After 2 years in the making, Zimbabwe held a virtual event with high-level representatives to launch its National Climate Change Learning Strategy. The implementation of it is already under way.

 

Keep reading to find out more.

The National Climate Change Learning Strategy (NCCLS) of Zimbabwe was launched in a virtual event by the Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Hon. Mangaliso Ndlovu. This strategy was developed under the leadership of the Climate Change Management Department within the Ministry of Environment, Climate Tourism and Hospitality Industry and supported by UN CC:Learn, the UNDP Zimbabwe country office and MIET Africa.

The 136-page document is the result of the support from UN CC:Learn to the government of Zimbabwe which started in 2019. Zimbabwe has been working to strengthen climate change learning within the country, and the strategy will serve as a framework for it by laying out key priority areas to be addressed and proposing ways to implement activities at both national and local levels. The newly launched NCCLS also confirms Zimbabwe’s commitment to fulfilling its climate change targets and to advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Hon Mangaliso Ndlovu, Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry launched the NCCL strategy

The virtual launch event brought together high-level representatives from across the country, and partner countries such as Zambia and Malawi.  In his welcoming remarks the Head of the UN CC:Learn, Mr. Angus Mackay congratulated the country for its efforts and stressed the importance of the strategy to advance climate change learning within the country, which will certainly impact the future of the younger generations.

The most important thing to remember about this Strategy is that it gives Zimbabwe control over its agenda for climate change training and education.  Societies need more protection than this and it begins with building climate change literacy at all levels, particularly so that our children and our young people can be better prepared for their future.” – Mr. Angus Mackay

Moving forward, Zimbabwe has already started implementing the strategy starting with an awareness raising roadshow for rural youth and youth groups and piloting the integration of UN CC:Learn courses into teacher training.  In addition to the national activities, Zimbabwe has participated in a number of regional activities involving the other partner countries, Malawi and Zambia, such as the radio and TV programmes and training of journalists on climate change reporting.

Read or download Zimbabwe’s NCCLS here.

Find out more about UN CC:Learn work in Zimbabwe here.

In February 2021, Malawi held an online event to launch the updated version of its National Climate Change Learning Strategy. The newly developed strategy sets the country on a new path to achieving its climate change goals.

 

Read on and find out more!

Malawi continues to take firm decisions and plans to address the adverse effects of climate change that the country is facing.  Through setting up different policy frameworks and developing a National Climate Change Learning Strategy (NCCLS) in 2013 with the aim of addressing knowledge gaps that are key for formulating informed policies and climate change interventions, the Southern African nation was one of the frontrunners in addressing climate change through education.  In 2021, the National Climate Change Learning Strategy was revised in order to address gaps noted in the 2013 Strategy and to take on board emerging issues in the climate change arena.

The updated Strategy, which provides a framework for enhancing climate literacy across the country, was launched in a virtual event by the Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources, on the 9th February 2021.

The development of this strategy was created and consequently updated with the understanding that only an enlightened community would be able to adopt appropriate and robust resilient strategies for countering adverse impacts of climate change through the implementation of adaptation and mitigation measures.  Malawi, through implementation of the 2013 Strategy, has accumulated considerable experience in the design and implementation of systematic approaches to climate change education and learning.

The newly launched Strategy sets the scene for a comprehensive approach towards climate change, and further strengthens Malawi’s commitment to achieving its goals under the Paris Agreement. Moreover, it confirms the country’s decision to put sustainable development at the forefront of its policies. Through three main pillars, each with their own set of goals, the country has set a clear pathway to mainstreaming climate change learning throughout the country. The pillars are:

  • Individual learning and skills development
  • Institutional capacity building
  • Resource mobilization

The virtual launch event highlighted the fruitful collaboration between Malawi and UN CC:Learn.Dr. Yanira Ntupanyama, Principal Secretary for Forestry and Natural Resources, underscored how important the collaboration has been in helping the country fulfil its climate ambitions. Mr. Angus Mackay, Head of the UN CC:Learn Secretariat and Director of the Division for Planet at UNITAR, congratulated the country on this important achievement, and highlighted and praised Malawi’s role in peer-to-peer learning on climate change education in the region where it has used its experience and leadership to support Zambia and Zimbabwe during their own NCCL strategies development.

