Mr. Lucas Terra and Mr. Abhinandan Banarjee walked the students through two of GCP’s main projects: UN CC:Learn and the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE).

Mr. Terra introduced UN CC:Learn and spoke about the different activities being carried out by the programme, notably the e-learning platform (UN CC:e-Learn), and the country projects. He highlighted the role education and training have in driving action on climate change, and how UN CC:Learn’s in-country and global initiatives play an important part in this agenda. Mr. Terra showcased UN CC:Learn’s some of UN CC:Learn’s main achievements to date, such as the development of 13 National Climate Change Learning Strategies and the issuance of over 380,000 certificates of completion.

Mr. Terra and Mr. Banarjee presenting UN CC:Learn and PAGE to the students from College of Europe. Photo Credit: College of Europe.

Mr. Terra and Mr. Banarjee presenting UN CC:Learn and PAGE to the students from College of Europe. Photo Credit: College of Europe.

Mr.Banerjee introduced the students to the Partnership for Action on Green Economy, and how it brings together the expertise of 5 specialised UN Agencies, including UNITAR, to foster a holistic transition to an Inclusive Green Economy in several countries across the world. He discussed, some of the capacity-building initiatives that UNITAR spearheaded as part of PAGE, both globally, and in specific partner countries, and highlighted how multiple agencies, with different strengths can effectively collaborate to achieve tangible outcomes on the ground.

To conclude their presentation, they showcased the stories of two GCP beneficiaries who are making a difference in their communities: Ms. Asha Alexander and Mr. Mamunur Rahman. Ms. Alexander is a school principal in Dubai, UAE, who completed UN CC:Learn courses. She’s encouraging thousands of students and teachers to follow in her footsteps and complete at least six UN CC:Learn courses. Mr. Rahman took part in a PAGE training that inspired him to become a social entrepreneur in Bangladesh. He founded Ella Pad and now supports thousands of factory-working women by providing sanitary pads and protective masks made from garment scrap from the factories.

To wrap up the session, both Mr. Terra and Mr. Banarjee took questions from the audience. The students were keen to better understand the development process of courses, particularly how their content is prioritized, developed, and vetted. They were also keen to understand how PAGE and UN CC:Learn engage with governments in the area of training and capacity development.

College of Europe students at the Palais des Nations. Photo Credit: College of Europe

College of Europe students at the Palais des Nations. Photo Credit: College of Europe

Photo: UN Climate Change - Kiara Worth

UN CC:Learn advanced the climate change education agenda and took part in a series of events at COP28.

 

Read on to find out more.

From 30 November to 12 December 2023, UN CC:Learn engaged in a series of activities at and during the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Beyond the flagship Climate Classroom @ COP28 initiative, UN CC:Learn organized and contributed to a series of events that highlighted the importance of climate change education, training and public awareness.

Regional Declaration for Increased Financing Climate Change Education

In a dedicated session titled “Financing Climate Change Education: Challenges and Successes,” held on 4 December 2023, UN CC:Learn addressed the pivotal issue of financing initiatives aimed at strengthening climate change education, notably in West Africa.

The discussion was attended by high-level representatives and emphasized the importance of sustained financial support for climate change education to effect meaningful change. The opening panel drew on the expertise of UN CC:Learn and its partner countries in mobilizing resources for the implementation of their National Climate Change Learning Strategies.

The event continued with the presentation and launch of the “Regional Declaration on Strengthening Climate Change Education in West Africa that was signed on stage by the Ministers of Environments of Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Senegal, and Togo.

A press conference after the event allowed the countries that led the development of this Regional Declaration to further highlight it and present it to the media.

In addition, The UNITAR Senior Advisor for West Africa also presented the Declaration during a Greening Education Partnership (GEP) concurrent session on Financing greening education, which was held on 8 December 2023, during a panel discussion on strengthening the global landscape on financing climate change and education.

M. Roger Baro, Minister of Environment of Burkina Faso, holding the Declaration.

M. Roger Baro, Minister of Environment of Burkina Faso, holding the Declaration.

Promoting Climate Literacy through the Postal Network

UN CC:Learn is very grateful to the Universal Postal Union (UPU) for the invitation to contribute to their event “Delivery for the future: The postal network as infrastructure for lifelong climate education”, also held on 4 December. This workshop, opened and animated by representatives from both institutions as well as the Emirates Post provided an opportunity to delve into and discuss with the public the potential of postal services as platforms for climate education, with a particular focus on the support to reaching the most remote and vulnerable communities.

