For the second consecutive year, UN CC:Learn and the Youth and United Nations Global Alliance (YUNGA) partnered up to deliver a Teachers Lab, this time on the topic of Behavioral Science.

 

Read on to find out more,

How can teachers harness behavioral science to ramp up climate change and environmental action among students? That’s what a two-part Lab, jointly organized by FAO’s YUNGA global partnership, OpenEvo, UNEP and UN CC:Learn, aimed to unpack.

The Improving the Impact – Behavioural Science for Environmental Education Lab took place on 25th January and 1st February 2023 and was organized as part of the World Food Forum event series. It brought together over 150 teachers and educators to explore how human behavoural science could be taken into account when developing and implementing educational programmes and used to increase the impact of lessons and educational resources.

The two-part event was headlined by Dr. Susan Hanisch and Dr. Dustin Eirdosh, from University of Leipizig, and former primary school teacher and PhD candidate Lisa Nehring, from Johns Hopkins University, who have been dedicating their time to research about behavioral science and the linkages with environmental education.

They walked participants through the importance of training educators on human behavior and how behavioral science can help with environmental education at schools, while showcasing case studies from their research and field work and providing informative resources to help educators leverage behavioral science as a tool to inform educational projects.

Presentations were followed by discussions in breakout rooms, in which attendees were divided into smaller groups to discuss specific topics, such as “Teaching human behavior as an interdisciplinary theme” and “Barriers to/Successes of BehSci in environmental education”. These group discussions also worked as a dialogue space where participants could exchange with each other and learn from each other’s experiences.

Moving forward, the World Food Forum event series has two more events planned for this year as part of their Teachers Labs series, so stay tuned in order not to miss them out!

On the International Day of Education, UN CC:Learn would like to highlight the importance of education in addressing the climate crisis.

 

Read on to find out more!

The International Day of Education is celebrated every 24th of January. As a human right, education is critical for the fulfilment of people’s rights, especially children, and plays a vital role in the building of fairer, more inclusive, and sustainable societies.

“Without inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong opportunities for all, countries will not succeed in achieving gender equality and breaking the cycle of poverty that is leaving millions of children, youth and adults behind.” – UNESCO

The International Day of Education holds a special significance for UN CC:Learn since promoting climate change learning is at the core of all its work. Over the past 14 years, UN CC:Learn has worked alongside dozens of partners to bring high-quality learning resources on climate change and green economy to people across the globe.

As a landmark for global environmental education, its e-learning platform with around 50 free and self-paced courses on climate change and green economy-related topics – UN CC:e-Learn – has reached the important milestone of over 655,000 registered users and 255,000 certificates of completion issued to people across the global. In addition, UN CC:Learn has been working with partner countries, assisting them to develop and implement on their climate change learning strategies. As of 2023 over 30 countries have engaged with the programme to strengthen climate change education, training, and public awareness.

Looking ahead, UN CC:Learn is committed to working on several fronts to keep building a community of climate literate citizens, professionals, entrepreneurs, and government officials who can take action towards a net-zero future.

“Nobody can solve a problem they don’t understand.  Climate change is a complex issue. UN CC:Learn has built the knowledge and skills of hundreds of thousands of people across the world so they are able to take informed actions and decisions in their own contexts.” – UN CC:Learn

A successful case

Imagine if all students at a school were well equipped to debate about and act on climate change?

At GEMS Legacy Academy, Dubai, UAE, that’s a reality. There, all 570 students have completed six courses on our e-learning platform. This school, led by Principal Ms. Asha Alexander, is taking the lead in mainstreaming climate change education across the school’s student body. Ms. Asha is a 2020 UN CC:Learn Champion and has been a climate change education advocate for several years now.

All 570 GEMS Legacy School students who completed 6 UN CC:Learn courses with Ms. Asha Alexander.

In addition to educating her pupils, she has other big plans: to bring UN CC:Learn courses to all 17,000 GEMS Education teachers and to partner with schools across the world, such as in Italy and Indonesia, to promote climate change education. For her, Education for Sustainable Development can play a key role in positively changing mindsets and behaviors.

