Caroline Ouko is a Kenyan Action for Climate Empowerment advocate and climate change negotiator. With the knowledge acquired from UN CC:Learn, she has been able to carry out several environmental initiatives and negotiate on behalf of her country at major climate change conferences .

As a school student in Kenya, Caroline would walk to school along the Nairobi River, which used to be a thriving environment, full of water and fish. As years went by, the landscape drastically changed, and the booming ecosystem dwindled due to human activity and human-driven climate change. Caroline finished school, went to university, and ended up becoming a scientist engaged in environmental research. She developed an interest in climate change and completed the “Introductory Course on Climate Change” in 2014, which shed light on several questions she had at the time. She grew to believe that one of the best ways to raise awareness of climate change and encourage climate change action is by promoting climate change literacy, particularly among youth.

In this context, Carolin became an advocate for Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) in Kenya and got nominated to the Climate Change Unit under Kenya’s Land Reclamation Department. As an ACE advocate and public official, she represented Kenya as a negotiator in several key climate change conferences, such as COP26 in the United Kingdom, SB56 in Bonn and COP27 in Egypt. As a climate negotiator, she has been involved in some of the most important outcome within ACE, like the Glasgow Work Programme. Back home in Kenya, she is pushing the ACE agenda at home and was responsible for putting together, through a consultative process, the Kenya’s first ACE submission.

Caroline planting a sapling.

Caroline planting a sapling.

This first commitment towards ACE will enable Kenya to further provide youth with the necessary skills to act on the climate crisis. Caroline is optimistic:

“The youth are at the center of this programme and I’m confident that if we let youth lead, we may reach net zero even sooner. I am pushing the ACE agenda.” – Caroline Achieng Ouko, 2022 UN CC:Learn Champion

Maryam Eqam is a climate advocate and founder who has completed 10 UN CC:Learn courses. She founded the Earth Needs Love, a not-for-profit empowering youth and working in favor of the environment. Read more about her inspiring story below.

Climate change is disproportionately affecting women and that’s why Maryam Eqan, a 23-year-old master’s student from Pakistan, is empowering women to act on climate change. Maryam has always felt that she should do something about the climate crisis. She looked for opportunities to deepen her knowledge on the issue and came across UN CC:Learn, where she ended up completing 10 courses. The courses provided her with the right set of skills and knowledge to help her establish her own environmental organization: The Earth Needs Love. Earth Needs Love is a youth-led and youth-focused organization that works in favor of the environment, climate, and sustainable development. The organization recognizes the lack of opportunities women have despite playing an important role in addressing climate change and promoting nature conservation. To overcome this problem, Earth Needs Love has set up theWomen for Environmentinitiative to raise environmental awareness and build capacity of women. Their moto is “By women, for women”.

Currently, almost 30 women and girls from Asia and Africa have joined the Women for Environment initiative. Together, they build each other’s capacities on gender and environment and are developing a policy brief on “Women and Environmental Leadership”.

Maryam Eqam at a climate march demanding "equity now".

Maryam Eqam at a climate march demanding “equity now”.

In addition to her work in the organization, Maryam has also taken part in high-level events, such as the Biodiversity COP (COP15) and the High-Level Political Forum in 2022, for which she wrote a policy brief on sustainable energy with the help of the “Gender Equality and Human Rights in Climate Action and Renewable Energy” e-course.

“I believe that learning about environment and climate change should never stop as this is the keyway to achieving more as it sensitizes one to live sustainably and inspire and influence others to do the same. “ – Maryam Eqan – 2022 UN CC:Learn Champion

The “Plastic Waste and the Basel Convention” e-course , originally launched in English in 2022, is now available in French and Spanish. The course unpacks the role of the Basel Convention in addressing plastic waste and how it can support countries in dealing with this growing global issue.


Read on to learn more about the course!

Plastic waste is a global environmental problem which affects countries and people in several ways. From health issues to the destruction of ecosystems, the plastic waste problem brings about a myriad of negative consequences that disrupt both livelihoods and economies, seriously disturbing the lives of regular citizens, especially the most vulnerable. For instance, improper plastic disposal is leading to increasingly dangerous levels of marine litter, including plastic litter and microplastics, that harm marine life and end up in the global food chain.

In 2019,  the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal and the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA)emphasized the role the Basel Convention has in addressing the high and rapidly increasing levels of marine plastic litter and microplastics by preventing plastic waste from entering the marine environment. In a landmark decision, the COP adopted amendments to Annexes II, VIII and IX (the Plastic Waste Amendments), making the Basel Convention the only global legally binding instrument that currently specifically addresses plastic waste.

