In May 2022, the UNITAR Green Development and Climate Change Programme (GCP) team, under which UN CC:Learn is hosted, took part in a week-long training on gender with the purpose of learning more about this imperative topic to further mainstream it across its projects and activities.

 

Read on to find out more about this enriching experience!

UNITAR has made targeted efforts to mainstream gender equality and the empowerment of women and leaving no one behind, two of the guiding principles of the Sustainable Development Goals, at an institutional and programmatic level. From development of online courses (Gender and the Environment, Gender Equality and Human Rights in Climate Action and Renewable Energy) to institutional frameworks and guidelines on the integration of gender in projects. However, taking a deeper inward look, the Green Development and Climate Change Programme (GCP) team of UNITAR reflected on its own approach to gender mainstreaming and inclusion in its work.

Attitude and behavioural shifts start internally…

In an effort to strengthen internal capacity on inclusion, gender equality and women’s empowerment, a gender training was organized over the course of 5 days from 23 – 27 May 2022 in Geneva.  The training was specifically tailored to speak to the context of gender equality and inclusion in GCP’s work on green development and climate change learning while also discussing the fundamentals of gender equality and inclusion (key terms, tools and approaches). The sessions utilised a varied approach with group work exercises, role plays, case studies, videos, mock interviews, practical sessions and check-ins.

UNITAR Executive Director, Mr. Nikhil Seth, highlighted the training as an essential initiative to elevate gender and inclusion within programmes and projects of GCP. It was also an opportune time as the training coincided with the beginning of the new phase of the UN CC:Learn programme and provided a chance to ensure interventions are indeed gender-responsive and contribute to the goal set out in the Theory of Change.

UNITAR Executive Director, Nikhil Seth (centre), opening the gender training

It is no longer enough to say gender equality and inclusion are important, we need to go beyond to practical action to reflect approaches that improve the condition and position of women and girls in all areas of our work. – UNITAR Executive Director, Nikhil Seth

Over the course of the week, the team dissected gender, intersectionality and a human rights-based approach drawing from personal and professional experiences, enriching the discussions and exercises. The approach to the training was highly practical and engaging, a safe space where colleagues could raise all sorts of questions, demystify misconceptions and assumptions around gender equality and inclusion and come up with creative and applicable ways to better address gender issues in a more proactive and systematic manner. Looking at GCP’s programme of work and partners, the aim was to identify opportunities and entry points to integrate and advocate for gender equality and inclusion. There were also dedicated one-on-one sessions where colleagues consulted with the gender expert on specific areas to integrate gender equality within their work; from gender-responsive communication, gender in green economy and e-learning and integration in youth engagement work.

GCP team in a mock interview exercise during the gender training

Aside from the technical content, the training also served as an informal team building session as it was the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic forced people to work from home, that the team had congregated and reacquainted in person.

GCP team filling out an exercise sheets during the gender training

With all that was learned throughout the week, there was a sense of invigoration among the team to ensure deliberate and conscious steps are taken to integrating gender equality and inclusion in all areas of work within climate change learning.

 

UN CC:Learn and EmPower partnered up to train over 90 people from five Asian countries on the interlinkages between gender equality, human rights, climate action and renewable energy.

 

Read on to get a glimpse of the training.

 

Facilitating women’s access to renewable energy can increase gender equality and enhance the realization of their rights, while boosting climate action. That’s one of the key takeaways from the “Gender Equality and Human Rights in Climate Action and Renewable Energy” e-course, launched in November 2021. As a follow-up UN CC:Learn and EmPower joined forces once again to organize a two-day moderated e-workshop on the topics of the course with the purpose of enabling participants to delve deeper into them.

The “E-Workshop on Gender Equality and Human Rights in Climate Action and Renewable Energy” took place on 6th and 7th April 2022 and brought together 102 people – between participants and speakers – to discuss, among other things, how women’s access to renewable energy can positively affect gender equality, human rights, and climate action. The e-workshop aimed to contextualize the knowledge about these topics while enhancing experience-sharing across the Asia-Pacific region. It primarily focused on five Asian countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Viet Nam, and was divided into four main sessions spread across over more than seven hours of training.

The training was designed to achieve the following learning objectives:

Learning Objectives – Slide taken from main presentation.

The sessions were:

  • Session 1: Regional overview
  • Session 2: Understanding gender equality and human rights in climate policy
  • Session 3: Gender and climate change – sectoral experiences
  • Session 4: Moving forward – where to from here?