We have interviewed Ms. Alexander about this noteworthy achievement by her school. You can read the full exchange with her below.  Get inspired!

UN CC:Learn –  In your opinion, what is the role of climate change education in addressing the climate crisis?

Asha Alexander – Climate change education plays a pivotal role in enlightening students to break damaging human and corporate cycles much earlier on in their lives. Visions like the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) help diverse stakeholders of a school community understand and address the impacts of the climate crisis, empowering them with the knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes needed to act as agents of change. For our future generations to live more sustainably, we must implement climate change education, which will enable changes in patterns of consumption and production and encourage effective participation in policy-making to promote low-emission, climate-resilient societies, and sustainable development. Education is a crucial component of climate change mitigation and adaptation. It is a clarion call!

For our future generations to live more sustainably, we must implement climate change education, which will enable changes in patterns of consumption and production and encourage effective participation in policy-making to promote low-emission, climate-resilient societies, and sustainable development. – Ms. Asha Alexander – Principal – GEMS Legacy School

UN CC:Learn – Have you noticed any changes in your student’s behavior/actions after they started taking UN CC:Learn courses?

Asha Alexander – Yes, and the changes are evident in classrooms. Students are no more reliant on their teachers for guidance to initiate sustainability discussions or actions. And that is the direct outcome of creating a teaching environment that demonstrates sustainability in real-time. The UN CC:Learn courses have armed them with the knowledge, facts, and vocabulary to set up collaborative dialogue spaces as they exchange ideas, suggestions, and synergies in their work. This will eventually lay the groundwork for future partnerships with industries like SIEMENS and DULSCO to scale-up current initiatives and broader impact.

UN CC:Learn – In your opinion, which UN CC:Learn course is the most insightful for students?

Asha Alexander – The UN CC:Learn courses are a highly cost-effective way to address climate change, especially if combined with a lifetime learning approach. No one course is more advantageous than the other as each of them has a unique, insightful learning to offer.  However, children were particularly interested in Sustainable Diet, Gender Equality and Human Rights and Children and Climate Change as they were able to relate to them more effectively. Each course provides a comprehensive overview of the scientific evidence for climate change, followed by region-specific insights on the impacts of a warmer world in the 21st century.

Each course provides a comprehensive overview of the scientific evidence for climate change, followed by region-specific insights on the impacts of a warmer world in the 21st century. – Ms. Asha Alexander – Principal – GEMS Legacy School

UN CC:Learn – If you could send a message on climate change education to other school principals around the world, what would you say?

Asha Alexander – Unleashing the knowledge and creativity of teachers and students to combat climate change is a golden opportunity for global leadership. We can spearhead a new green learning agenda – a coexisting way of educating and engaging children, youth, and adults in climate solutions to develop and implement climate action projects in homes, schools, and communities. This approach to teaching and learning is grounded in decades of research on how children learn and help build mastery of core academic content while also catalyzing climate action. It could be an alternate route to closing the learning gap in 21st-century workplace skills between low and high-income girls and boys, and strengthening teacher capacity.

The Students’ Side of the Story

And what do the GEMS Legacy students think about all this? Do they really feel more empowered to deal with climate change? We wanted to get their take on this whole experience.

Here’s what one of Principal Asha’s students told us.

GEMS Legacy School Students delivering a presentation about the UN CC:Learn courses they have taken.

UN CC:Learn – In your opinion, how can school students address the climate crisis?

GEMS Legacy Student – I think school students can address the climate crisis bearing in mind that ‘a little bit of kindness can go a long way’. We can learn to be kind and empathetic toward the environment and Mother Nature. Planting trees through Plant A Legacy (PAL), electricity conservation, waste segregation, recycling, composting, carpooling or using school transport, sharing or reusing resources, upcycling older books, uniforms, and school bags as well as participating in community conservation efforts are just some of the little yet effective ways in which we as students can address the climate crisis.