Currently, there is no consolidated ‘one-stop-shop’ that Basel Convention Focal Points, Competent Authorities and other stakeholders can rely on to gain a comprehensive understanding of the steps needed and the tools and guidance available to ensure prevention and minimization, environmentally sound management and control of transboundary movement of plastic waste. Considering this, the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) Conventions in cooperation with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and funded through the European Union (EU) Global Public Goods and Challenges programme (GPGC) developed the “Plastic Waste and the Basel Convention” e-course, which aims to fill this gap and is available in three languages: English, French and Spanish.

Learning objectives

After completing the course, learners will be able to:

  • Summarize the key trends, challenges and opportunities related to plastic waste management at global and national level;
  • Discuss the Basel Convention and its key provisions and annexes as well as the role of the Conference of the Parties (COP) and its subsidiary bodies with respect to plastic waste;
  • Explain how different types of plastic waste are classified and must be managed under the Basel Convention

Who should take this course ?

While the course is primarily targeted at the Focal Points and Competent Authorities of the Basel Convention, it is suited for learners irrespective of their level of pre-existing knowledge of the Basel Convention and plastic waste. It may also be useful for other government stakeholders, civil society, the private sector and the general public with some waste management or environment knowledge.

Course Completion and Certification

The successful completion of the course rewards the learner with a certificate. To complete the course, the learner must complete all three modules and pass each associated quiz with a minimum grade of 70% from no more than three attempts. The completion of each module also rewards the learner with a badge.

Take the course in English, French or Spanish.

Axelle Vera is a young professional from Cameroon who is building out her career with the help of UN CC:Learn. In 2022, she applied for an internship at the Central African Women Initiative in Climate Action (WICA) programme and, thanks in part to UN CC:Learn, she landed the job!

What if taking a UN CC:Learn course meant opening doors for brand new opportunities? In February 2022, Axelle came across a call for applications for the Central African Women Initiative in Climate Action (WICA), which is US-funded capacity building programme for women living in Cameroon, Gabon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, and the Republic of Congo on greenhouse gas measurement, reporting and verification (MRV), mitigation, and adaptation, as well as the climate negotiation process and implementation of the Paris Agreement. She decided to apply for it and soon got a response back from the WICA programme: they asked her to complete theClimate Change: From Learning to Action” course in a week’s time in order to get her application through. She put her hands to the task, completed the course and send them the certificate of completion. Two months later she was picked by WICA to join their regional project in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

As part of this project, Axelle took part in several trainings, both theoretical and practical, on Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU), Energy, and Climate Change Negotiations. She performed so well during the trainings that she was one of five people picked for a fully funded scholarship with the Greenhouse Gas Management Institute (GHGMI) to follow a Diploma in GHG Measurement, Reporting and Verification, which will give her the opportunity to put her newly acquired skills into practice through a three-month internship.

Axelle Vera gave an interview during an in-country workshop held as part of her internship. (Personal archive)

Axelle Vera gave an interview during an in-country workshop held as part of her internship. (Personal archive)

While undertaking all these capacity building programs, Axelle got a full-time role at an environmental consultancy bureau in Cameroon working as an Assistant Carbon Project Manager and even managed to complete the “Mastering Adaptation Plans: From Start to Finish” e-course. As she put it:

“All this started with me validating a course on UN CC:e-Learn to apply for the WICA program. So, thanks to UN CC:Learn!” – Axelle Vera Eunice Nfono Efoulou, 2022 UN CC:Learn Champion

Axelle’s story proves that by improving your knowledge on climate change, one can fulfil their dreams and progress their careers.

Ghana is committed to addressing climate change. The country recently held a National Climate Change and Green Economy Week to raise awareness of it among its population, particularly the youth. Read on to find out more about the wide range of activities that took place in the country from 27th to 31st March 2023.

From 27th to 31st March 2023, Ghana held its National Climate Change and Green Economy Week 2023. The week-long event was organized by the country’s Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in collaboration with a range of partners, including UN CC:Learn. It is part of the implementation of Ghana’s National Climate Change Learning Strategy, launched in 2016.

A series of activities were carried out across 5 days in the capital Accra and mobilized Ghanaians around the importance of addressing climate change in order to safeguard livelihoods in the future. The event got extensive media coverage, including TV and radio interviews (examples here and here) broadcasted nationally, which helped carry the message to millions of people across the country.

The event was formally opened by the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation during a dedicated ceremony held at Accra’s National Theatre, in front of hundreds of participants. Representatives from multiple organizations, including international development partners, national institutions, such as the Ghana Education Service (GES), academia, as well as youth and traditional leaders also intervened.

Opening ceremony of Ghana's National Climate Change and Green Economy Week 2023.

Opening ceremony of Ghana’s National Climate Change and Green Economy Week 2023.

