This online course unpacks the interlinkages between climate change, peace and security and explores opportunities for promoting inclusive climate action, conflict prevention and peacebuilding. Recognizing that challenges associated with climate change and insecurity do not impact everyone equally, the course includes a special focus on assessing the ways gender norms and other factors of social identity shape how people from different backgrounds experience and respond to these emerging risks.  

Enroll
  • Climate Change
  • Gender
  • Education

Self-paced course

4.5 hours

Welcome!

Climate change is considered by many as among the greatest risks for peace and security in the 21st century. As the planet’s temperature rises, extended droughts, rising sea levels, and more frequent and intense storms are affecting the lives and livelihoods of people in all corners of the globe. Particularly in conflict-affected settings, these impacts can compound economic, social or political drivers of insecurity, leaving already vulnerable populations on the frontlines of multiple, intersecting crises.

This self-paced, online course unpacks the interlinkages between climate change, peace and security and explores opportunities for promoting inclusive climate action, conflict prevention and peacebuilding. Recognizing that challenges associated with climate change and insecurity do not impact everyone equally, the course includes a special focus on assessing the ways gender norms and other factors of social identity shape how people from different backgrounds experience and respond to these emerging risks.  

Upon completion, course participants will be equipped with the knowledge and tools to analyze different contexts affected by climate change and insecurity, and design interventions to prevent and manage associated risks.

This course is designed to benefit a broad range of policymakers, practitioners, and researchers. The more advanced modules are particularly relevant for political analysts and peacebuilding practitioners, climate adaptation specialists, and gender and inclusion advisors.

Course structure

The course includes 3 self-standing modules:

  • Module 1: Climate Change, Peace and Security
  • Module 2: Conducting Integrated Analysis
  • Module 3: Entry Points for Policymaking and Programme Design

What will you learn?

  • To identify climate-related security risks and their impacts on different groups of people
  • To conduct integrated conflict and climate analysis, including by using a gender and social inclusion lens
  • To design policies, strategies, and programmatic interventions that integrate climate change, conflict prevention, peacebuilding, and gender equality objectives

Who is this course for?

Everyone is invited to take the course, which is designed to benefit a broad range of policymakers, practitioners and researchers. The more advanced modules are particularly relevant for:

 

  • Political analysts and peacebuilding practitioners
  • Climate adaptation specialists
  • Gender and inclusion advisors

 

Will you get a certificate?

The course features two levels of certification:

 

  • Participants will receive a badge for each module they complete by passing the module’s final quiz.
  • Participants who pass all three final quizzes will be issued a certificate of completion.

 

A quiz is successfully passed at a score of 70% or higher. Completion certificates will be available for download from the course’s webpage.

This course Mastering National Adaptation Plans: from Start to Finish course will introduce learners to several important aspects of the NAP process.  It is aimed at enhancing knowledge of the NAP process elements,  relevant issues such as gender and climate information in NAP Formulation and Implementation; and financing NAP processes.   This interactive self-paced course will guide learners through various aspects of the NAP journey.

Enroll
  • Adaptation
  • Climate Change
  • Education

Self-paced course

3 hours

Welcome!

The adverse impacts of climate change are becoming increasingly more acute, particularly for developing countries. This further exacerbates the wellbeing of the poorest and most vulnerable, meaning adaptation is now crucial to their survival and protection. Successful national adaptation planning requires detailed knowledge and practical skills in order to effectively and efficiently tackle current and future threats. 

The National Adaptation Plan (NAPs) process was established under the Cancun Adaptation Framework (2010) in order to prepare countries for addressing climate risk in the medium term. The main objectives of the NAPs are to reduce vulnerability to climate change, and to mainstream climate change adaptation in all levels of planning.  NAPs require building a stronger evidence base, improving skills and capacity.  Additionally need to be country-driven, gender-sensitive, participatory, and use transparent approaches. 

This course Mastering National Adaptation Plans: from Start to Finish course will introduce learners to several important aspects of the NAP process.  It is aimed at enhancing knowledge of the NAP process elements,  relevant issues such as gender and climate information in NAP Formulation and Implementation; and financing NAP processes.   This interactive self-paced course will guide learners through various aspects of the NAP journey.

What will you learn?