Read or download the full strategy here.

Find out more about UN CC:Learn work in Malawi here.

Jeffrey Phiri is from Mozambique and finished the “Introductory e-Course on Climate Change” on UN CC:e-Learn platform. He told us about the impacts it has had not only on his professional perspective but also on how he personally relates to the environment around him.

Jeffrey Phiri lives in Mozambique and is involved in Smart Development Works (SNV)’s agriculture program.

He finished taking the “Introductory e-Course on Climate Change” on UN CC:e-Learn platform and told us about the impacts it has had not only on his professional perspective but also on how he personally relates to the environment around him.

Jeffrey at a cassava field. To increase the production of this crop, Jeffrey is using the resilient variety of cassava "Chinhembwe" and a cultural and organic method of weed control rather than chemical herbicides. / ©Jeffrey Phiri

Jeffrey at a cassava field. To increase the production of this crop, Jeffrey is using the resilient variety of cassava “Chinhembwe” and a cultural and organic method of weed control rather than chemical herbicides. / ©Jeffrey Phiri

There is a lot to gain from taking a UN CC:e-Learn course: a career change, a pay raise, professional experience, and a new perspective. For Jeffrey, living in Mozambique, the biggest changes the e-course brought in him are “courage” and “understanding.”

Working with farmers in Mozambique and dealing with nature every day, he used to struggle with the idea of climate change. He felt ill-equipped to discuss issues with technicians and farmers because he says, his understanding of the issue “wasn’t that deep.” When he thinks of the change UN CC:e-Learn’s course brought, he does not think of a career, but of a change in himself.

He now has the courage to discuss the environment with confidence, and a respect for nature that shapes everything he does. In his own words, he knows “what is really happening” and makes sure those around him do too. The impact UN CC:e-Learn’s course has had on his life can even be seen in his personal garden.

I even come to a point at my place,” he says, “where I do some vegetation planting besides flowers.” Before, gardening “was only for beautifying” his house, “not for trying to get rid of climate change.” Now, he actively tries to “balance the ecosystem” through what he plants and uses in his garden. He has even started using “organic manure” in an attempt to be more environmentally friendly.

“I respect a lot the vegetation,” he says, “more than anything else.”

Did you know that maize is also a staple crop in Mozambique?

Did you know that maize is also a staple crop in Mozambique?

Even beyond his garden, Jeffrey feels a new responsibility to share his understanding with others. When out on the road, he makes sure that those he meets know “what is really happening” with the environment. While traveling for his work, he often sees individuals engaged in businesses that hurt the environment, such as selling firewood.

Where before, he would have said nothing, he now says he stops “each and every time” to ask them a simple question: “do you know the impacts of what you are doing?” More than that, he makes the effort to help people “make sense of” their impact. To the firewood sellers, he asks “are you setting this fire just because you are cutting the tree that was dead already or the fresh trees?” Now that he knows the impact that small differences can have, he feels compelled to make sure “the same information goes to local farmers.”

A snapshot of rural Mozambique.

A snapshot of rural Mozambique.

The changes Jeffrey is seeing are not what we usually associate with completing a course, but they are important. Courage, respect, and understanding have value in themselves. Why? Because they can empower people like Jeffrey to speak up about what they see around them, be it tree cutting or manure use. Small action, like gardening, is a precursor to a larger impact.

When he thinks of his garden, his understanding of changing rainfall, and his conversations with local leaders, Jeffrey feels “a good impact in that.”

The planting of windbreakers is also very important in preventing crop damages due to hazards caused during cyclones, hail, etc. It also encouraged to keep the soil mulched to prevent the effects of evapotranspiration, hence maintain soil moisture for the better of biologically active soil lives. Close spacing always protects the weed growth instead of using biologically hazardous and expensive chemicals, hence creating a global friendly environment.

