‘Climate education is crucial for raising the ambition we need to address the existential threat of climate change’, said the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, in celebration of the issuance of 100,000 certificates of course completion on UN CC:e-Learn platform.

Check out the full letter sent by Mr António Guterres to the UN CC:Learn Partnership and its community.

On 18 September 2020, the UN CC:Learn community celebrated the issuance of 100,000 certificates of course completion on our e-learning platform – a milestone for climate literacy worldwide. On this occasion, an event was held with high-level representatives from the United Nations, including the Deputy Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Mr. Ovais Sarmad, the Deputy Secretary-General of WMO,  Ms. Elena Manaenkova, the Executive Director of UNITAR, Mr. Nikhil Seth, as well as Ms. Janine Kuriger, Head of Division at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Mr. Angus Mackay, Head of the UN CC:Learn Secretariat, Mr. Vincens Cótê and Ms. Cristina Rekakavas, respectively former and current coordinator of the UN CC:Learn programme.

As if this was not enough, we also had the attendance of more than 1,000 alumni from all over the world who joined via Zoom and Youtube. To close this celebration with a golden key, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, congratulated the UN CC:Learn Partnership and its community for this accomplishment. In his message, he also challenged our community to leverage climate literacy around the world to enable individuals, organizations, and societies to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

The task is now to scale up this effort and to build a global movement that can help us fulfill the promise of the Paris Agreement.”

Check out the full message sent by the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres.

 

Climate education is crucial for raising the ambition we need to address the existential threat of climate change.

I have been very encouraged to see the way that educators around the world are becoming more involved in climate change, in particular, because of the increasing role of youth in demanding greater attention to the crisis.

In that spirit, it gives me great pleasure to recognize the work of the One UN Climate Change Learning Partnership.

Since 2010, UN CC:Learn has been making the UN’s vast knowledge and expertise more easily available to people around the world, particularly in developing countries and countries in special circumstances.  The Partnership has now reached a milestone: more than 100,000 learners have successfully completed a free online course — and more than 50 percent of those learners are women.

This adds 100,000 informed voices to the cause, with increased knowledge, skills and, above all, the motivation to advance climate science, sustainable infrastructure design, responsible investment and other key dimensions of this challenge.  The task is now to scale up this effort and to build a global movement that can help us fulfill the promise of the Paris Agreement.  The recently launched “United in Science 2020” report from the World Meteorological Organization is a further contribution, cataloging the crisis and ringing the alarm.

I congratulate the UN CC:Learn partnership on this achievement and thank the Government of Switzerland for its long-standing support for this important work.

UN CC:Learn has reached an important milestone: the issuance of 100,000 certificates of course completion from its e-learning platform. And to acknowledge this important accomplishment, an online event was hosted on 18 September. For one hour, people who are part of UN CC:Learn history engaged in discussions about the program, its results, and its future.

In September 2020, UN CC:Learn achieved an important milestone: the issuance of the 100,000th certificate of course completion on its e-learning platform. This special certificate was issued on 11 September 2020 to a who had successfully concluded the Green Fiscal Policy course. In order to acknowledge this important accomplishment, an event – which was held on 18 September 2020 – brought together people both virtually and in-person to discuss the partnership and the challenges of promoting climate literacy.

The event was hosted on Zoom and live-streamed on YouTube. 15 people attended the ceremony in-person and over 1,000 people followed it online. The line-up comprised individuals who have contributed to UN CC:Learn history: Mr. Nikhil Seth, UNITAR’s Executive Director, who highlighted the importance of continuing to promote global climate literacy in innovative ways, Mr. Angus Mackay, Head of the UN CC:Learn Secretariat, who noted the increasingly different audience currently following UN CC:Learn’s courses, Mr. Vincens Coté, who was the programme’s coordinator from 2014 to 2017 and recalled how it all started 5 years ago, and Ms. Janine Kuriger, Head of the Global Programme Climate Change and Environment at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, who reflected on this milestone and perspectives for the future.

Some partner agencies also joined the celebration. Mr. Ovais Sarmad, Deputy Executive Secretary at the UN Climate Change Secretariat talked about the contribution that UN CC:Learn is giving to the fight against the climate crisis and thanked everyone who took some time to complete one of the 27 e-courses available. Representing the World Meteorological Organization, Dr. Elena Manaenkova, who acts as Deputy Secretary-General at the organization, noted the evolution of the program since its very early stages and its relevance for one UN collaboration in the area of climate change learning, stressing WMO’s support. The event was moderated by Ms. Cristina Rekakavas, UN CC:Learn program coordinator.