By completing the course, participants will be able to: 

  • Discuss the importance of inclusion of various stakeholders and institutions in the NAP process.
  • List some examples of important climate data and information necessary for the NAP process, as well as discuss their possible sources locally and internationally.
  • Explain how climate change adaptation planning could be integrated across different climate-sensitive socio-economic sectors.
  • Discuss common national and international sources of climate adaptation finance relevant for the NAPs.

Course at a glance

The course consists of three interlinked modules each taking an average of 1 hour to complete:   

  • Module 1: Exploring and Developing a NAP
  • Module 2: Implementing and Reviewing a NAP
  • Module 3: Financing the NAP process

Who should take this course?

The course will provide clear, concise, and up-to-date information for anybody interested in exploring the important aspects of the NAP process. It should be of particular interest to the following audiences:

  • Policymakers and government officials from LDCs and other developing countries working on NAPs wanting to increase their understanding on the steps involved in national adaptation planning, and the challenges that may arise along the way
  • Technical experts in climate-sensitive sectors with an interest in better understanding the cross-sectoral linkages between climate change and their sectors
  • Policymakers and technical specialists with an interest in understanding climate adaptation finance
  • Academic and wider public stakeholders interested in enhancing their knowledge on the process of adaptation

Methodology

The course is self-paced and not moderated. It has been divided into three modules.  We recommend that you view the modules sequentially for the best learning experience, starting with Module 1 which focuses on the formulation and planning phases of the NAP process; Module 2 focuses on the implementation and review phases of the NAP process and ends with Module 3 which focuses on financing the NAP process.  

Each module contains interactive content and a non-summative assessment to check your understanding.  Each module takes around 1 hour to complete. The modules also contain a wealth of links to other resources on issues discussed, but these are meant for extra reading if of interest. This extra reading will not be part of the final quiz at the end of each Module.  

Each module has a final quiz that aims to assess the achievement of the learning objectives. The assessment contains 10 multiple-choice questions. After passing each module’s final assessment with at least 70% of correct answers within 3 attempts, the participant automatically unlocks a badge per module. After obtaining all 3 badges for each module, the participant can automatically download a UN Certificate of Completion from the Certification tab.  

Climate change and human rights have become intertwined topics. As the former keep affecting countries and communities across the world, the basic human rights of people hang in balance. This newly launched affiliated e-course helps you understand why it’s important to take human rights into account when acting on climate change. Read on to find out more!

“The climate crisis is the biggest threat to our survival as a species and is already threatening human rights around the world”. – António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, February 2020

As the world edges closer to the 1.5°C of global temperature rise, the effects of climate change are already being felt across every corner of the globe and this situation will only worsen throughout the 21st century. These distressing effects threaten the basic human rights of people and communities – especially the most disadvantaged – as they don’t have the resources or capabilities to withstand climate-related disasters, such as droughts, floods, and extreme heat waves. Against this backdrop, UNFCCC, OHCHR and PCBB, with support from GIZ and BMZ, have partnered up to develop the e-course “An Introduction to Climate Change and Human Rights” with the aim of shedding light on the correlation between these two topics. The e-course has been affiliated by UN CC:Learn and is available on its e-learning platform.

In order to safeguard the livelihoods of people, climate change and human rights must be addressed as two overarching topics that overlap each other. For instance, the OHCHR has predicted that climate change will push an extra 100 million people into poverty by 2030,  further widening the gap between rich and poor. The newly launched e-course walks learners through this and several other issues in 7 key modules that take an average of 3,5 hours to be completed.

In addition to displaying the interlinkages between climate change and human rights, the affiliated e-course also explains why a rights-based, participatory climate action can lead to more coherent, sustainable, and effective outcomes. Furthermore, it also confirms that increased awareness and education on both human rights and climate change are key to enhancing consequential climate action. Each course module covers specific topics and has specific learning objectives. The modules are:

  • Module 1: Human Rights Impacts of Climate Change and Corresponding Human Rights Obligations
  • Module 2: Human Rights in Climate Negotiations, Agreements and Action
  • Module 3: Climate Change in Human Rights Processes, Agreements and Action
  • Module 4: Persons, Groups and Peoples in Marginalized Situations
  • Module 5: Regional and National Frameworks and Action
  • Module 6: Rights-Based Climate Litigation
  • Module 7: Right to Development and Climate Change in Focus

“An Introduction to Climate Change and Human Rights” caters to a diverse audience. From experts and policymakers to students and enthusiasts, everyone is welcome to take up the course to better understand, participate, and act on climate change as well as human rights challenges and opportunities.