The flagship course on Climate Change: From Learning to Action is now available in Russian, cementing UN CC:Learn’s commitment to multilingualism and diversity.

UN CC:Learn is expanding its portfolio with a focus on multilingualism, with the aim to reach out to many more interested learners. Courses are currently available in 12 different languages. 

As part of this process, users can now take the flagship course on “Climate Change: From Learning to Action” in Russian, adding up to the three other languages previously available: English, Spanish and French. This course is an updated version of the original “Introductory e-Course on Climate Change”, which has had more than 100,000 enrollments and issued over 15,000 certificates of course completion since it was made available in 2014, making it the most successful course on the e-learning platform.

From youth climate movements to the uptake of environmentally friendly habits, people around the world are more aware of climate change and its effects than ever and are demanding and taking concrete action. Introducing climate change issues and solutions and offering through an interactive learning experience, the course can provide a first step towards more understanding and engagement in this area. 

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

  • Explain what climate change is;
  • Describe how we plan to adapt to the negative impacts of climate change;
  • Identify opportunities for low carbon development;
  • Identify ways to plan and finance climate actions;
  • Explain how climate negotiations work;
  • Formulate a climate pledge, project or policy.

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

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

  • What is climate change and how does it affect us?
  • How to adapt to climate change?
  • How to mitigate climate change?
  • How to plan and finance action on climate change?
  • How do climate change negotiations work?
  • How to tackle climate change in practice?

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

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

“People’s Climate Vote”, the largest ever opinion survey on climate change, confirmed that there’s a clear correlation between the level of education and belief in climate change.

 

Read the article and watch the video to find out more about it.

The largest ever opinion survey on climate change was carried out by UN CC:Learn partner UNDP in 2020 and showed that 64% of 1.2 million respondents think that climate change is a global emergency. The survey entitled “People’s Climate Vote” covered 50 countries, reflecting a bit more than half of the world’s population, and its results were analysed by the University of Oxford. Over 500,000 respondents of the survey were under the age of 18 at the time of the poll, which made youth the biggest age group surveyed.

One of the survey’s key findings has proven that education is paramount to ramp up climate action: the poll confirmed that there is a clear correlation between level of education and belief in climate change. For instance, people who held university degrees or were attending university were way more likely to believe that climate change is a global emergency. This spanned across all surveyed countries, from low-income to high-income ones, with 82% of people in Bhutan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and 87% and 82% in France and Japan, respectively.

Something we saw very clearly was the high correlation between education and belief in the climate emergency. The more educated you are, the more likely you are to think that there is a climate emergency.” Cassie Flynn – Strategic Adviser to the UNDP.

As a key player promoting climate change learning, UN CC:Learn has education at the core of its activities. With a bit over 120,000 certificates issued, the e-learning platform has become the one-stop-shop for climate change learning with a comprehensive offer of free, self-paced, online courses on climate change and green economy.

At the country level, the programme has been working along with countries and regional partners to integrate climate change into school curricula. In 2021, two National Climate Change Learning Strategies have already been launched in Malawi and Zimbabwe, which gives a glimpse of what is in the pipeline.

Moreover, UN CC:Learn has been actively engaging with youth and giving them the knowledge and tools to be drivers of change. At the global level, the Youth Climate Dialogues have reached more than 900 students in 26 countries, and more is being planned for the year ahead.

Find out how UN CC:Learn has been advancing climate literacy here.

17 professionals have been trained on how to deliver effective online adult learning in West Africa as part of a four-session training of trainers organized by UN CC:Learn and the Partnership for Action on Green Economy.

UN CC:Learn and the Partnership for Action on Green Economy delivered a four-session online training of trainers to participants in 13 countries of the West African hub. In total, 17 professionals, mostly working within the academia field, have been trained on development and delivery of e-learning courses.