As part of the event, a “behind the scenes” video was screened with the purpose of walking viewers through the processes behind the program’s course development, giving them a glimpse of the everyday work being done by the UN CC:Learn Secretariat.

To conclude the event, UN CC:Learn launched a new challenge, engaging the 400,000 UN CC:Learn alumni to take part in the “100k Stories for Climate Action” initiative, which will last for one month and will reward the best 10 stories.

You can access the recordings of the event here.

 

The Partnership for Action on Green Economy has launched a series of global e-learning products that address key policy issues central to the green recovery debate. The six online courses are free, self-paced, and can act as an invaluable building block as countries plan their economic responses to COVID-19—serving to inform and shape the public policy debate around green economic reform.

Now is the Time to Build Back Green

Five UN Agencies Tap Expertise for Courses Aimed at Green Economic Recovery

UN Environment ProgrammeInternational Labour OrganizationUN Development ProgrammeUN International Development Organization and UN Institute of Training and Research — under the auspices of PAGE, have launched a global learning campaign aimed at fostering a wide-reaching green economic recovery post-COVID-19. The online courses, developed through agency collaboration, are individual and self-paced and can serve to directly address capacity gaps in developing and implementing policies central to achieving green, inclusive growth.

With economic investment into national recovery packages estimated to reach up to US$ 20 trillion over the next 18 months, informed recovery decisions are crucial. Targeting varying starting points and thematic focuses, the courses aim to equip users with the necessary knowledge and skills to support the systematic integration of environmental sustainability in national economic recovery strategies and stimulus packages, sectoral programmes and policy reforms, as well as strengthen collective national ownership of job-rich green economic recovery efforts.

Overall, this concerted effort promotes the benefits of a long-term strategy to align economic recovery with SDGs and 1.5 degree target for climate change. As leaders are looking towards the future, strong learning resources can become the crux for the future we want.

The courses are available to anyone and the range of topics includes green economy, fiscal reforms, trade, green industrial policy, green economy indicators, and sustainable finance.  All of the courses, which are free and self-paced, will be available on the UN CC:Learn Platform, which has almost ½ million registered users worldwide.

Follow the Partnership for Action on Green Economy’s green recovery journey:

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Challenging times require innovative solutions! As the Covid-19 crisis upends the lives of billions of people, UN CC:Learn has taken all the necessary steps to adapt its operation to the “new normal”. Get a glimpse of what has been done to enable the programme to keep carrying out its activities.

The Covid-19 outbreak has upended the lives of billions of people all over the world. This has dramatically modified the way people work, learn, and interact. This sudden change has pushed UN CC:Learn to rethink the way it operates, especially at the country level. Following multiple online consultations with all its key partners, plans for the implementation of UN CC:Learn activities at national, regional and global level have been adjusted.

A new UN CC:Learn Zoom platform has been created, enabling both the secretariat and its partners to set up meetings and webinars with up to 500 attendees. A methodology to convert the face-to-face workshops, which are part of a National Climate Change Learning Strategy development and implementation process, into engaging virtual events has also been prepared. For instance, a meeting to validate Kenya’s background report and its subsequent National Planning Workshop took place fully online during the summer. Another issue that emerged is the intermittent internet connection in some areas, which is also being addressed with UN CC:Learn support whenever possible.

The Youth Climate Dialogues initiative, which has been affected by the closure of schools in many countries, are being re-organized as online events. This is also the case for experience-sharing events among countries, for instance, a discussion on climate change and green economy learning, which took place in September as part of the UN CC:Learn regional hub in West Africa, and climate change trainings.

Over the past months, the UN CC:Learn e-learning platform has also experienced a spike in traffic, with new users accessing it and taking up different courses every day. This may be partly due to the self-isolation measures adopted in several countries. To support all these new learners, the programme has further improved its online infrastructure to deal with increasing traffic and continues to develop new learning products, such as the Green Recovery e-course series and the French and Spanish versions of the Gender & Environment course. In this context, UN CC:Learn has recently celebrated the issuance of its 100,000th certificate.

Moving forward, UN CC:Learn is looking forward to continue to engage with stakeholders through a series of online events and webinars. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that through innovation and dialogue collaboration can continue.

Zimbabwe has finalized its Climate Change Learning Strategy and taken concrete steps towards its implementation. The country, which started developing its Strategy in 2019, hosted an event on 11 September that brought together stakeholders drawn from across the country to validate the document and work towards its implementation.

On the 11th September 2020, the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, in collaboration with UN CC:Learn and UNDP Zimbabwe, held the National Climate Change Learning (NCCL) Strategy Validation workshop to bring stakeholders together to validate the draft NCCL Strategy to deliver climate change learning and capacity development in the country.