A special edition of UN CC:Learn’s Youth Climate Dialogues flagship initiative followed, bringing together high school students from four Ghanaian schools to discuss climate change impacts and solutions with students from Italy. This exciting exchange allowed both students and teachers from all schools involved to get a different perspective of how climate change is affecting other countries and how the young people perceive and deal with this issue. In addition to the students participating in the exchange, over a hundred Ghanaian high school students attended the Dialogue, enhancing their knowledge.

Youth Climate Dialogue Flyer

Youth Climate Dialogue flyer.

A second event specifically targeting high-school students took the form of a climate change quiz, involving four schools, each represented by two young people. The quiz consisted of four rounds of questions, each characterized by a set of different assignments related to multiple aspects of climate change and green economy, to be undertaken within a well-defined timeframe. All classmates attended as part of the public, cheering and supporting their respective champions.

Students during the quiz.

High-school students during the climate change quiz.

Additional events included a symposium on climate change, with interventions from university professors, academicians and representatives of civil society organizations, a street procession across the streets of Accra with messages on climate change, as well as national and community meetings dedicated to awareness raising.

A ceremony concluded the Week and provided an occasion to award a wide range of national and international stakeholders for their commitment to climate change and green economy learning. Among them, a teacher who has participated in the national climate change and green economy teacher training programme organized by MESTI, EPA, GES, with UN CC:Learn and UNDP support, was recognized for its outstanding work for the promotion of climate change and green economy education. UN CC:Learn will support his participation in COP28 of the UNFCCC, in Dubai, UAE, in December 2023, on the occasion of Education Day and related events, to share the experience of Ghana internationally.

The National Climate Change and Green Economy Week 2023 is the second edition of this broad awareness raising initiative, which follows the one held in 2016. This complements the extensive efforts undertaken by the Government of Ghana to integrate climate change and green economy into education across primary and secondary levels.

On 28 February 2023, the Government of Ghana launched the 2023 Climate Change and Green Economy Week.


The week-long celebration will put climate action at the center of discussions.


Read on to find out more.

The impact of climate change is increasingly visible in Africa. The continent has been suffering from the warming temperatures, which have disrupted rainfall patterns, dried up water resources and impacted agriculture.

Against this backdrop, the Government of Ghana, in collaboration with several partners, is organising the 2023 National Climate Change and Green Economy Week. The week was officially launched on 28 February 2023 by Ghana’s Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, in Accra, Ghana, and will take place from 27th to 31st of March 2023. The week-long celebration will sensitize the public about climate change through several activities, such as keynote speeches from high-level officials, a parade, an award, educational initiatives, youth dialogues and more.

Launch of 2023 Climate Change and Green Economy Week

Aiming to shed light on how climate change is impacting Ghana, the Climate Change and Green Economy Week has been organized since 2016 as part of the country’s Climate and Green Economy Learning Strategy. It has been raising awareness about the role public education can have in increasing understanding of the challenges posed by the climate crisis and creating broad, community-driven action to try to stem its effects in the long-term.

Learn more about the Ghana Climate Change and Green Economy Week below:

UN CC:Learn presented its initiatives to advance climate literacy to young people at the International Cooperation Forum in Switzerland. Check out our initiatives and get involved!

On 16th February 2023, the UN CC:Learn team was present at the International Cooperation Forum (ICF) in Geneva, Switzerland, to exchange with youth on solutions to advance sustainable development and address climate change. Ms. Cristina Rekakavas, Coordinator of the UN CC:Learn programme, shared the UN CC:Learn experience on-site in front of an audience of around 80 people. She highlighted the work UN CC:Learn has done over the past decade to build global climate change literacy and engagement across different axes, focusing in particular on its e-learning platform.

This is one of the largest e-learning platform globally specifically dedicated to climate change and green economy, with 50 free, self-paced e-courses on a broad range of topics. She highlighted that over 667,000 learners from all over the world have already been accessing the platform and over 250,000 certificates have been issued, with high participation of young people up to 34 years old.

In addition, she showcased the UN CC:Learn Climate Quiz, which helps individuals assess their climate change knowledge and get tailored tips and recommendations for additional learning. She concluded her interventions by noting how all these resources are supporting change, mentioning key results from the UN CC:Learn alumni surveys and presenting two stories of young alumni who had created environmental organizations in their countries.

The ICF is an event organized by the Government of Switzerland to bring together different stakeholders with the purpose of promoting international cooperation to address key global challenges. This year’s topic was “Education4Future” and had education and youth at the core of its discussions. The event took place at CICG, in Geneva, over the 15th and 16th of February 2023 and was held in a hybrid setting, with participants being able to attend it in person or online.