The UN CC:Learn affiliation programme highlights high-quality e-learning products on climate change developed by recognized institutions outside the framework of the UN CC:Learn programme / without support from the UN CC:Learn Secretariat, in accordance with specific affiliation criteria. The objective of the UN CC:Learn affiliation programme is to enhance global climate literacy through dissemination of high-level learning products that complement UN CC:Learn resources.

Start learning today here.

Camile Clarke is a geography teacher in Jamaica and a UN CC:Learn Champion. She has told us how she is teaching about climate change in the classroom. Check it out and learn what challenges she is facing and what she has done to overcome them.

I am Camile Clarke, and I am a geography teacher, writer and geologist in Jamaica. I grew up watching documentaries on nature and the environment, and so I always knew I wanted to do something in that field. I remember clearly the first time I learned about global warming, and thinking to myself that this is a serious problem. 

Camile Clarke

Photo: @Camile Clarke

I first discovered UN CC:Learn after conducting an online search for professional development courses, and I was immediately hooked! The first course that I completed on the platform was “National Adaptation Plans: Building Climate Resilience in Agriculture.” I have since taken courses on the “Fundamentals of REDD+”, and “Human Health and Climate Change.” These have taught me that there was so much about climate change that I did not know.  

As a geography educator, I am teaching climate change to the next generation. I believe that if I am to truly inspire them to make a change, I  must be knowledgeable and that my students must know and see this through my actions. After taking the courses, I was able to give my students more information on climate change. I’m able to go into more depth when explaining concepts, and to provide more examples, especially on how climate change will impact our country.  

I am also more confident teaching the topic. For example, texts books simply say that sea-level rise will impact the Caribbean islands. It’s a bit general – but after taking the National Adaptation Plans course, it led me to discover a map of Jamaica that showed what the country will look like with a 1-meter rise in sea levels. Including this map in my lessons, as well as other real-world examples with accurate data, really helped to get the message across to the students. While climate change was recently included in the school curriculum, is not included in most available textbooks. My analysis revealed that students tend not to perform well on topics related to climate change, and I want to change this reality.  

Photo: @Camile Clarke

Since finding out about the UN CC:Learn courses, I have shared the platform with anyone who is willing to listen. It is my hope to be in a position to inspire others, and especially my fellow educators, to learn more about climate change so that they equip future generations with the knowledge and skills needed to lead in the fight against it. The fact that certificates are presented at the end of the courses is also a plus!  I have actually presented a UN CC:Learn certificate to a supervisor to have my appraisal score for professional development increased! So I promote the platform as a means to also earn appraisal points.   

I do expect that the curricula in Jamaica will start to cover climate change and education for sustainable development topics. I have actually seen that the new National Standards Curriculum has incorporated climate change more, and I recently read a draft of a new syllabus for Social Studies that covers climate change in greater depth. The topic was non-existent on this particular course before, so I was pleased to see this update. However, this also means that teachers will need to know more about climate change in order to plan and deliver meaningful and impactful lessons. The UN CC:Learn platform is now a valuable resource for teachers across the Caribbean, and I will definitely use this opportunity to promote climate change learning among my colleagues and Jamaican teachers as a whole.  

Get involved

When was the first time you learn about climate change? Tell us a bit more about your experience on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and tag UN CC:Learn. We want to learn how climate change education has been addressed in your country.

Start your learning journey:

Access our e-learning platform on unccelearng.org and take free courses on climate change and green economy. You may be interested in learning about:

Jean Baptiste Katako is a UN CC:Learn Champion from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Our courses inspired him to create a non-governmental organization to address erosion, the importance of reforestation, and the impact of climate change on health. Keep reading to learn how he has been working together with the community and local authorities to transform erosive sites into areas of tree planting.

My name is Jean Baptiste Katako Kayambi, and I am from the Democratic Republic of Congo. I am a civil servant: previously I worked at the Ministry of Justice, and currently, I’m an official at the National Central Bureau of Interpol Kinshasa/Democratic Republic of Congo. I have always been concerned by the environmental problem. First, in Butembo, North Kivu,  where I worked with students and farmers in reforestation. Then posted to Kinshasa, I was touched by the problems of climate change and erosion.