The one-day event was held in Bulawayo and drew together representatives from various stakeholder groups, including government, the private sector, CSOs, educational and vocational training institutions.  In compliance with national COVID-19 protective measures, participation was limited to only 50 participants.  Virtual participation was organized for those who were not able to attend in person, including representatives from the UN CC:Learn Secretariat in Geneva and MIET Africa.

In his opening remarks, Mr Angus Mackay, Head of the UN CC:Learn Secretariat congratulated the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry on the excellent work done in developing Zimbabwe’s first National Climate Change Learning Strategy, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. He underlined the importance of building climate change knowledge and skills across society so as to provide a ‘sea of learning and knowledge’. He further welcomed the engagement of the education sector in the meeting and process, including schools and teachers, as a key means of building up Zimbabwe’s response to climate change and promote climate action. He also stressed the importance of taking a wholesale approach to professional training by engaging national training institutions and universities in order to make climate change training systematic, recurrent and sustainable.

Welcome remarks were delivered by Mr. Washington Zhakata, Director for the Climate Change Management Department in the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry. He reminded the participants that the climate will not stop changing because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so there is still a pressing and ongoing need to continue taking climate action and the role everyone has to play in steeping it up. With the country being negatively impacted by climate change, there is a need to climate-proof all socio-economic sectors and enhance preparedness. He emphasized that tackling the climate change challenge requires new ways of thinking, new approaches to development and new partnerships across all sectors, all nations and all societies. Stakeholders were urged to be responsible and work together to promote climate-friendly ways of doing things and this NCCL strategy comes at a good time to do that.

Specific objectives of the workshop include:

  1. To discuss and validate the National Climate Change Learning Strategy and check that it includes and has incorporated all stakeholders’ inputs;
  2. To review the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework and an Implementation Plan for the NCCL Strategy;
  3. To discuss next steps on the implementation of priority actions and financial plan for the NCCL Strategy

Sticking to the five priority sectors of the NCCL strategy, participants discussed the Action Plan; the M&E and to come up with a resources mobilization plan that would help finance the various activities in the strategy.  Some questions to lead the group discussions included: e:

  1. Is the proposed action feasible?
  2. Is the draft budget proposed enough? What do you think would be the sources of funds in addition to those proposed?
  3. In addition to the cooperating partners proposed, who else do you recommend being added?
  4. Are you agreeable to the proposed target audience for the action, who else can be added?
  5. What do you think are the potential financial mechanisms to support the implementation of actions proposed in the Strategy?
  6. What are your general comments on the Strategy? Do you adopt it? Are there any areas for improvement?

A number of recommendations were given towards the finalization of the strategy with the aim of finalizing and launching it by mid-October 2020. Implementation of the strategy will kickstart in parallel with the finalization process with two priority actions planned to start immediately.  The actions are deemed as quick wins which can ride upon other complementing activities already on-going within the country in the sectors prioritized:   i) Mainstreaming Climate Change into Teacher Training in Zimbabwe; and ii) Capacity building of rural youth groups and youth organizations.

At the event, MIET Africa also gave a presentation on its response to the impact of Covid-19 on its activities. Participants got a glimpse of the FutureLife-Now programme and the benefits that are coming from it. The impact of Covid-19 on FutureLife Now Programme implementation was also addressed. In addition, MIET Africa laid out the new ways in which they are trying to reach a broader number of stakeholders. These comprise radio programmes, sms messaging, print materials, and journals

Zimbabwe joined the UN CC:Learn Programme to scale up the efforts being done to strengthen climate change learning within the country. The National Climate Change Learning strategy being devised in partnership with UN CC:Learn aims to advance the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and the National Adaptation Plan (NAP), which would further help Zimbabwe address the several challenges posed by climate change, such as extreme weather events.

Under the leadership of the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Ghana Education Service (GES), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a Core Group with stakeholders from the educations has conducted an audit of the national school curricula and has developed recommendations for further action and a roadmap for implementation.

Sustainable Development Goal No. 13 calls upon all countries to integrate mitigation and adaptation, impact reduction and early warning into school curricula. Ghana is leading the way and has launched a process to include climate change and green economy concepts into the general education system. Under the leadership of the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Ghana Education Service (GES), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a Core Group with stakeholders from the educations sector was formed. The Group has conducted an audit of the national school curricula and has developed recommendations for further action and a roadmap for implementation.