Mr. Angus Mackay, Director, Division for Planet, UNITAR, and Head of the UN CC:Learn Secretariat at the “Delivery for the future: The postal network as infrastructure for lifelong climate education’’ event.

Mr. Angus Mackay, Director, Division for Planet, UNITAR, and Head of the UN CC:Learn Secretariat at the “Delivery for the future: The Postal Network as infrastructure for Lifelong Climate Education’’ event.

Learning for a Just Low Carbon Transition

Organized by the Fondation Mohammed VI pour la protection de l’environnement, the side event “Mécanismes d’accompagnement pour une transition bas carbone juste” was held on 5 December 2023. Invited to participate in the rich panel discussion, a UN CC:Learn Secretariat representative highlighted the importance of building the right knowledge and skills to support this transition and presented a set of relevant learning interventions facilitated under the UN CC:Learn programme, ranging from the development of national climate change learning strategies in support of NDC implementation to the wide range of online resources available, with a particular attention to the entry points for leaving no one behind. The presentation also provided an opportunity to focus on the inspiring experience of Morocco, which has held multiple learning events on green economy under the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE).

Education for Climate Change in Senegal

In parallel, the UNITAR Senior Advisor for West Africa and coordinator of the UN CC:Learn work in the region had the opportunity to share the UN CC:Learn experience in strengthening education, training and public awareness across 13 countries of the Sahel through the dedicated regional hub during an event organized by the Government of Senegal. Lunched in 2018, this hub, which includes Senegal as a very active member, has been providing training and experience sharing opportunities for the national ACE focal points of the target countries, as well as other relevant stakeholders (e.g. journalists), as well as promoting the development of e-learning and broad communication on climate change. A key recent result of the hub has been the launch of the Regional Declaration on Strengthening Climate Change Education in West Africa, which calls for increased support for this agenda, and was signed the previous day by the Minister of Environment of Senegal, among other 4 Ministers. Senegal has also built capacities through its involvement in the Partnership for Action on Green Economy, whose national training component was also supported by the UNITAR Senior Advisor for West Africa.

Strengthening Collaboration with the GEMS Legacy School

Asha Alexander, the Principal of the GEMS Legacy School in Dubai and a UN CC:Learn Ambassador for Climate Change Learning, has been actively promoting the integration of climate change topics into the teaching in its school, which has over 600 students. Over the years, Ms. Asha Alexander has encouraged over 30,000 people, including school students and staff, to follow UN CC:Learn courses. The GEMS Legacy School organized its Climate Change Conference 2023 on the occasion of COP28 in Dubai, bringing together national and international participants. The event was opened by keynote speech delivered by the Head of the UN CC:Learn Secretariat, who emphasized how the role that education plays in empowering climate actors and leaders through the examples of UN CC:Learn alumni and champions.

Promoting Education for Sustainable Development in West Africa

On 6 December 2023, a UNESCO/UN CC:Learn panel discussion focused on  “Bâtir des synergies fortes: Travailler ensemble pour promouvoir et développer l’éducation au développement durable (EDD) en Afrique de l’Ouest’’ (Building strong synergies: Working together to promote and develop Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in West Africa) provided an overview of the multiple initiatives promoting the development of knowledge and skills to address climate change and advance sustainable development in West Africa. The panelists introduced the interventions supported by UNESCO and by UN CC:Learn. Representatives fromCabo Verde, Mali, and Senegal, highlighted challenges and successes, best practices, and future perspectives in implementing national sustainable development education initiatives by 2030. The event highlighted entry points for synergies and connections to further strengthen action in this area.

Empowering Youth Leadership

On the day dedicated to youth and to education (8 December 2023), the event “Enabling Youth Climate Action Leadership through Innovative Learning” explored effective learning strategies to empower youth to take leadership roles in climate action. UN CC:Learn collaborated with Monash University to organize a panel discussion featuring the two institutions as well as 4 young people – including 2 negotiators from Burundi and Mongolia, a YOUNGO representative, and a youth activist and entrepreneur –  to discuss good practices, identify remaining gaps and brainstorm ideas that would serve as actionable takeaways for learning institutions.