Photo: Jean Baptiste Katako Kayambi

Photo: Jean Baptiste Katako Kayambi

As a result, I decided to take the following five courses on the UN CC:Learn platform: Human Health and Climate Change; Children and Climate Change; Advancing on REDD+; Cities and Climate Change; and Introduction to Climate Change. These different courses have pushed me to better understand the causes of climate change in the city of Kinshasa and personally, has led me to change my behavior in a number of ways. 

Photo: Jean Baptiste Katako Kayambi

Photo: Jean Baptiste Katako Kayambi

The biggest action that these courses have inspired me to take is to create a non-governmental organization that we have named Think Tank on Security, Human Rights and Development. We currently have fifty active members engaged in our activities, and are supported by hundreds of other individuals. Within our organization, we have students, government officials, pastors, doctors, teachers and women, as well as many unemployed youth. We have understood that the problems of the destruction of our environment, erosion, and other related issues are a security issue, affecting our human rights to live in a safe and healthy environment. As a first step, we have been organizing awareness building and sensitization sessions on collective tree planting and other anti-erosion activities.

We have held several meetings in our communities to talk to the local people about the need to protect our environment, the fight against erosion, the importance of reforestation, and the impact of climate change on health.  We work together with the communities and in close collaboration with the local authorities, who attend our meetings. At these, we advise them on the actions and measures to be taken to protect our environment.

Thanks to our organization, we have been able to transform the erosive sites of our environment into areas of tree planting, and have educated the local population – and particularly the youth – on the need to be responsible for conserving our environment. We will continue to do so both through concrete acts, such as tree planting and by fighting all governmental and other projects that may contribute to the degradation of our environment.

Photo: Jean Baptiste Katako Kayambi

Photo: Jean Baptiste Katako Kayambi

Get involved:

Are you part of an organization that deals with climate change? What results have you achieved so far? Tell us a bit more about your experience on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and tag UN CC:Learn. Every small step counts and can lead to a positive impact on your community. We want to learn from you!

Start your learning journey:

Access our e-learning platform on unccelearng.org and take free courses on climate change and green economy. You may be interested in learning about:

Hassan Mowlid is a public health professional and a UN CC:Learn champion from Somalia. He has co-founded the Somali Greenpeace Association and has trained more than 1,000 youth on climate change. He is inspired to keep training others on climate issues and biodiversity. Read his story and discover how powerful can be to lead education programmes on climate change at local level.

My name is Hassan Mowlid Yasin, and I am a public health and public administration professional from Somalia. I am also an environmental activist, co-founder and vice-chairperson of the Somali Greenpeace Association, and the National Chapter Lead for Somalia for the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC).

Photo: Hassan Mowlid Yasin

Photo: Hassan Mowlid Yasin

I took my first online course on the UN CC:Learn platform in 2017, and since then my life – in relation to the environment, and climate change issues – has changed completely. I have now taken ten different UN CC:Learn courses, including those on Gender and Environment, Human Health and Climate Change, and Children and Climate Change. These have helped me to begin advocating on climate change and environmental protection.

Through various initiatives, I have now trained more than 1,000 youth on what climate change is and how it is impacting our life. I have also co-founded the Somali Greenpeace Association (SOGPA), which aims to address climate change issues, food security and biodiversity loss in my country. Through the association, we have taken a number of different actions to raise awareness around climate change and environmental issues among different groups of people.

Photo: Hassan Mowlid Yasin

Photo: Hassan Mowlid Yasin

For instance, we have developed a number of tree-planting initiatives at different schools, youth centres and at the Somali National University. As part of these initiatives, we have conducted field training and education sessions on the importance of tree planting as a climate mitigation action, as well as awareness training on the negative impacts of deforestation, and sessions on plant protection.

We’ve also conducted different education programmes on climate change, and for World Environment Day 2020 trained more than 100 local youth on the importance of biodiversity for addressing climate issues. This including educating these on the interlinkages between climate, biodiversity, and peace and security. SOGPA also raised awareness on these linkages on World Peace Day, which we celebrated with the theme “Give Peace to the Environment”. As well as youth groups, we’ve also trained the Somali police on the issue of environmental protection.

Photo: Hassan Mowlid Yasin

Photo: Hassan Mowlid Yasin

Finally, developing this knowledge and understand has also allowed me to partner with like-minded youth groups who share similar climate and environmental goals. I’m now a representative on numerous youth organizations in both Africa and beyond, including the United Nations Environment Programme for Children and Youth (UNEP MGCY), Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN), African Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC), Plant for the Planet (PFP), Climate Change Educators Network (CE Educator’s Network), and African Union’s Youth, Peace and Security Network for the East African Region (AU-EA YPS Network).