UN CC:Learn – Please tell us a few things you have learned from UN CC:Learn that helped you take climate change action.

GEMS Legacy Student – The UN CC:Learn courses have provided us with the direction and knowledge we need to act. It has successfully led us on a path to sustainable entrepreneurship as we make conscious lifestyle decisions. Students today are now more aware of the impact of their personal day-to-day actions. Now, when we plan and implement climate action strategies, we feel confident that our ideas are backed by the learning that we have received through the UN:CC courses.

The UN CC:Learn courses have provided us with the direction and knowledge we need to act. It has successfully led us on a path to sustainable entrepreneurship as we make conscious lifestyle decisions. – GEMS Legacy School Student

UN CC:Learn – If you could send a message on climate change action to other students around the world, what would you say?

GEMS Legacy Student – Make your voice heard by those in power, especially by policymakers. Follow through on all words with effective and impactful actions. Start local and strive for global climate justice. The focus must shift from the blame-game to collective, shared responsibility as climate change is an issue that requires coordinated solutions across all levels.

National ACE Focal Points got together to exchange views, ideas and experiences at the ACE Academy organised as part of the UNFCCC’s ACE Hub activities.

 

UN CC:Learn was present to share its experience with the development of National Climate Change Learning Strategies.

 

Read on to find out more!

On 18 – 20 October 2022, UN CC:Learn participated in the Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) Focal Points Academy, which was organized as part of the UNFCCC’s ACE Hub activities. The Academy aimed to provide a platform for exchange of good practices, views and lessons learned to National ACE Focal Points by covering three main topics: context setting, ACE national strategies and youth engagement.

On day 2, Mr. Angus Mackay, Director of the Division for Planet at UNITAR and Head of the UN CC:Learn Secretariat, delivered an interactive session about the topic of ensuring visibility of ACE Strategies. He drew examples from his successful experience in supporting countries to develop National Climate Change Learning Strategies (NCCLS) under the UN CC:Learn programme, particularly in Benin, Burkina Faso, the Dominican Republic, and Ghana.

Mr. Mackay walked participants through UN CC:Learn’s 7-step process to prepare a NCCLS but put an emphasis on the need of having alignment with key national policies – such as the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – political support to implement the strategy, and star power, which consists of harnessing support of prominent or famous figures at country level, to ensure good visibility to any climate change learning or ACE strategies.

In Ghana, there was a green march through the city centre and a symposium for youth at the National Theatre, and celebrities includingmusicians and football stars taking part (…) And of course this drew the crowds and led to a media effect. Priceless …” – Angus Mackay, UNITAR

After the presentation, all National Focal Points were split into groups and asked to work together to come up with their own ideas to raise visibility of their ACE strategies.

Check Mr. Mackay’s presentation below.

The Climate Quiz is the new UN CC:Learn tool that helps you assess your climate change knowledge.

 

Want to know whether you know enough about climate change to start stepping up your efforts? Read on to find out more!

How much do you know about climate change? The answer to this question underpins the actions individuals can take to face up to challenges posed by the climate crisis. Your climate change knowledge defines the extent to which you can, knowingly or not, act on this global problem. So, how can you find out this answer? It’s simple and we’ve got it ready for you: our new Climate Quiz which assesses your “climate IQ”.

The newly launched Climate Quiz is the new free tool made available by UN CC:Learn for everyone, from beginners to experts, to test their climate change knowledge. The concept behind the quiz is straightforward: to give you an overview of what you know about climate change and identify knowledge gaps. By filling these gaps with tailored learning, you’ll increase your knowledge about climate change and as a result, this will put you on the right track to consolidate your climate change expertise and scale up climate action.

Also, we know that there are many resources on climate change available out there but is not always easy to define how to start learning about this global threat. The quiz will provide you with a learning route with up-to-date and trustworthy resources to increase your confidence to advocate for climate change.