Sharing the Experience of Ghana

COP28 provided an excellent opportunity for the Government of Ghana to showcase their long-standing investment in climate change education. The side event on the “Integration of Climate Change into School Curricula – Ghana’s Experience,”. At this event, the national ACE focal point and UN CC:Learn Ambassador for climate change learning, the Director of the Ghana Education System, a youth representative and a teacher from Ghana shared the work they have been undertaking to advance the integration of climate change topics across specific subjects, teacher training, the development of teaching materials, youth engagement and public awareness. A UN CC:Learn Secretariat representative highlighted the engagement under this initiative since 2014, which led to the development of the National Climate Change and Green Economy Learning Strategy, launched in 2016, and its ongoing implementation.

UN CC:Learn’s engagement at COP28, through these events, bilateral meetings, the Climate Classroom as well as other engagements, underscore the organization’s commitment to advancing climate literacy and fostering meaningful dialogue on global climate action.

The UN CC:Learn team and partners at the “Integration of Climate Change into School Curricula – Ghana’s Experience’’ event.

The UN CC:Learn team and partners at the “Integration of Climate Change into School Curricula – Ghana’s Experience’’ event.

This year, UN CC:Learn organized the biggest edition of the Climate Classroom, bringing together 17 partners to get over 2,500 learners up-to-speed on what was being discussed at COP28.

 

Learn more about this successful initiative below.

From 23 November to 13 December 2023, UN CC:Learn organized the 11th edition of the Climate Classroomagainst the backdrop of the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The edition titled “Climate Classroom @ COP28” had a brand-new visual identity and built on the successful online format of the past two years.

The Climate Classroom had a brand-new visual identity for this year’s edition.

The Climate Classroom had a brand-new visual identity for this year’s edition.

The “Climate Classroom @ COP28” served as a knowledge hub for people willing to get up-to-speed on key climate topics and helped over 2,500 participants understand many of the discussions taking place in Dubai.

This year’s series had 19 45-minute classes organized with 17 partners and covered a range of important topics, from loss and damage to the Paris Agreement and sustainable infrastructure. This was the biggest edition of the Climate Classroom to date, confirming that the initiative’s three-part format consisting of “substance, illustration, and reflection” is appreciated by learners, many of whom attended more than one class.

List of classes and key stats.

List of classes and key stats.

This was also the most diverse edition of the Climate Classroom, with people from 121 different countries tuning in to at least one class. Participants were mostly women (60%), and had academia (39%) or private sector (18%) backgrounds.

The feedback received in the post-class survey was overwhelmingly positive.

The feedback received in the post-class survey was overwhelmingly positive.

Overall, participants were extremely satisfied with the classes this year with 95% of respondents in the post-class survey saying that they liked their experience and the teacher, found the content useful, and would recommend the Climate Classroom to a friend. Moreover, 90% of them plan to apply the knowledge they acquired from the classes.

Here’s what a few learners had to say about the Climate Classroom @ COP28:

“I highly recommend the Climate Classroom to anyone seeking to deepen their understanding of climate change and learn about practical solutions. It is a fantastic platform that bridges the gap between knowledge and action, empowering individuals to make a tangible difference in the fight against climate change.”

 

“It was inspiring to be in such an international audience, feeling connected with so many people across the globe who are concerned about climate change and gender equality”

 

“The experience was truly amazing. I can’t wait for another Climate Classroom; It was very informative, and it opened my mind to some great ideas in the fight against climate change.”

The Climate Classroom @ COP28 new visual identity.

The Climate Classroom @ COP28 new visual identity.

Moving forward, UN CC:Learn plans to take stock of all the feedback received in the post-class survey to build more successful Climate Classroom editions around important climate change meetings in 2024 and beyond.

The Climate Classroon @ COP28 was possible thanks to this year’s partners – Global Centre on Adaptation, International Labour Organization, International Telecommunications Union, Manila Observatory, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, One Ocean Hub, UN Environment Programme, UNFCCC, UNITAR,UN Women, World Health Organization, World Resources Institute – and thanks to the generous contribution of the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency.

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.

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.

Representatives of the FACE-NDC project consortium partners and the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment at the launch event of the FACE-NDC Project. Photo: Lorenzo Franchi / UN CC:Learn

On 25 October 2023, UNITAR took part in the launch of the FACE-NDC project, the largest investment in climate education to date, which promises to reshape Zambia’s approach to climate change education and build the capacity of Zambians on climate change by 2030.

 

Read on to find out more about this groundbreaking project.

Countries all over the globe are looking for ways to unlock or tap into funds to help them climate-proof their economies and meet their climate commitments. In this context, Zambia is leading by example.