Children looking up at the camera

As a next step a baseline study to assess the current knowledge about climate change among teachers and school children in Ghana is planned. On 29-31 May 2017, a preparatory workshop was held to discuss and develop a survey questionnaire for the study. Mr. Ebenezer Ampa-Sampong, EPA Deputy Executive Director emphasized that the situational analysis would be important to have a clear picture about the current circumstances and to define effective interventions.

Members of the Core Group at the preparatory workshop for the baseline study

In rolling out the curriculum review, Ghana is seeking to learn from other countries that have already advanced the integration of climate change in school education. Initial ideas with colleagues from the Malawi Institute for Education and the National Curriculum Development Centre of Uganda were exchanged during a UN CC:Learn workshop in Addis Ababa in March 2017. A mission to share experiences is planned for July.

The integration of climate change into school curricula is one of the priority actions included in Ghana’s National Climate and Green Economy Learning Strategy which was launched in October last year. (http://www.uncclearn.org/news/ghanaians-celebrate-climate-change-and-green-economy-week).

 

As part of their effort to integrate climate change education in Malawi’s primary school curricula, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Malawi recently launched a publication called Climate Change Sourcebook for Primary School Teachers.

Providing tools to support teachers is essential in order to promote climate change education in schools. As part of their effort to integrate climate change education in Malawi’s primary school curricula, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Malawi recently launched a publication called Climate Change Sourcebook for Primary School Teachers. The book was developed by specialists from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Malawi Institute of Education (MIE), the Environmental Affairs Department, academia, practising teachers and primary education advisors. It was trial-tested with primary school teachers in Zomba, Machinga and Kasungu districts and then refined again. 22,300 copies have been distributed to primary schools so far.

The sourcebook is divided into seven units. The units touch on backgroung information on climate change, how greenhouse gases contribute to climate change, human activities that increase greenhouse gases, impact and effects of climate change, mitigation, adaptation and suggested activities that learners can do to mitigate climate change. Each unit of the sourcebook offers a variety of participatory methods, visual illustrations and practical activities.

The sourcebook represents an essential tool to promote behavior-change among a whole generation of young Malawians. It facilitates the transmission process of key knowledge, skills and attitudes from teachers to school children, supporting present and future generations in taking action to mitigate the causes and adapt to the adverse effects of climate change.

This book complements an educational poster that aimed at raising children’s awareness on climate change and which was distributed to all primary schools in the country. Both pedagogical documents were produced as part of the implementation of Malawi’s National Climate Change Learning Strategy.

Do you want to find out why promoting gender equality can help deliver better environmental outcomes, and how you can do it? If so, access the online course on gender and environment on the UN CC:Learn e-learning platform. It is now available in English, Spanish and French.

Do you want to find out why promoting gender equality can help deliver better environmental outcomes, and how you can do it? If so, access the online course on gender and environment on the UN CC:Learn e-learning platform. The course was launched at the at the sixth GEF Assembly taking place in Danang, Viet Nam.

This self-paced free course has been developed by UNITAR/UN CC:Learn, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP), with valuable contributions from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), UN Women, UNDP, UN Environment and the Secretariats of the Multilateral Environmental Agreements that the GEF serves, including the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, among others.

“The Gender and Environment e-course is the first of its kind and it will be a valuable resource for the environmental community in its efforts to be more gender responsive. This course will also help raise awareness and build capacity to implement GEF’s new policy on Gender Equality” said Francoise Clottes, GEF Director of Strategy and Operations.

“UNDP recognizes the transformative potential of gender equality to advance environmental sustainability. The course is an exciting opportunity to broaden understanding of the important links between gender and environment and offers practical tools, evidence and examples to mainstream gender in key environmental sectors.” said Adriana Dinu, Executive Coordinator, UNDP Global Environmental Finance.

“GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) is delighted to have led and facilitated the development of this useful course with all the partners. We are also excited to feature concrete SGP project examples where local communities have implemented innovative gender responsive projects and produced multiple benefits on both environment and livelihoods.” stated Yoko Watanabe, Global Manager, GEF Small Grants Programme.

The course allows learners to get a better understanding of the linkages between gender equality, women’s empowerment and environmental sustainability. It highlights how gender-responsive policies and projects support environmental outcomes.

This new e-learning resource is comprised of the following 6 modules:

  1. Gender & Environment (introductory module)
  2. Gender & Biodiversity
  3. Gender & Climate Change
  4. Gender & Land Degradation
  5. Gender & International Waters
  6. Gender & Chemicals and Waste

Each module takes around 1-1.5 hours to complete and includes an interactive lesson, with videos, relevant statistics, case studies, exercises/reflection points, key messages and references to additional resources. A quiz at the end of each module allows participants to measure the achievement of the learning objectives.