Each session consisted of keynote presentations delivered by experts, with three of them having moderated and interactive group exercises to promote experience-sharing among attendees. The “Experience-sharing: the status of gender equality in climate action in Asia-Pacific” and “Designing gender responsive sectoral activities” group activities in sessions 2 and 3, respectively, allowed participants to exchange and brainstorm with peers, thus allowing them to share their experiences while they worked on tailored exercises focused on each country or sector. The former had participants split into 5 groups representing one of each focus countries while the latter had them divided into 3 groups representing three key sectors: energy, agriculture, and forestry.

“Thank you for all the organizers of the e-workshop on Gender Equality and Human Rights in Climate Action and Renewable Energy. I have learned a lot.  It is interesting to meet so many people from all over the region that are working on the issue. I am thankful that I found this workshop and joined this network exactly at the same time as I planned to delve more into this issue.“ – E-Workshop  Participant

To attend the e-workshop, participants had to undertake a selection process which consisted of being invited or appointed by their governments or agencies and filling in an online application form. They were also encouraged to take the online course prior to the training to arrive at it with a similar level of knowledge and understanding.

The entire process was captured by a visual artist who drew live the topics and ideas discussed.

Visual Representation of Day 1

Visual Representation of Day 2

 

Disclaimer

Cover picture credit: Abbie Trayler-Smith/Panos Pictures  

How are gender equality and human rights interlinked with climate change and renewable energy?

 

The new “Gender Equality and Human Rights in Climate Action and Renewable Energy” e-course aims to answer this question while unpacking these critical issues in a 6-hour learning experience.

 

Read on to find out more about it.

 

Climate change effects are far-reaching and concern every aspect of society, from economic development to the realization of human rights. By multiplying existing threats, climate change disproportionally affects vulnerable groups – such as women, youth, the elderly, and persons with disabilities, reduce their ability to adapt and respond to its challenges, and enhances inequalities. 

In this context, UN CC:Learn has partnered up with EmPower, an initiative led by UN Environment and UN Women with support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), to develop the “Gender Equality and Human Rights in Climate Action and Renewable Energy” e-course. This new free, self-paced e-course aims to equip decision-makers with the tools and knowledge to integrate gender and human rights into climate policies and commitments while explaining how to develop inclusive climate mitigation and adaptation actions, with a particular focus on the renewable energy sector.

At the end of the course, participants will be able to: 

  • Describe the nexus between gender equality, human rights, renewable energy, and climate change
  • Explain how a gender-responsive and human rights-based approach in climate action leads to economic, social, and environmental benefits
  • Recognize international and sectoral commitments on gender equality, human rights, and climate change and their relationship with national priorities and policies
  • Identify entry points for gender and human rights in renewable energy and climate policy and action
  • Select and apply tools and approaches for the promotion of human rights-based and gender-responsive climate action
  • Discuss targeted opportunities for women in climate change and renewable energy, with a particular focus on multi-stakeholder collaboration, renewable energy entrepreneurship, and access to finance.

The course consists of an introductory module and two specialized ones. The former introduces the interconnections between gender equality and human rights in climate action and renewable energy. Module 2 focuses on how to develop and implement gender-responsive renewable energy policies and programmes, with the goal of creating more opportunities for women to access and benefits from renewable energy. It pays particular attention to the promotion on women’s renewable energy entrepreneurship. Module 3 delves into how to develop and implement gender-responsive and human rights-inclusive climate change policies and frameworks at national level, including in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs).

Learners are invited to complete the first introductory module and then choose one of the two specialized modules according to the selected pathway. Pathway 1 is particularly intended for renewable energy experts and professionals of financial institutions. Pathway 2 is designed specifically for climate change and green economy policymakers. Participants can also opt to take all three modules. 

Each module has four lessons, a final quiz and takes an estimated 2 hours to be completed. To succeed, participants must score 70% or higher within three attempts for each final quiz. Upon successful completion of each, participants will receive a badge. After completing the quizzes for the chosen pathway, participants will be able to download their certificate from the “Certification” section of the course’s webpage.

Take the course here.

Disclaimer

Cover picture credit: Abbie Trayler-Smith/Panos Pictures

This self-paced e-course provides an overview of the interlinkages between gender, human rights, climate change, and renewable energy. It provides participants with the specific knowledge and tools to integrate and implement gender equality in renewable energy access and entrepreneurship, as well as related gender-responsive and human rights-based approaches in climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.