The training had been originally conceived as a PAGE Senegal activity, however its scope expanded, building on UN CC:Learn experience in e-learning and following one of the key recommendations of an online consultation organized by UN CC:Learn in June 2020, in which stakeholders in the region agreed to deliver trainings on the development of MOOCs and e-learning tools.

The West African hub aims to enhance capacity and skills among professional from across its 13 member countries, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo- In this context, the training of trainers suited perfectly this objective. Over the four sessions, participants were walked through the ins and outs of e-learning by a UN CC:Learn expert, giving them a broad overview of the steps and processes to develop effective online learning for adults. The main learning objectives were:

  • Explain how adults learn.
  • Describe the process of developing e-learning courses.
  • Differentiate the phases of the A.D.D.I.E Model.
  • Describe the functioning principles of e-learning platforms.
  • Identify authoring tools for developing interactive lessons.

Each session lasted 1 hour and 30 minutes, and allowed for interaction, with participants actively engaging in discussions among themselves and with tutors. They also had to work on assignments and at the end they received a Certification of Participation. After undertaking this learning experience, they are better equipped to develop e-learning modules on climate change and foster e-learning more broadly across West Africa. This was validated by a survey conducted right after the last session, in which 87,5% of respondents said they have learned how to develop and assess effective online adult learning.

Find out more about UN CC:Learn work in West Africa here.

A 2-day mid-term workshop took place in Nakuru, Kenya, and brought together stakeholders from across the country to advance the development of Kenya’s National Climate Change Learning Strategy. Read on and find out more about Kenya’s journey to mainstream climate literacy.

The Mid-term workshop in Kenya to develop the Learning Action Plan for the National climate Change Learning Strategy was held from 12 – 13th January 2021 in Nakuru, Kenya. The workshop brought together over 50 participants from government, civil society, academia and training institutions, private sector, youth groups and creative artists.

The aim of the workshop was to come up with a results-based action plan to address learning needs and strengthen institutional capacities to deliver learning within the priority sectors of education, environment, energy, agriculture, water sanitation and irrigation as well as the cross-cutting themes of capacity building, public awareness, gender, and youth engagement. The meeting was officially opened by the Director of the Climate Change Directorate, Dr. Pacifica Ogola, on behalf of the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forestry. She reiterated the need for an “all-hands-on-deck” approach to ensure that Kenya achieves its target in the recently updated NDC of reducing emissions by 32% relative to business as usual. Moreover, Dr. Pacifica called for disruptive thinking to ensure the Learning Strategy is not only relevant to Kenya’s current context, but that it is a strategy for all Kenyans and embodies the principle of Leaving No One Behind.

In the spirit of experience sharing, UN CC:Learn Ambassador from Ghana and Chief Programme Officer at the Ghana Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Dr. Emmanuel Tachie-Obeng addressed the stakeholders and provided valuable insight into Ghana’s road to developing its Learning Strategy and learning actions that have spurred since.

It was an intense 2-day workshop that built on the outcomes of the thorough Assessment of Learning Needs and Capacity to Deliver Learning that took place from November – December 2020. The extensive Assessment exercise was a consultative process, engaging a diverse group of stakeholders. Over 200 participants took part in the virtual focus group discussions while 59 institutions and 230 individuals filled in the two online surveys. This provided the baseline for which the actions would be measured against. It also provided valuable insight into the proposed learning actions within the various sectors at individual and institutional level that will lead to overall systemic change.

The Learning Action Plan developed as a result of the mid-term workshop consultations marks a significant milestone in Kenya’s journey towards addressing the most fundamental elements of climate action through the Climate Change Learning Strategy – enabling society to become part of the solution.

UN CC:Learn and MIET Africa are turning climate change into an everyday topic in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Through a series of TV and radio programs, the two projects are streamlining the access to climate change discussions and raising awareness of this issue among people who previously didn’t have a chance to get any information about it.

How do we promote climate action even during a worldwide pandemic? That’s a question, that UN CC:Learn and MIET Africa asked and are trying to answer in three Southern African countries: Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Through a series of radio and TV programs  called “Our Changing Climate – Our time to act!”, the two partners are raising awareness of climate change and fostering climate action in the region.