Get Involved:

Are you involved in training your local community on climate change? How are you doing that and what results have you reached? Share your testimonial on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and tag UN CC:Learn. We are looking forward to getting in touch with you!

Start your learning journey:

Access our e-learning platform on unccelearng.org and take free courses on climate change and green economy. You may be interested in learning about:

This course addresses how human rights obligations require the international community to take more ambitious action to mitigate emissions, to support adaptation that benefits persons, groups and peoples in vulnerable situations, and to address loss and damage associated with the impacts of climate change.

Enroll
  • Climate Change
  • Youth
  • Education

Self-paced course

3.5 hours

Welcome

From hurricanes affecting communities in the Caribbean, to sea level rise threatening lives and livelihoods across the Pacific, heat waves and droughts across Europe, and people displaced in the context of extreme weather events, floods and droughts, the effects of climate change are already impacting human rights, including, the rights to food, water and sanitation, decent shelter, health, personal security, and even life itself. Climate change disproportionately affects the world’s most disadvantaged people – those who are the poorest, most exposed and have the least resources to withstand climate shocks and stresses such as extreme weather events. Climate action that is not anchored in a human rights-based approach risks further violating human rights.

This course addresses how human rights obligations require the international community to take more ambitious action to mitigate emissions, to support adaptation that benefits persons, groups and peoples in vulnerable situations, and to address loss and damage associated with the impacts of climate change. It demonstrates the importance of rights-based, participatory climate action, which leads to more coherent, sustainable and effective outcomes. Increased awareness and education on human rights and climate change have been identified as key variables to enhance and support effective, rights-based climate action.

Course at a glance

This course is self-paced and consists in seven modules packaged in one interactive material. The seven modules are:

  • MODULE 1: Human rights impacts of climate change and corresponding human rights obligations: consists of an introduction to human rights and climate change, an overview of the human right impacts of climate change, and the corresponding human rights obligations.
  • MODULE 2: Human rights in climate negotiations, agreements and action: introduces you to the incorporation of human rights in global climate change negotiations, agreements and action.
  • MODULE 3: Climate change in human rights processes, agreements and action: introduces you to the incorporation of climate change in human rights processes, agreements and action.
  • MODULE 4: Persons, groups and peoples in vulnerable situations: provides an introduction to the disproportionate impacts of climate change on persons, groups and peoples in vulnerable situations, and highlights considerations made in international and national processes to address these impacts.
  • MODULE 5: Regional and national frameworks and action: provides an introductory overview to key regional human rights frameworks and mechanisms.
  • MODULE 6: Rights-based climate litigation: highlights efforts by rights-holders to hold duty bearers accountable for climate change and the protection of human rights through examples of climate change litigation.
  • MODULE 7: Right to development and climate change in focus: a case study on the linkages between climate change and the right to development.

Completion requirements

This course is certified providing a certificate of completion to those who complete the course and pass the final assessment. The final assessment consists in a quiz available at the end of the course which allows you to test your knowledge. against the learning objectives of the course. Once completed with at least 70% of correct answers, you will receive a certificate of completion. You have a maximum of three attempts. Please, access your certificate under the tap “Certification” on the main course page.

While each of the seven modules is followed by a short quiz (within the interactive lesson), these are not counted against the final grade. They are part of the learning process and aim to prepare you for the final quiz.

Asha Alexander is the Principal at a Primary School in Dubai and a UN CC:Learn champion. She has been innovating the way climate change is addressed in school curricula. She has been playing a key role to leverage climate literacy among students and encouraging them and teachers to act climate. Check out her story and find out what initiatives she has been implementing at her school and how can you replicate them at yours.

My name is Asha Alexander, and I’m the Principal at The Kindergarten Starters, a Primary School with over 5,000 students in Dubai, UAE, and Executive Leader for Climate Change at GEMS Education.

Photo: Asha Alexander

Photo: Asha Alexander

As a primary school tucked away in the heart of an oil-rich emirate country, we were perhaps the most unlikely of contenders to lead the charge against climate change. However, one morning I came across a newspaper article that talked of a local schoolteacher becoming climate change certified. That roused my curiosity, and I pursued the link to the UN CC:Learn platform. A week later, I had received a UN CC:Learn certification – and possessed more knowledge than I had ever imagined possible about climate change. I knew then that the time had come to change our school and every school in the world.