In a groundbreaking move on 25th October 2023, Zambia spearheaded a transformative initiative— the “Facility for Action for Climate Empowerment to Achieve the Nationally Determined Contributions (FACE-NDC).” This forward-thinking initiative was launched by Zambia’s Minister of Green Economy and Environment, Hon.  Eng. Collins Nzovu at a packed Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka, Zambia.

Minister of Green Economy and Environment, at the launch event of the FACE-NDC Project. Photo: Lorenzo Franchi / UN CC:Learn

Minister of Green Economy and Environment, at the launch event of the FACE-NDC Project. Photo: Lorenzo Franchi / UN CC:Learn

With a generous contribution of EUR 17 million contribution from Germany’s International Climate Initiative (IKI), the 7-year-long FACE-NDC project will be supporting the Zambian government in implementing its National Climate Change Learning Strategy, crafted in 2019 with support from UN CC:Learn.

The FACE-NDC project will be implemented by a consortium of five partners: UNITAR, UNESCO, FAO, the Copperbelt University, and the University of Zambia.  Centered on collaboration, it will bring together several key stakeholders in the country, such as universities, civil society, government entities, and the private sector, to drive green initiatives, and job creation and ensure that the skills Zambians will need in the future are included in national educational and training programmes.

FACE-NDC launch event in Lusaka, Zambia. Photo: Lorenzo Franchi / UN CC:Learn

FACE-NDC launch event in Lusaka, Zambia. Photo: Lorenzo Franchi / UN CC:Learn

In his keynote address, the Minister of Green Economy and Environment in Zambia, Hon. Nzovu said:

“By implementing the FACE-NDC project, the government intention is that students, teachers, professionals, government and private actors, as well as communities at large use their improved capacities to adopt climate-friendly behavior and support a climate-resilient, low-carbon, and green transition of the economy.” And concluded his remarks by calling ‘…all stakeholders to ensure successful promotion and change of climate-friendly behavior.’

And highlighted the African proverb that says:

‘It takes a whole village to train a child’.  

Students at the launch of the FACE-NDC Project. Photo: Lorenzo Franchi / UN CC:Learn

Students at the launch of the FACE-NDC Project. Photo: Lorenzo Franchi / UN CC:Learn

In the UN Resident Coordinator’s opening remarks, delivered on her behalf by FAO Country Representative Ms. Suze Percy Filippini, Ms. Beatrice Mutali remarked:

This is the single largest investment in a country for climate change education, and as climate change is of greatest importance to young people it is only right, therefore, that we should increase investments in climate change education.’

With dozens of activities planned, the project will strengthen Zambia’s formal and non-formal education systems, build capacity for climate change action across the country, and put it on the right path to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 47% by 2030, as stated in the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).

Ms. Suze Percy Filippini, FAO Country Representative in Zambia delivering the UN RC’s opening remarks, at the launch event of the FACE-NDC Project. Photo: Lorenzo Franchi / UN CC:Learn

Ms. Suze Percy Filippini, FAO Country Representative in Zambia delivering the UN RC’s opening remarks, at the launch event of the FACE-NDC Project. Photo: Lorenzo Franchi / UN CC:Learn

Collaborating closely with diverse government institutions exemplifies the integration of complementary expertise from the UN system and national tertiary education institutions for transformative climate education. FACE-NDC aims to impact approximately 2 million beneficiaries, encompassing school-going learners, adult learners, teachers, educators, trainers, and professionals in both public and private sectors.

The project stands as a testament to the potential of investing in climate change education, demonstrating how such endeavors can yield transformative outcomes amidst a changing climate. Furthermore, it plays a crucial role in supporting countries to achieve their ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions.

Mr. Angus Mackay, Director for Planet Division (UNITAR) and Head of UN CC:Learn Secretariat, at the launch event of the FACE-NDC Project. Photo: Lorenzo Franchi / UN CC:Learn

Mr. Angus Mackay, Director for Planet Division (UNITAR) and Head of UN CC:Learn Secretariat, at the launch event of the FACE-NDC Project. Photo: Lorenzo Franchi / UN CC:Learn

The UN CC:Learn Dialogue Space on Learning for Citizens and Professionals, organized in September 2023, brought UN CC:Learn partners together to discuss “how public engagement approaches can deliver against the new ACE work programme”.

 

Read on to find out more about the discussion.