The idea of hosting programs to discuss climate change and related topics arose in the aftermath of the health, economic and social problems brought about by COVID-19. To come out of this situation sustainably, and ensure an equitable, environmentally friendly and climate resilient economic recovery, it is crucial for everyone to understand the interlinkages between climate change, human health, and socio-economic development. The TV and radio programs in the three Southern African countries supported by UN CC:Learn have proven to be the perfect opportunity to do that.

These country-specific programs allow climate change to remain a topical issue in the region while helping them with the implementation of their National Climate Change Learning Strategy by touching on specific areas addressed by the strategies, like energy, agriculture, and health. Each episode approaches one main topic and hosts exclusive guests, such as young climate activists, experts, and government officials. Although these programs are produced independently in each country, these project aims to address the following points:

  • The global significance of climate change and how it impacts countries, communities, and individual lives.
  • How one could adapt to and mitigate climate change at country, community, family, and individual levels.
  • Get an overview of global and national responses to the climate crisis and a “call to action” for communities, families, and individuals, particularly youths, to do their part as friends of the earth.

The TV and radio programs are divided into episodes and each episode is broadcast in three languages in each country: Tumbuka, Chichewa, and English in Malawi, Nyanja, Bemba and English in Zambia, and Ndebele, Shona, and English in Zimbabwe. Each country will have 36 radio episodes and 6 TV episodes in total, equally distributed in the aforementioned languages.

Follow us on social media to get firsthand information on the upcoming episodes: Facebook. Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

UN CC:Learn and Thomson Reuters Foundations delivered a two-part training to journalists and media professionals in Southern and Western Africa. The trainings took place online and walked participants through the potential that accurate and reliable climate change reporting can have in raising awareness of climate change and inspiring climate action.

In November 2020, UN CC:Learn organized two online trainings for journalists and government officials in West and Southern Africa. The two-part training was delivered by the Thomson Reuters Foundation on 16 – 20 November 2020 for Southern Africa in English and 23 – 27 November for West Africa in French. The trainings brought together UN CC:Learn expertise in climate change learning with Thomson Reuters vast experience in media coverage and reporting.

Journalism is an essential tool for enhancing climate literacy. Through reliable information, it can help embed climate change into the daily lives of people, turning it into it a day-to-day topic, fomenting discussions and solutions. Mr. Angus Mackay, the Head of UN CC:Learn Secretariat, conveyed this message in his opening speech to participants. He also stressed the need of informed journalists and media professionals to really strengthen society-wide climate change consciousness.

The first part of the training – the journalism training – for the journalists, was aimed at strengthening the climate change knowledge of journalists and promote independent, evidence-based reporting and the production of balanced and insightful off-diary stories that encourage public engagement and debate.  The second part of the training – the media training – for the media facing government officials, was aimed at strengthening the media handling skills to help develop and promote public interest in climate policies.

Amongst many issues covered in the journalism training, the following issues were targeted over the 5 days:

  • Review participants’ understanding of climate science, fill in any significant gaps;
  • Examine the impact of climate change on their different countries and mitigation and adaptation options;
  • Introduce techniques to simplify the jargon and explain scientific terms;
  • Identify stakeholders and direct journalists to experts and authoritative sources to grow their pool of contacts;
  • Highlight the importance of listening to sources with alternative perspectives, and analysing what they say in the light of the evidence they offer;
  • Explore information-gathering, analytical, storytelling and pitching techniques

The 2-day media training looked at specific issues such as:

  • Tools to use to promote public interest in climate policies in the different countries and encourage and inform public debate on the best way forward ;
  • Connecting government officials and through them to the country’s wider story.  g. local  farmers probably don’t realise that they are in the forefront of a huge debate that is starting to take hold in different parts of the world. Through the training, the government would be able to tell people through the media  in their countries what is being done locally and what is being done elsewhere, and how that might affect their lives;
  • Helping government officials to develop and effectively pitch their climate messages to the media and to the journalists in order to reach the target audiences.