Within a month the school had 327 UN certified climate change teachers, with each of its 162 classrooms now prepared to deliver climate literacy as part of the curriculum – connecting these objectives to the real-life problems that existed around us in the desert, from water conversation, to ridding the school of plastic. The children were similarly enthused and began the fall season with a pledge to plant 15,000 trees each year as part of the “Plant a Legacy” project. They travelled to the desert to plant the local Ghaf tree, and engaged with more than 40 local organizations to plant trees on their premises. These efforts caught the attention of other schools and media, with The Guardian newspaper developing a visual feature on the school’s climate literacy template.

Photo: Asha Alexander

Photo: Asha Alexander

Less than a month later, I travelled to Madrid to attend COP 25. Disappointed at the lack of attention being given towards climate literacy, we decided to create a new platform to amplify student voices – and it was here that the world’s first School Conference of Parties Expo was born. What began as a venture to amplify our own students voices has now expanded, with 50 schools from Costa Rica to Australia registering at SCOPE 2020 to participate in climate debates and discussions.

The purpose of SCOPE 2020 is to empower students with high levels of climate change awareness, deep climate change research and collaborative, global problem-solving skills. It hopes to bring faculty, students and staff together in an ongoing dialogue, inquiry and discovery of more sustainable practices through embedding climate literacy in schools. It is also a platform for young student climate activists to share their journeys, and to hopefully inspire thousands of others.

Through an opportunity to be heard, we hope that governments and policymakers will ensure that climate literacy is embedded in every school in the world, and that students will never lose sight of the urgency needed to cut emissions, restore our habitats, and secure our planet for the future. This is therefore a story without an end. Its conclusion will be shaped by the teachers that were upskilled, and the students who have forever been changed by what they have learned.

Get Involved:

Is your school addressing climate change in curricula? Tell us about how you learn about climate change at your school or university on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and tag UN CCLearn. We are looking forward to hearing your say!

If you are a teacher and would like to learn more about climate change and gain confidence to include this topic in the classroom, access our programme dedicated to teachers here.

Start your learning journey:

Get the chance to learning about climate change free of charge at www.unccelearn.org. Our comprehensive course catalogue offers short and long courses for you to accommodate your learning hours into your schedule. After reading Asha’s story, you may be interested in checking out the following courses:

Maurici Tadeu is one of the 2020 UN CC:Learn champion. He created the Lighthouse School, which aims to teach about the negative impacts of climate change on the environment and society, and to encourage actions for a more sustainable planet. Read about Maurici’s journey and how the Lighthouse School has contributed to implementing low-carbon activities in the community.

Leia a história na integra em Português clicando aqui.

My name is Maurici Tadeu, and I am from Brazil. The environment in which I grew up did not provide me with the tools needed to understand environmental issues, especially in relation to global warming. Instead, everything I learned came from my own private interest. I remember one of the phrases of that marked me at that time: think globally; act locally. Having limited financial resources, I could only learn about the environment through free courses and activities. My friends told me about the free, online UN CC:Learn course on “Introduction to Climate Change”, and I decided to take it.

Photo: Maurici Tadeu

Photo: Maurici Tadeu

Having taking the course, and reviewed all of the information that was inside, I could see that I did not in fact know many of the causes of climate change. I realized that I had been mistaken about anthropogenic variables, and the effect that these can have – which certainly also included my own daily actions. The course therefore stimulated me to ask: what is my part in all this, as a contributor to a more sustainable planet? Now, my vision has changed. I see that the serious problem of climate change will affect various dimensions of human life, and that we need to take effective and rapid action – or risk seeing the temperature of the planet rise to levels that will generate a cascade of catastrophes.  As a result, I was encouraged to look for actions close to my community, in the hope that we could find possible alternatives together.

Slope and erosion protection | Photo: Maurici Tadeu

Slope and erosion protection | Photo: Maurici Tadeu

We have now created a small school, which we have named the “Lighthouse School”. This school is a collective; a group of people from the community that we have brought together to think about the most pressing environmental issues. We found in the word ‘Lighthouse’ a reflection of what we were hoping to achieve – that is, to follow the educational path provided by the UN CC:Learn course, as a guiding light that has helped us change our view of the world. To begin with, we took an old shed and converted it into a small school. Then using an old computer, we downloaded the course contents in PDF and PowerPoint formats, and decided to meet every Monday. We divided the material up so as not to make it too heavy, and adapted some of the modules to make them easier to grasp – presenting the theoretical and scientific basis for climate change, and trying to contextualize this within examples that are close to our own daily realities. With this, the degree of understanding increased significantly, and people were able to relate global warming to their daily lives. We are, in these classes, qualifying our local observations and encouraging community initiatives, including activities that add to other disaster risk reduction strategies and focus on low-carbon development.