In September 2023, UN CC:Learn brought partners together to discuss “How Public Engagement Approaches Can Deliver against the New ACE Work Programme” as part of the Dialogues Space on Learning for Citizens and Professionals.

The two-hour discussion aimed to reflect on the commitments under the Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) agenda, focusing in particular on public engagement. It provided opportunities to share approaches and good practices from different organizations and discussed challenges and opportunities for promoting public engagement through learning initiatives.

The event was attended by Climate Outreach, Climate Reality Project Indonesia, the Government of Ghana, Greenish, the Government of Malawi, MIET Africa, the NDC Partnership, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Little Hands Uganda, We Effect and UNITAR/UN CC:Learn.

Opening Remarks, Introduction to the New Chair and Overview of UN CC:Learn’s Support on ACE

The event kicked off with opening remarks by Ms. Mihoko Kumamoto, Director of the Division for Prosperity at UNITAR and Director of the UNITAR Hiroshima Office, who stressed that public engagement should be inclusive and consider different groups and communities to be effective. Moreover, she highlighted key points that can help enhance public engagement, including:

  • High quality of data and knowledge and evidence based information.
  • Effective entry points into policy formulation and implementation.
  • Empowering individuals as effective communicators and effective leaders.

Following Ms. Kumamoto’s presentation, the new Chair of the Dialogue Space on Learning for Citizens and Professional, Dr. Amiera Sawas, Chief Research and Engagement Officer at the UK-based Climate Outreach, was introduced to participants. In her remarks, she noted that any intervention aiming to engage the public should be carefully thought through since there’s “no one-size fits all” approach.

After Dr. Sawas’ introduction, Ms. Cristina Rekakavas, coordinator of the UN CC:Learn Partnership, took over to give an overview of UN CC:Learn’s support to countries to take a strategic approach to climate change education, training and public awareness for their decision-makers, professionals and citizens to be able to take effective action and make informed decisions on climate change. Currently, the Partnership is engaging with over 30 countries on several fronts,  from the integration of climate change into the formal education system, teacher trainings, training of professionals (such as government officials and journalists) to the engagement of young people and broad communication.

What Does ‘Public Engagement’ Mean for Climate Action?

The second part of the event had Dr. Sawas present the different public engagement types under ACE. She highlighted the following practical examples:

  • Public participation in decision-making e.g., citizen assemblies, public consultation on proposed climate policies, policy decision for a, etc.

Education and training e.g., from a UNESCO study, out of nearly 50 countries, nearly half make no reference to climate change; training is also needed within sectors and professional bodies on climate change. She also showcased several research studies on climate communication and public engagement, such as Climate Visuals.

Experience-Sharing and Discussion on Public Engagement for Climate Action 

The third part featured presentations by UN CC:Learn, Greenish and We Effect.

Ms. Cristina Rekakavas, from UN CC:Learn, walked participants through the several UN CC:Learn resources that are building the skills of citizens and professionals to support them in taking climate action and making climate-friendly decisions, such as the Knowledge-Sharing Platform, the E-Learning Platform, the Affiliation Programme, the Alumni Network, the Impact Surveys and the Climate Classroom.

Then Mr. Mohamed Kamal, Director at Greenish, gave an introduction about his organization, highlighting their work with community engagement, advocacy, and social inclusion, highlighting the collaboration with Climate Outreach.

Finally, Ms. Sian Morga and Mr. Archagel Munthal, Southern Africa Regional Programmes Director and Regional Programme Coordinator at We Effect, spoke about a participatory approach to public and civic engagement, giving examples of women’s economic empowerment in the cotton value chain in Southern Africa.

These interventions were followed by a plenary discussion which allowed further  experience-sharing, including the experiences of Ghana and MIET Africa in integrating climate change into the school curricula, and Little Hands Uganda’s Green Festival, which attracted over 20,000 individuals, including 12,000 children, in an effort to empower a generation of environmentally conscious citizens.

Conclusion

The key takeaways from this Dialogue Space focused on the importance of:

  • Reflecting on and taking into account the social values that are part of who we are as human beings.
  • Building trust, relationships, and dialogue to understand what the different communities and groups we are targeting and supporting really think and need.
  • Understanding the gender related experiences and social context and norms and the linkages that climate change have with these and other issues.

Dialogue Spaces

The three UN CC:Learn Dialogue Spaces – Learning for Countries, Learning through Youth and Learning for Citizens and Professionals – provide an opportunity for interested partners and stakeholders to regularly exchange, hold in-depth discussions around key themes and identify synergies and specific opportunities for collaboration.