Enroll
  • Gender
  • Energy
  • Climate Change
  • Education

Self-paced course

6 hours

Welcome!

The deep-rooted and far-reaching impacts of climate change make it one of the most defining challenges in the world today. The impacts of climate change manifest in primary effects such as increased frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events like droughts, storms and floods. However, it is the negative secondary effects that often go overlooked, especially for those who already experience inequalities, including women, youth, the elderly, persons with disabilities and minority groups. 

Multiple and intersecting social inequalities affect the ability of marginalized groups to adapt to a changing climate, excluding these groups from decision-making processes at household, community, and national levels. They also prevent them from taking hold of the opportunities that low-emissions, climate-resilient development brings towards improved livelihoods, particularly in sectors like renewable energy that also have the potential to improve the socio-economic wellbeing of women.

This self-paced e-course provides an overview of the interlinkages between gender, human rights, climate change, and renewable energy. It provides participants with the specific knowledge and tools to integrate and implement gender equality in renewable energy access and entrepreneurship, as well as related gender-responsive and human rights-based approaches in climate change mitigation and adaptation measures. 

What Will You Learn?

After completing the course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the nexus between gender equality, human rights, renewable energy, and climate change
  • Explain how a gender-responsive and human rights-based approach in climate action leads to economic, social, and environmental benefits
  • Recognize international and sectoral commitments on gender equality, human rights, and climate change and their relationship with national priorities and policies
  • Identify entry points for gender and human rights in renewable energy and climate policy and action
  • Select and apply tools and approaches for the promotion of human rights-based and gender-responsive climate action
  • Discuss targeted opportunities for women in climate change and renewable energy, with a particular focus on multi-stakeholder collaboration, renewable energy entrepreneurship, and access to finance.

The Course at a Glance

 

The course includes 3 modules. These have specific learning objectives and contain a broad range of features such as videos, case studies and exercises. Each module is divided into 4 lessons of around 30 minutes each. 

 

The course provides learners with the option to choose and combine different thematic modules. There are two main learning pathways available that participants can select based on their interests. Pathway 1 is particularly intended for renewable energy experts and professionals of financial institutions. Pathway 2 is designed specifically for climate change and green economy policymakers. Both learning pathways have a common introductory module. Participants can also opt to take all three modules.

Who Should Take This Course?

The course is of particular interest to the following audiences:

  1. National policymakers, government officials and stakeholders in sectors of climate change, gender equality and renewable energy, as well as regional actors;
  2. Renewable energy service providers and officials of financial institutions in renewable energy entrepreneurship;
  3. Anyone interested in learning more about gender equality and human rights-based approaches in the renewable energy sector.

Get a Certificate

Level 1: Each module in the course has a final quiz to assess participants’ understanding of the content. Participants will receive a completion badge via email upon successful completion of each quiz. 

Level 2: Participants who pass all the final quizzes within their learning pathway will receive a UN certificate of completion, where successful completion will require a score of 70% or higher with a maximum of 3 attempts at each quiz. Upon successful completion of the quizzes, participants will be able to download their certificate – or their 2 certificates if they followed all three modules – from the “Certification” section of the course’s webpage.

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.

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:

Saraswati is a young lady from North Sumatra. Addressing climate change in Indonesia is a priority for her and she believes that raising awareness is key in this process. That’s why she wants to become a climate educator and have been leading a project to introduce children to climate change.

 

By preserving nature, there will be access to more than there was before. That is the way to enjoy nature: taking care of the Earth and by doing this, it will allow our children to be taken care of.” — Ms. Saraswati

By Ms. Saraswati /©UN CC:Learn

By Ms. Saraswati /©UN CC:Learn

Project website: Bamboo Workshop

Saraswati is a 24-year-old young lady from North Sumatra and has a Batak ethnic background. Addressing climate change in Indonesia is a priority for Saraswati. Raising awareness is key in this process. That’s why she leads a project to introduce children to climate change, as they are the future generation who will live with its impacts. Saraswati teaches children to use bamboo instead of wood through craft making, in order to tackle deforestation and land degradation. She wants to be a climate educator to help change people’s behaviours and lifestyles so they can be more eco-friendly by providing them accurate climate information. At the Tribal Climate Camp, she learned strategies to develop climate change plans, which she can use to make her dream of climate education come true.