The event featured several interventions from experts and high-level speakers, including from Mr. Ignazio Cassis, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Federal Councilor of Switzerland, who stressed the importance of good quality and universal education.

Every individual, every child, has the right to education. Without education, there is no development.” – Ignazio Cassis, Federal Councilor of Switzerland.

The Forum also provided an opportunity for participants to exchange and discuss about a multiplicity of education-related topics, ranging from innovative investments in education to inclusivity and digitalization, to the development of future- and market-oriented skills.

High-school students from Kantonsschule am Burggraben St.Gallen, in Switzerland, visited the UNITAR headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and were hosted by the Green Development and Climate Change Programme.


The students took part in a two-hour meeting with UNITAR staff where they got career tips and learned more about the life in international civil service.

On 15 February 2023, a group of 20 students from Kantonsschule am Burggraben St.Gallen, in Switzerland, visited the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and took part in a 2-hour session with UNITAR staff. The students’ visit was part of an annual field trip to International Geneva, during which they visited other international organizations, participated in a UN simulation and attended the International Cooperation Forum.

The visit to UNITAR aimed at giving the students an idea of the skills and background needed to work in the United Nations and it kicked off with a broad overview of the organization given by Mr. Lucas Terra of UNITAR’s Green Development and Climate Change Programme. He walked participants through the history of the organization, its mandate and the seven different divisions of UNITAR. He also explained the role the organization plays in contributing to the 2030 Agenda and showcased some of its flagship programmes.

Ms. Maya Valcheva speaking to the students.

This first introductory part was followed by a round of presentations on professional backgrounds, careers and skills needed by UNITAR and other international organizations, that were delivered by Ms. Katharina Sill, Mr. Karim Saleh, Ms. Maya Valcheva and Mr. Abhinandan Banerjee. The four speakers told their personal stories and spoke about how they ended up pursuing a career at the United Nations in Geneva, what they studied at university and what skills they think are important to land a job at an international organization.

Each presentation was followed by questions from the students, who were particularly keen to learn what working at UNITAR looks like and how UNITAR projects are conceived and implemented. To wrap up the session, students joined a general Q&A about the life in Geneva as an international civil servant.

Students from Kantonsschule am Burggraben St.Gallen visiting the UNITAR HQ.

After a successful experience with climate change education in the United Arab Emirates, Ms. Asha Alexander is encouraging a school in Indonesia to follow into her footsteps.


Read on to find out more about it.

Indonesia is a tropical country on the frontline of climate change. The warming temperatures are threatening its population living along the coastline and endangering its vast rainforests and several animal species. To face up to this challenge, a school in Indonesia is currently making efforts to bring about climate change action.

It all started with Ms. Asha Alexander, UN CC:Learn Champion and Principal of the GEMS Legacy School, in Dubai, UAE. Ms. Alexander, who is a staunch defender of climate change education, has asked all her staff and students to complete six courses on UN CC:e-Learn:

  1. Gender Equality and Human Rights in Climate Action and Renewable Energy
  2. Sustainable Diet
  3. Introductory e-Course on Climate Change
  4. Children and Climate Change
  5. Human Health and Climate Change
  6. Climate Change International Legal Regime

After this successful undertaking at her school, she’s bringing climate education and UN CC:Learn to other countries, such as Indonesia and Italy.

In Indonesia, she has introduced the six UN CC:Learn courses to Sekolah Bogor Raya School, an IB School in Bogor, Indonesia, and the school has also asked its students and staff to complete the courses. The purpose of this partnership is to boost understanding and awareness of climate change at all levels of the school and drive an agenda of sustainability – both locally and nationally – that considers the 2030 Agenda.

At the high-level ceremony to cement their partnership, and in the presence of several government officials and representatives of the education sector in Bogor, the Sekolah Bogor Raya School was empowered to lead Indonesia on Sustainability practices and ensure that Agenda 2030 is achieved by reshaping the curricula to embed the Sustainable Development Goals. Currently, GEMS Legacy School and Sekolah Bogor Raya School are engaged in projects working towards the following SDGs: SDG 6– Clean Water and Sanitation, SDG-12 Responsible Consumption and Production and SDG 14– Life below Water.

Ms. Asha Alexander at the high-level event in Bogor, Indonesia.

As part of their collaboration and in addition to taking the UN CC:Learn courses, Sekolah Bogor Raya will lead the municipal schools in Bogor, Bekasi, and Jakarta to follow suit, and introduce the courses to the Afghan Refugee school with who they are associated.

Moving forward, Sekolah Bogor Raya School plans to keep engaging its students in climate action by raising awareness and funding. For instance, the school has already identified opportunities to work on conservation projects to preserve the endangered Orangutans.

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!