Upon completion of the 20-question questionnaire, you will get an immediate individualized score with a graphic showcasing your results as well as a list of recommendations on what to do next. The quiz can be taken by anyone of any age and background. Do you want to find out if you are a champion or an influencer? Take the quiz and find it out!

Take the Climate Quiz for free today in English, French, Spanish or Portuguese, and share it with your friends!

In July 2022, UN CC:Learn held two editions of the Climate Classroom at the NDC Partnership Youth Engagement Forum.

 

Read on to find out more about it!

The NDC Partnership held its second Youth Engagement Forum over the course of three sessions in July 2022. The forum brought together 360 participants from 78 countries and key stakeholders to discuss around the issue of inclusive climate finance and youth engagement. Noting the critical but often overlooked issue of engaging youth actively on climate finance to ensure climate funds are channeled effectively and appropriately, the forum enabled youth to examine and share their experiences on the climate finance landscape.

As a partner of the NDC Partnership, UN CC:Learn participated in the Forums Teach-in Sessions for the Africa/Europe and Latin America and Caribbean regions through the Climate Classroom. The Climate Classroom offers an ‘espresso shot’ of knowledge on a variety of climate change issues. For this Forum, the Climate Classroom focused on the resources on the UN CC:Learn e-learning platform relating to climate finance, green economy and gender and inclusion. These resources include a range of e-courses, a library of knowledge products, links to partner learning platforms, and a series of podcasts on the green economy.

Participants were able to learn more on UN CC:Learn’s initiatives including the Youth Climate Dialogues, Youth Surveys, TEDx Events, Climate Change IQ Quiz and upcoming Climate Classrooms at COP 27. The inspiring stories from UN CC:Learn Champions offered participants a glimpse into the potential transformative action that could be spurred through the UN CC:Learn experience.

Follow the NDC Partnership social media channels for key highlights and takeaways from the Forum.

Innovation and climate change action walk hand in hand!

 

In July 2022, UN CC:Learn took part in the Global Challenge Lab, a 10-day entrepreneurship programme focused on reaching SDG 13 by Imperial College London, Tsinghua University, and the Technical University of Munich.

 

Read on to find out more about UN CC:Learn’s presentation on climate action!

Fixing the climate crisis requires innovative solutions, some of which have not even been thought of yet. Fomenting innovation and entrepreneurship are key to effectively responding to climate change and meeting emission reduction targets. Against this background, UN CC:Learn was invited to deliver a keynote intervention on climate action at the Global Challenge Lab, a 10-day entrepreneurship programme co-organized by Imperial College London, Tsinghua University’s x-lab in Beijing and the Technical University of Munich.

The Global Challenge Lab is part of the Imperial Enterprise Lab, which brings together hundreds of students and alumni to grow their international network, gain new skills and create new products or services to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), focusing this year on UN SDG 13: Climate Action. The Lab promotes innovation by encouraging discussions, supporting the development of innovative projects, and granting a £10,000.00 prize to participants who pitch the best idea. From 1 to 15 July 2022, attendees had the opportunity to join panel discussions with industry leaders and other guest speakers and take part in expert training on cross-cultural collaboration, design thinking, prototyping and more.

In this space, UN CC:Learn’s intervention highlighted the importance of taking climate action at all levels, providing an overview ranging from international efforts, national policy and urban planning, to business and institutions and individual action.  In doing so, it showcased a wide array of examples.

In addition, participants were introduced to key topics, like climate change mitigation and adaptation, and learned about relevant UN CC:Learn resources such as the e-learning platform, and important initiatives being carried out by the United Nations, like UNDP’s Climate Promise.

Watch the presentation! 

UN CC:Learn has entered its fifth implementation phase aiming to scale up its activities and bring knowledge about climate change to different audiences across the globe. To celebrate this milestone, the Partnership brought partners together for a launch event and a series of discussions.

 

Find out more below!