YLCCC 2017 top thee students, awarded by Dr Shahbaz Khan, Director and Representative, UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, win sponsorship for Tribal Climate Camp, in the USA. /©UN CC:Learn

YLCCC 2017 top thee students, awarded by Dr Shahbaz Khan, Director and Representative, UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, win sponsorship for Tribal Climate Camp, in the USA. /©UN CC:Learn

1. What issues are you trying to solve and how do you think you can contribute?

Climate change can affect the environmental balance on Earth and it has become a much-discussed topic. However, there are still many people that don’t realise this. This, together with lack of information, affects policy-making and action. Among environmental issues, deforestation has very negative impacts. Substituting wood by bamboo can decrease forest degradation. However, bamboo with certain processing techniques can be as the strong as wood. Providing this information to people, particularly to children, can have benefits. Therefore, through an interactive workshop, we communicated about climate change and deforestation to primary students at the International Humanity Foundation Medan Center in Indonesia. Children in primary schools are our main target, as they are the ones who will face the risks of climate change’s impact in the future and need to be educated as early as possible. Introducing and training them on climate change and creating crafts from bamboo help the awareness of natural environment. Being part of the environment, children can learn about consumption and waste disposal in a correct manner.

Ms. Saraswati with two other students at the Tribal Climate Camp in Eatonville, United States. /©UN CC:Learn

Ms. Saraswati with two other students at the Tribal Climate Camp in Eatonville, United States. /©UN CC:Learn

2. How do you think you can address climate change?

As the 5th world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG), Indonesia aims at reducing 26% of its emissions by 2020 and 46% by 2030. The challenge of Indonesia is how to build strategies to address climate change and its impact. Real action needs to happen at all levels, from government to local community based efforts. However, many people in Indonesia are still lacking information of climate change risks and may not realize the effect of climate change. Climate education is one of the solutions for this problem and much needed to increase awareness. Therefore, I would like to dedicate myself to becoming a climate educator in the future. I hope climate change becomes a subject in schools so everyone can get more accurate information and increase awareness to change lifestyles to more eco-friendly behaviours. Climate education can be a solution to spread information and to engage more people to take actions on climate change adaptation and mitigation. I believe that education moves slowly but has strong power to change the world.

3. Can you briefly present your experience with the YLCCC?

The Youth Leadership Camp for Climate Change (YLCCC) is the right place to create green leaders. It was a valuable experience as I learned about climate mitigation and adaptation and carbon footprint calculation. We had a training on how to campaign and introduce climate change to others through short movies, e-posters, and social media. Climate change awareness should reach people all over the world!

The Tribal Climate Camp was held at the University of Washington Pack Forest Conference Center in the United States. /©UN CC:Learn

The Tribal Climate Camp was held at the University of Washington Pack Forest Conference Center in the United States. /©UN CC:Learn

4. How was your experience at the Tribal Climate Camp?

I did enjoy every activity at the Tribal Climate Camp. I learned how to develop a strategy plan for climate change, to use climate tools which can help with decision making in climate monitoring, and even to communicate and engage with communities on climate change actions. One of the strategies that I have learned came from Oregon, which will reap rewards — including clean, renewable energy and thousands of good paying jobs all over the state. This strategy can reach more professionals to be involved on climate change adaptation and mitigation. In addition to the discussions, during the camp we also visited the Nisqually Tribe, a salmon hatchery, and Mt. Rainier. These field trips made me enjoy more our nature and be more grateful to be part of this camp. I learned that the right way to enjoy the nature is by taking care of its beauty.

At the TTC, I presented my ethnic culture and explained my team projects. I am part of the Bataks, which is one of ethnicities from North Sumatra. During my presentation, I displayed Ulos, a Bataknese weaving craft symbolizing the “warmth” needed to survive. Giving an ulos to someone means giving respect and love. Then, I presented my “Climate Rangers” team’s group projects. The first project aims to introduce climate change to kids, who are the stakeholders of the future, through a video highlighting how animals lose their habitat because of littering and how planting bamboo is a way to mitigate climate change. The second project consists of teaching kids to make more eco-friendly decisions, such as using bamboo instead of wood, showcasing how to create pen holders with bamboo.

Ms. Saraswati at the Tribal Climate Camp in Eatonville, United States. /©UN CC:Learn

Ms. Saraswati at the Tribal Climate Camp in Eatonville, United States. /©UN CC:Learn

5. What’s your biggest take away from participating in the Tribal Climate Camp?

This Tribal Climate Camp has helped me to build wider international connections, needed to promote climate change awareness. The people I met at the camp provided guidance, knowledge and advice, helped me to advance my future to become a climate change educator, and even become friends. In my long-term planning, I would like to build a school where children can learn about climate change. I know this is not an easy thing to achieve. Administrative work and compiling all the necessary documentation to get permission and funding could be the challenges. One day, I would like to invite the participants of the TCC to work together in building the school, starting from finding the sponsorship until the administration files completion, or even visiting Indonesia to share their experience on climate change to motivate people to be more aware on climate change. I hope someday children will take care of their nature and become climate fighters of the future.