Completion of the lighthouse school. Location of climate change courses. Photo: Maurici Tadeu

Completion of the lighthouse school. Location of climate change courses. Photo: Maurici Tadeu

We hope to soon be able to cooperate with local schools to integrate climate change issues into their curricula, to develop in partnership materials to support quality learning, and to provide training to their teachers – taking care to protect the educational structures of our region against future environmental impacts. Through these actions, we hope to do justice to this global call for a better planet – using simple attitudes that depend more on people’s will than on financial support. We are sure that we can effectively become a beacon, building the attitudes for adaptation and coping, and to take evidence-based preventive actions, through a simple and inexpensive pedagogical approach.

Receiving children for field days and ecological activities. Photo: Maurici Tadeu

Receiving children for field days and ecological activities. Photo: Maurici Tadeu

At the time of publication of this story, Maurici was appointed as the new Secretary of Education of his municipality and wants to integrate climate change learning into schools’ curricula, find partners to develop learning materials, and provide training for teachers.

Get Involved:

Do you know of a similar initiative in your community? Share it with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and tag the UN CC:Learn. We’ll love to hear your story!

Start your learning journey:

Start learning about climate change today through our free learning platform www.unccelearn.org. After reading Maurici’s story, you may be interested in checking out more about the following courses:

Supun Lahiru is an environmental activist, journalist and a UN CC:Learn champion from Sri Lanka. He has been educating the local community on climate change in Sinhalese language to overcome the lack of realiable information on climate change in local languages. Through his activism, he has been delivering trainigs and leading awareness-raising campaigns on climate change. Explore his story to find out how impactful has been his work in communicating on Sinhalese language.

 

I am Supun Lahiru Prakash from Sri Lanka. I am an environmental activist, freelance environment journalist, and researcher in Sri Lanka since 2005 and involved in many conservation campaigns in the country and investigative reporting. As an environmental activist and a journalist, my main focuses were local environmental issues such as deforestation, poaching, pollution, etc. However, I got the opportunity to participate in a training program on Climate Change in 2013 which was conducted by Sri Lanka Press Institute and it fuels my enthusiasm for this global phenomenon. Then, I completed the UN CC: Learn Introductory e-course on Climate Change and this has led to a paradigm shift in my way of thinking on climate change.

Photo: Supun Lahiru Prakash

Photo: Supun Lahiru Prakash

Journalists have a key role on climate change awareness and education. They can educate the people on climate change, expose the policy decisions that can go against the NDC and do everything that they can to alert the general public that climate change is the most fundamental challenge ever. As a small tropical island nation and ranked in a higher position in Climate Risk Index, Sri Lanka is more vulnerable to adverse impacts of climate change. People don’t have good knowledge about climate change mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage. No idea about NDCs at all. If Sri Lanka people were aware of these things, they will demand essential policy changes and decisions to tackle the adverse impacts of climate change.

While covering the local environmental issues and climate change-related content, I learned that language is a bottleneck in climate education in Sri Lanka. There are very limited opportunities for the local people who communicate in Sinhalese to aware of climate change. The climate knowledge is mostly in English and reliable and updated climate information in Sinhalese language is lacking or limited access. Therefore, I have started to write the column entitled ‘Climate talk’ for the Irudina Newspaper in 2016, and later it was converted into a blog which now reached more than 4500 views. Climate change was also considered as a top priority in my column entitled ‘Writing from the land without fear’ for the Resa Newspaper, one of the national newspapers in Sri Lanka published in the local language Sinhalese.

I have done some awareness campaigns on climate change and public health inspector trainees and certain other youth groups have belonged to the audience. I think my writings and presentations inspire others to take action on climate change. The thesis topic for my M.Sc. in Forestry and Environmental Management degree was also related to Climate change where I try to find out the possibility to use dengue incidents as evidence of Climate change in Sri Lanka. I think that one of the leading forces of my undivided attention to climate change was UN CC: e-Learn platform.

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