The last day of the trainings offered an opportunity for the two groups to come together to share ideas and brainstorm around what the climate story is in their countries and how work together to promote and inform public debate.  Attendees discussed how to mutually facilitate the work of journalists covering climate change and that of government officials working at government institutions. Below are some of the suggestions that came out of the discussions:

  • Set up a mixed network of journalists and communication officers (i. e. WhatsApp group).
  • Set up a regional network of journalists and climate communication officers.
  • Create a network of environmental and climate radio stations.
  • Encourage journalists to specialize in different areas of environment and climate change.
  • Recurrent capacity-building on climate change and related topics.

In total, 10 francophone UN CC:Learn West Africa Hub member countries took part in the trainings: Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo.  Similarly, 16 journalists and 13 government officials from the Anglophone partner countries participated: The Gambia, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Thomas Reuters Foundation invited experienced journalists to facilitate the trainings. Mr. Nicholas Phythian, who has over 20 years’ experience at Reuters, oversaw both journalist trainings, and was assisted by Ms. Joanna Winterbottom in the English training and by Ms. Nellie Peyton for the French training.  The media training was conducted by Ms. Naglaa El-Emary with assistance from Ms. Reem Shamseddine.  Thomson Reuters Foundation is the corporate foundation of Thomson Reuters global news and information services company and works to advance media freedom and development.

UNITAR and UN CC:Learn joined forces to deliver the Online Training Programme on Climate Change Diplomacy, at which 35 Kenyan diplomats, government officials, and civil society representatives were trained on climate diplomacy. The training took place between 13 November and 8 December 2020 and provided participants with knowledge on climate change and climate diplomacy, building their capacity for the upcoming climate negotiations at COP 26.

Climate change is recognized as a major challenge for the 21st century. New awareness, knowledge and competencies are needed across societies to be able to effectively address associated issues and negative effects. In order to enhance the knowledge and practical skills of Kenyan diplomats, government officials and civil society representatives, the Foreign Service Academy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Climate Change Directorate, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and The One UN Climate Change Learning Partnership (UN CC:Learn) joined forces to organize an Online Training Programme on Climate Change Diplomacy from 13 November to 8 December 2020

This training, designed in the lead-up to the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) scheduled in November 2021 in Glasgow (United Kingdom), aimed to provide the 35 selected participants with knowledge on climate change and climate diplomacy. It also built practical and in-depth understanding of negotiation skills and dynamics in the context of United Nations conferences and the UNFCCC process.

The official opening ceremony of the high-level segment of COP 25/CMP

The training was officially launched during an online Introductory Session held on 13 November 2020. This event featured interventions from H. E. Amb. Galma M. Boru, Director of the Foreign Service Academy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Pacifica Ogola, Director of the Climate Change Directorate, Ministry of Environment and Forestry and Mr. Angus Mackay, Head of the UN CC:Learn Secretariat. It also provided an opportunity for participants to receive more detailed information about the programme and meet each other.

Participants were then invited to complete a Climate Change Diplomacy E-learning Course, consisting of approximately 13 hours of flexible, self-paced study time distributed over a period of 3 weeks, from 16 November to 6 December 2020. The course included 7 modules, each including quizzes and interactive exercises, providing an introduction to climate change, its key issues and possible response measures, followed by more specific information on climate diplomacy, including the structure and functioning of the UNFCCC, the history of negotiations to date as well as current discussion areas.

The programme concluded with an 8-hour hands-on Climate Change Diplomacy e-Workshop held on 7 and 8 December 2020. The workshop, delivered by a multilateral negotiation expert, included interactive sessions on negotiation skills, exercises, and simulations.

A follow-up survey will be distributed to participants in 2021 to assess the use and application of the knowledge.

This training programme was organized thanks to the support provided by the Government of Sweden. It contributes to the UN CC:Learn project in Kenya, which supports the development and implementation of the National Climate Change Learning Strategy.