Take up the course today: English, Spanish and French.

On the 29th and 30th of June, in Koudougou, 38 people from the communications services of the ministerial departments of Burkina Faso, the press and press associations were trained on “Climate change issues for the socio-economic and cultural sectors of Burkina Faso”.

Media play a crucial role in raising public awareness of climate change issues. For this reason, Burkina Faso has defined the training of journalists and communicators as a priority action of its National Climate Change Learning Strategy. On the 29th and 30th of June, in Koudougou, 38 people from the communications services of the ministerial departments of Burkina Faso, the press and press associations were trained on “Climate change issues for the socio-economic and cultural sectors of Burkina Faso “. The workshop was organized by the Permanent Secretariat of the National Council for Sustainable Development (SP-CNDD) with the support of UN CC:Learn.

Participants to the workshop

The meeting, chaired by the Director in charge of Environmental Conventions of SP-CNDD and Coordinator of the UN CC:Learn Initiative in Burkina Faso, Dr Joël Korahiré, as well as by the Director of Communication and Ministerial Press of the Ministry in charge Of Sports, Mr. Sylvain Zingue and the Director of Communication and the Departmental Press of the Department of Transport, Mr. Drissa Sere, focused on:

  • capitalizing on existing knowledge of the participants;
  • concepts and terminology related to meteorology and climate;
  • the characteristics of climate change in Burkina Faso;
  • Burkina Faso’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP);
  • Burkina Faso’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC);
  • climate governance in the context of Burkina Faso;
  • international climate negotiations;
  • the political and scientific process related to climate change;
  • the Climate Change Technology Transfer Center and Network.

The Director in charge of communications of the Ministry of Transports,  Mr. Drissa Sere, the Burkina Faso UN CC:Learn coordinator, Dr Joël Korahiré, the Director in charge of communications of the Ministry of Sports, Mr. Sylvain Zingue

Specifically on climate governance, participants have appropriated the concept through exercises on sectors vulnerable to climate change in Burkina Faso. Group work enabled them to identify the stakes of climatic hazards and their implications for economic, social, cultural and local governance.

Working groups during the workshop

At the end of the workshop, the participants made a strong recommendation in relation to the continued need for capacity building on the various themes related to climate change so that they can contribute more to information and awareness-raising activities in accordance with Article 6 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Through Youth Leadership Camp for Climate Change 2017, 150 students between the age of 17 and 25 years old built their knowledge and capacity to take action on climate change.

Through the Youth Leadership Camp for Climate Change 2017, 150 students between the age of 17 and 25 years old built their knowledge and capacity to take action on climate change. This initiative – promoted by UN CC:Learn and UNESCO Office, Jakarta, in collaboration with the Climate Reality Project Indonesia and Youth for Climate Change Indonesia, with support from the Office of the President of Indonesia’s Special Envoy for Climate Change – contributes to the implementation of the National Climate Change Learning Strategy.

The leadership programme includes a series of three training events organized in February 2017 in different provinces of Indonesia. During the camps, students learned about climate change and its impact in different sectors. They were also coached on how to become actors of change in their communities, and beyond, through the development and implementation of group projects.

A multiplicity of experts presented different dimensions on climate change and showcased ways to deal with this challenge.Students working in groups of 5 reflect on how they can address climate change in their daily lives.

Participants highlight an impact of climate change they can already observe in their communities and post it on social media to raise awareness among the broad public – “We can't go to school because of great smoke caused by forest fire”

During the camp, students were trained on how to develop and film short videos aimed at sensitizing their peers.

Students participated in field visits in UNESCO Biosphere Reserves.

Students in Bukit Lawang had the chance to see orangutans in the wild in Gunung Leuser national park.

Students working on group commitments for post-camp action.Students presenting their plans for implementing their commitments after the camps.

Students completing the post-camp knowledge assessment test. Compared with the results of the pre-camp test, it measured the increase in knowledge achieved through the training.

Each group of students filmed an awareness raising video. These are now publicly available on YouTube.

After the camps, the 150 participants have started applying their newly acquired knowledge and skills, implementing a variety of post-camp activities. These include rolling out of social media campaigns through videos and e-posters, organization of forums and events, delivering of presentations in primary and secondary schools, raising awareness of the Earth Hour and other relevant initiatives among community members, contributing articles for local newspapers, participating in radio programmes and tree planting, among others.

E-posters posted online by the students  Organizing a seminar on renewable energy.Raising awareness through radio messages. Educating children on climate change.

For further information, please visit:

UN CC:Learn will award a special recognition to the most active and committed students, sponsoring their participation in a training event on climate change organized in the United States of America.