On 4th May 2022, the One UN Climate Change Learning Partnership (UN CC:Learn) officially launched its fifth implementation phase at an online event that brought together over 30 stakeholders, among UN and non-UN partners. The gathering provided a space for partners to reflect on the role climate change education and training play in addressing climate change and, against this background, discuss the programme’s future activities.

The session covered UN CC:Learn’s key achievements so far, stressed key principles and directions (e.g., promoting gender equality and leaving no one behind), and walked participants through the four new outcome areas of this new phase, around which the programme’s activities, projects and indicators will be shaped.

They are:

  • Assist partner countries in promoting climate change learning and action
  • Support training institutions by helping them integrate climate change education into their curricula
  • Empower youth to ramp up youth participation and action on climate change
  • Keep providing free and accessible e-learning resources to the public in multiple formats on topics related to climate change

The event also hosted a panel on “Reframing the Climate Change Narrative”, which consisted of an exchange of ideas on how the climate change discourse can be reframed in order to reach more audiences. The panelists – Ms. Susana Hancock, linguist and youth climate activist, Ms. Camile Clarke, 2020 UN CC:Learn champion and geography teacher, Mr. Washington Zhakata, Climate Change Director at Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Environment, and Mr. Nikhil Seth, UNITAR Executive Director – provided good insights into the topic, such as the need of tailoring the message in accordance with each specific audience.

At the end of the event, partners discussed how they could best collaborate with UN CC:Learn in this new phase. As a follow-up to that discussion, three separate partner consultations were held in May and June 2022. Each consultation focused on one of the following three key areas:

  • Learning for countries
  • Learning through youth
  • Learning for citizens and professionals.

The consultations set up collaborative dialogue spaces for partners to exchange ideas, suggestions, and synergies in their work, and also laid the groundwork for future partnerships to scale-up current initiatives and broader impact.

Moving forward, UN CC:Learn will keep bringing partners together in these dialogues spaces and drawing relevant inputs and insights that will help inform its work.

SB56 took place in June 2022 and UN CC:Learn was there to advance the climate change education agenda along with other UN partners.

 

Read on to find out more!

The 2022 Bonn Climate Change Conference, also known as the 56th session of the subsidiary bodies or SB56, took place between 6 and 16 of June 2022 in Bonn, Germany, and UN CC:Learn was present to make its contribution. The conference is organized by UN Climate Change (the Secretariat of the UNFCCC) in the lead-up to COP27, to be held in Egypt, in November.

Opening plenary view – Photo credit: UNFCCC Flickr

With regard to the promotion of climate change learning, a new Dialogue on Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) was held. These Dialogues provide a forum to Parties and other stakeholders to exchange ideas, experiences good practices and lessons learned regarding the implementation of Article 6 of the UNFCCC and Article 12 of the Paris Agreement. Called the “In-session Action for Climate Empowerment Dialogue”, this full-day meeting allowed key stakeholders to reflect on the engagement of children and youth in implementation of the Glasgow Work Programme’s four priority areas: policy coherence, coordinated action, tools and support, and monitoring evaluating and reporting.

In addition to it, the UN CC:Learn Secretariat attended and contributed to a two-day  “Technical Workshop for Parties on how priority areas of the Glasgow Work Programme can guide implementation of the six elements of Action for Climate Empowerment”. The first session of the workshop aimed to provide Parties with the opportunity to discuss the development of partnerships to accelerate immediate ACE action at all levels. The second session offered a space for Parties to start reflecting on the design of an action plan for the Glasgow Work Programme, which will highlight specific, short-term, and time-bound ACE activities.

The Conference also provided an opportunity for the UN CC:Learn Secretariat to discuss opportunities for advancing climate change education, training and public awareness with several partners and stakeholders.

Learn more about what went on at SB56.

This course provides an introduction to the process of preparing, reviewing and updating NIPs. The course aims to, among others, strengthen the capacity of Parties to implement and enforce relevant provisions and obligations under Article 7 of the Stockholm Convention.