Ms. Saraswati was one of the three young leaders to receive the “Tribal Camp Award” and participated at the Tribal Climate Camp (TCC), hosted near Seattle, United States from 30 July — 4 August, 2017.

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.

Ms. Audrey Ingram Roberts explains how the ‘National Adaptation Plans: Building Climate Resilience in Agriculture’ e-course has strengthened her capability as a consultant in the Bahamas and enhanced her role as an activist in the Caribbean women’s movement.

Audrey Ingram Roberts, Executive Director of Source Development Consultants in Nassau, Bahamas, leads her firm with a clear objective: to deliver exceptional Human Resources Development services to facilitate sustainable change, particularly in the areas of organizational development, gender-responsive management systems, and strategic planning.

Ms. Roberts (middle) with two Information and Communications officers of the Bahamas Agriculture & Marine Science Institute (BAMSI). Their motto is ‘GROW WITH US.’ Website: BAMSIBahamas.com. Photo: Audrey Roberts.

Early in her career, Audrey worked at the Bureau of Women’s Affairs in Jamaica, which was set up in 1975, and the first of its kind in the Caribbean region. This experience, she says, was a “profoundly significant marker” in her career.

Her work as Rural Coordinator and later as a Project Development Officer gave Audrey an insider’s look to the similarities and differences that women experience in rural and urban settings. Whether it be at a farm or a law firm, women face similar gender-based biases. For Audrey, empowering women spawned in her a commitment to life-long learning.

It started with empowering the staff through personal awareness training and professional development. We extended this training into a wider constituency, to all the women of Jamaica.

Later on, Audrey participated in seminars and events that prepared her for her role in assisting the National Planning Institute of Jamaica to develop the Government’s first Five Year Plan for Women.

On the importance of learning

Last year, Audrey, who is a natural networker, found out about the National Adaptation Plans: Building Climate Resilience in Agriculture (NAP-Ag MOOC) through the Coordinator of the Caribbean Women’s Network, who is always on the lookout for opportunities that might interest members and encourages them to keep learning.

The onions and veggies are products of BAMSI or produced by entrepreneurs trained at BAMSI. Photo: Audrey Roberts.

She enrolled in the NAP-Ag MOOC for many reasons, including the fact that The Bahamas’ fragile ecosystems have been disturbed or even destroyed by development on several islands. From 1990 to 2016, The Bahamas has weathered 16 hurricanes, which are characteristically different, increasingly more intense and devastating. “Hurricane Joaquin (2015) and Hurricane Matthew (2016) highlight the vulnerability of our archipelago to climate events,” Audrey explains to us.

Schoolchildren sampling agro-processed items. Many schoolchildren attended, mostly girls. A few students spoke at the open mike session about their interest in agriculture and are proud of their school farm gardens because they can eat what they grow. Photo: Audrey Roberts.

Her second reason for taking the NAP-Ag MOOC relates directly to her professional role.

As a gender specialist, it is essential to know how to mainstream gender into adaptation planning. Gender-responsive climate change adaptation planning is, for me, the strength of the course. This part of the course deserves an A+ in its delivery, content, concepts and all aspects of skill building.

Audrey says, as far as she is aware there is not a strategic NAP or NAP-Ag for the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. “This became my most compelling reason for taking the course with my eye on certification,” she states.

The NAP-Ag is a new, emerging frontier. “Like all frontiers, it is exciting and challenging. More so if there is no NAP process occurring in the country,” she adds.

Audrey enjoyed the course and found that it inspired a sense of the opportunities in climate change and “dispelled anxiety” about the crisis of climate change by showing what could be done through effective planning.

“The NAP-Ag course has strengthened my capability as a consultant at a time when my country and region need the application of these transformative skills to the rapidly emerging challenges. And it has enhanced my role as an activist in the Caribbean women’s movement.”

Photo: Audrey Roberts.