Two youth fist bumping.

The UN CC:Learn Dialogue Space on Learning through Youth brought key stakeholders to discuss ways of engaging youth in climate change action.

 

Read on to find out what went on.

How can UN CC:Learn and partners better encourage youth to get involved in climate action?

On 24 May 2023, UN CC:Learn and partners got together at the Dialogue Space on Learning through Youth to answer this and other questions related to the role of youth in climate action.

This Dialogue Space was set up as part of UN CC:Learn’s fifth implementation phase with the purpose of providing UN CC:Learn partners with a platform to discuss, share experiences, and collaborate on ways of strengthening youth capacity for climate change action and learning. This Space recognizes the role of youth as key leaders in climate action and strives to create and leverage synergies among UN CC:Learn partners to support youth in their climate endeavors.

The event was led by the newly appointed chair of the Learning through Youth Dialogue Space, Dr. Amanda Katili Niode, Director of the Climate Reality Project Indonesia, whose one-year term commenced in March 2023. Dr. Niode highlighted that there are 1.8 billion young people aged 18-24 globally today, which represents the largest youth generation in history. She also stressed that youth are already taking actions in favor of the climate around the world but that they require support, such as coaching, to unleash their full potential and harness their best ideas and solutions.

Dr. Niode and her team introduced the Climate Reality Project Indonesia, which is the Indonesia branch of the Climate Reality Project, a not-for-profit organization founded in the United States in 2006 with a mission to increase global public awareness of the climate crisis at a grass roots level. Dr. Niode and team highlighted three key projects being carried out by Climate Reality Project Indonesia: the Climate Hero project, the Youth Leadership Camp and the ClimArt project.

After the presentation, partners were invited to showcase their youth initiatives and answer three questions: 

  • What are some effective strategies for communicating the urgency of climate change to other young people and to older generations?
  • How can we encourage more young people to get involved in climate activism, advocacy, and action?
  • How would you like to engage in climate action?

The one-hour discussion engaged participants, who provided their inputs throughout. A few takeaways from the discussions were: for the first question, partners agreed that the creation of an open space for people of all ages to share their perspectives and experiences can be enrich the climate change discourse. For the second one, capacity building arose as one of the key elements to encourage more youth to act on climate change. And for the final question, the World Scouts movement was brought up as a good way to get a large number of young people engaged in climate action.

To wrap up the event, Mr. Angus Mackay, Head of the UN CC:Learn Secretariat, delivered final remarks that touched on the importance of having both quantity and quality in youth climate action, since all degrees of involvement are needed given the urgency of the climate crisis. He also emphasized the role of international cooperation in collaborative and impactful action.

The course aims to raise the awareness and strengthen the capacities of key stakeholders in South Africa on the concepts, approaches, and tools for enabling climate-smart agriculture in the country.

Enroll
  • Education

Self-paced course

4 hours

Why take this course?

The course aims to raise the awareness and strengthen the capacities of key stakeholders in South Africa on the concepts, approaches, and tools for enabling climate-smart agriculture in the country.

At the end of the course learners will be able to

  • Explain what climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is, its main principles, objectives and benefits
  • Identify critical social, environmental, and economic opportunities for CSA in South Africa
  • Describe applications of CSA in various agricultural domains, such as livestock and croplands
  • Discuss the role of remote sensing and identify practical steps to apply CSA in South Africa
  • Discuss enabling conditions for the adoption of CSA in South Africa

The course at a glance

  • 1. Principles of Climate Smart Agriculture: The first module provides the rationale and key concepts related to climate change and climate-smart agriculture. It also provides an overview of South Africa’s agricultural sector.
  • 2. Climate-Smart Crop Production: The second module explores how CSA differs from mainstream agriculture in crop production and why it is essential to adopt CSA given the impact of climate change.
  • 3. Climate-Smart Livestock Production: The third module focuses on livestock production. It explores the importance of livestock production for food security, the link between climate change and livestock production, ways to adapt livestock production to climate change.
  • 4. Climate-Smart Remote Sensing: The fourth module introduces basic remote sensing concepts and their application in the agriculture domain.

Get your Certificate

Participants must complete the final course assessment to receive a Certificate of Completion. To complete the test learners are allowed 3 attempts; a grade equal to or higher than 70% constitutes a passing grade.