Enroll
  • Education

Self-paced course

3 hours

Welcome

The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) was adopted in 2001 with the following objective (Article 1):

Mindful of the precautionary approach as set forth in Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, the objective of this Convention is to protect human health and the environment from persistent organic pollutants.

Under Article 7 of the Convention, Parties are required to develop and endeavour to implement national implementation plans (NIPs). These NIPs are to be transmitted to the Conference of the Parties (COP) within two years of entry into force of the Convention for the transmitting Party. The Stockholm Convention is dynamic, in that Parties regularly add chemicals to the lists in Annexes A, B and/or C to the Convention. This has implications; NIPs addressing newly added chemicals are due within two years of the entry into force of the amendment which added them to the scope of the Convention. Parties are also required under Article 7 to review and update, as appropriate, their NIPs on a periodic basis.

Article 7 further calls on Parties, where appropriate, to “cooperate directly or through global, regional and subregional organizations, and consult their national stakeholders, including women’s groups and groups involved in the health of children, in order to facilitate the development, implementation and updating of their implementation plans.” Finally, Parties are to integrate their NIPs into their sustainable development strategies where appropriate.

What you will learn

This course provides an introduction to the process of preparing, reviewing and updating NIPs. The course aims to, among others, strengthen the capacity of Parties to implement and enforce relevant provisions and obligations under Article 7 of the Stockholm Convention with respect to:

  • Preparing, reviewing and updating their NIPs and transmitting them to the COP in a timely manner;
  • Undertaking POPs inventories through consultations with relevant stakeholders; and
  • Integrating their NIPs into sustainable development strategies.

The course enhances knowledge and understanding of the Stockholm Convention, in particular with respect to POPs inventories, and helps learners identify and use available guidance, tools and technical assistance. With such knowledge and tools, learners are better equipped to undertake the preparation, review and updating of NIPs, thereby better protecting human health and the environment.

Learning Objectives

After completing the course, learners will be able to:

  • Describe the important contribution of NIPs towards meeting obligations of the Stockholm Convention (Lesson 1)
  • Explain steps required to prepare, review and update NIPs (Lesson 2)
  • Identify the challenges in the process of undertaking POPs inventories (Lesson 3)
  • Describe how POPs inventories are used in planning exercises (Lesson 4)
  • Discuss strategies to strengthen NIPs (Lesson 5)
  • Explain the importance of putting in place the means of regularly reviewing and updating NIPs (Lesson 6)

Target audience

The primary target audiences of this course are:

  • Official Contact Points and National Focal Points of Parties for the Stockholm Convention;
  • Members of national steering committees or coordinating bodies for developing and updating NIPs (coordination units) and their different task teams; and
  • Stakeholders, from government, the private sector, civil society and the general public, participating in any of the phases of NIPs preparation, review and updating.

The course is suited for learners irrespective of their level of pre-existing knowledge of the Stockholm Convention. It is focused on the NIPs process, and it not intended to provide a comprehensive overview of all the provisions of the Convention.

Course at a glance

This course is self-paced and adapted to the schedule of full-time working professionals. The six lessons of the course were developed with a logic and flow in mind, and are designed to be completed in sequence. The six lessons are grouped into three modules:

  • NIPs and the Stockholm Convention on POPs
    (1) How do NIPs contribute to meeting Stockholm Convention obligations? (2) What are the steps required to prepare, review and update NIPs?
  • Preparing NIPs: POPs inventories 
    (3) What are the challenges of undertaking POPs inventories for NIPs? (4) How are POPs inventories used in planning exercises?
  • Reviewing and Updating NIPs
    (5) What strategies are used to strengthen NIPs? (6) Why regularly review and update NIPs?

Completion requirements

The successful completion of the course rewards the learner with a certificate of completion. To earn this certificate, the learner must pass a quiz associated with each of the three modules with a minimum grade of 70% from no more than three attempts for each quiz.

Partners and Contributors

This course was developed by the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) Conventions, in cooperation with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, and funded through the European Union and the Government of Sweden.