Do you want to learn more about Audrey’s work? Some of her publications include:

  • Article on Gender Issues in The Bahamas in The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Women’s Issues Worldwide: North America and the Caribbean, Ed. Cheryl Toronto Kalny, Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut & London 2003
  • A Vision for Gender and Development Cooperation, Caribbean Perspectives — an article in A Vision for Gender and Development, the Outcome of an Expert Group Workshop, Stockholm, published by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Stockholm, Sweden 1996.

 

Mariel Bueno, a trained Agroindustrial Engineer from Cochabamba, Bolivia, is a motivated youth that never stops learning. She started questioning herself, her work and her contribution to the world and after taking a UN CC:Learn course, she discovered a new truly fulfilling career path.

If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.”

Mariel interacting with the participants of the Second Gastronomic Business Round. Here she is advising two producers. /©Wilder Córdova.

This inspirational quote kept Mariel Bueno, a trained Agroindustrial Engineer from Cochabamba, Bolivia, motivated to continue learning, and lead her to discover a new truly fulfilling career path.

Mariel graduated from Agroindustrial Engineering with excellence. Equipped with a door-opening diploma, she began her career in agribusiness. She gained firsthand experience and technical skills in logistics, agro-productive chains, and supply and demand of agri-food products. She had the opportunity to interact with many of the key industry stakeholders, producers from different regions, executives, and entrepreneurs in the agri-food sector.

And yet, despite her quick progress up the career ladder, she soon started questioning herself, her work and her contribution to the world.

From an early age, I immersed myself in two realities of which I learned a lot: the countryside and the city, the production of food and the food industry, small farmers, peasants and merchants, scarcity and abundance. This is how I grew up, appreciating each world with its differences.”

The team at the end of the Sixth National Agribusiness Wheel “Conecta”. /©Fundación Valles

Mariel’s childhood memories drew her back to the countryside, where she ventured into the world of dairy products with a private company. But even there she could not find an answer and fulfillment. Feeling lost again, she was determined to search and learn.

Despite everything I was living, I decided to continue learning. I firmly believe that we always have to go ahead and make our existence worthwhile. I took several courses online and the light finally came through the NAP-Ag MOOC.”

Mariel helping participants at the Sixth National Agribusiness Wheel “Conecta”. /©Fundación Valles

This is how Mariel discovered the Massive Open Online Course on National Adaptation Plans: Building Climate Resilience in Agriculture (NAP-Ag MOOC) on UN CC:e-Learn platform. Throughout the course, she learned about adaptation planning, food security and she focused on her own country for the peer assessment project. Bolivia is experiencing its worst water crisis in the last 25 years and is vulnerable to droughts and pollution of rivers. Mariel chose the province of Capinota, previously known for its vast potential for productive diversity, which was recently declared as “Zone of Natural Disaster.”

“At the beginning, it seems that it [the MOOC] will give you some great new ideas about climate change, the importance of adaptation plans, and agriculture for food security. However, in the end, beyond increasing your awareness and knowledge about these issues, it opens your mind and a little bit, your heart.”

Mariel at the Second Gastronomic Business Round. /©Wilder Córdova.

Mariel learned a lot from the course. But beyond that, she actively transformed the theory into her new reality. By taking the NAP-Ag MOOC, it became clear to her that she would like to support her community in adapting to severe changes in the climate, help farmers develop new skills and use better technologies and advocate for policies that strengthen the productive sector.

This course allowed me to find my way, to define what I want to do the rest of my days. I know it is not too late to do something for Capinota, Bolivia or the world. But, I also know that there is still a lot of work to be done,” she says after taking the NAP-Ag MOOC.

Currently, Mariel and her mother work at their own urban garden Huerto Urbano Agroecológico “LaVictoria.” They produce their own food, and most of the vegetables and spices that their family consumes, such as tomatoes, oregano, celery, parsley, peppermint, pumpkin, etc, come directly from their garden. The mom-daughter duo also started the production of seedlings (eco-gardening, nursery), which they sell at local fairs. They are also planning to open an agro-ecological store at their house to sell local farmers to produce and promote agro-ecological farming, organic products and local consumption.

A plant that Mariel and her mother grow in their urban garden. /©Mariel Bueno

Mariel is also a full-time graduate student. She earned a half fee scholarship for a graduate program called, “Master of Science in Geoinformation and Earth Observation,” in part, due to her innate passion for learning. Above all, she has her mindset to cooperate in the sustainable development of her surroundings.

Mariel calls for more involvement of national institutions to provide agricultural education programs, which could provide education to farmers to support the development of technical capacities, gender analysis, and sustainable agricultural food cooperatives.

You can support Mariel and her projects! Visit: