As the generation that will live their whole lives bearing the brunt of the negative effects of climate change, youth must have say in climate change negotiations!

 

Towards this aim, UN CC:Learn joined forces with the Climate Youth Negotiators Programme (CYNP) to train future climate youth negotiators.

 

Read on to find out more.

In October 2022, UN CC:Learn joined forces with the Climate Youth Negotiators Programme (CYNP) to deliver two sessions to over 40 youth negotiators as part of CYNP’s Youth Negotiators training. The training aimed to provide youth from several different countries with the right knowledge and skills to engage in effective negotiations in key climate change conferences, notably COP27.

The CYNP is part of the Future Leaders Network and was created to empower youth to negotiate as part of their countries’ official delegations to key climate conferences, therefore bringing an angle to the negotiations which considers the needs and aspirations of young people. The programme trains, connects, and empowers youth negotiators to participate meaningfully in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations, allowing them to advance the climate agenda in the multilateral arena and to achieve climate justice for younger generations.

The two sessions delivered by UN CC:Learn were spaced two weeks apart and held twice to allow for young negotiators from different time zones to join the sessions most convenient to them. The first session provided an overview of the UNFCCC negotiation process, negotiation skills, and an introductory simulation exercise focused on preparations for negotiating a topic. The second session covered communications and working with the media, preparing and negotiating a national position, and concluded with a negotiation simulation where participants prepared and delivered opening statements.

The CYNP first training programme ended in November 2022 and allowed participants to benefit from:

  • A six-month intensive leadership and negotiation training schedule, mostly delivered virtually, with the last session held in-person in Egypt, just before COP27.
  • A community of young leaders and negotiators, with dedicated spaces and platforms enabling them to share ideas, thoughts and learnings with each other.
  • The opportunity to secure accessibility grants to cover their travel and subsistence at UNFCCC negotiations. These grants were aimed primarily at lower-income countries, with a view to removing one of the biggest barriers to youth participation in decision making.

To complete their training programme this year, the CYNP cohort attended COP27 to experience first-hand what was being discussed there.

A successful case

Imagine if all students at a school were well equipped to debate about and act on climate change?

At GEMS Legacy Academy, Dubai, UAE, that’s a reality. There, all 570 students have completed six courses on our e-learning platform. This school, led by Principal Ms. Asha Alexander, is taking the lead in mainstreaming climate change education across the school’s student body. Ms. Asha is a 2020 UN CC:Learn Champion and has been a climate change education advocate for several years now.

All 570 GEMS Legacy School students who completed 6 UN CC:Learn courses with Ms. Asha Alexander.

In addition to educating her pupils, she has other big plans: to bring UN CC:Learn courses to all 17,000 GEMS Education teachers and to partner with schools across the world, such as in Italy and Indonesia, to promote climate change education. For her, Education for Sustainable Development can play a key role in positively changing mindsets and behaviors.

We have interviewed Ms. Alexander about this noteworthy achievement by her school. You can read the full exchange with her below.  Get inspired!

UN CC:Learn –  In your opinion, what is the role of climate change education in addressing the climate crisis?

Asha Alexander – Climate change education plays a pivotal role in enlightening students to break damaging human and corporate cycles much earlier on in their lives. Visions like the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) help diverse stakeholders of a school community understand and address the impacts of the climate crisis, empowering them with the knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes needed to act as agents of change. For our future generations to live more sustainably, we must implement climate change education, which will enable changes in patterns of consumption and production and encourage effective participation in policy-making to promote low-emission, climate-resilient societies, and sustainable development. Education is a crucial component of climate change mitigation and adaptation. It is a clarion call!

For our future generations to live more sustainably, we must implement climate change education, which will enable changes in patterns of consumption and production and encourage effective participation in policy-making to promote low-emission, climate-resilient societies, and sustainable development. – Ms. Asha Alexander – Principal – GEMS Legacy School

UN CC:Learn – Have you noticed any changes in your student’s behavior/actions after they started taking UN CC:Learn courses?

Asha Alexander – Yes, and the changes are evident in classrooms. Students are no more reliant on their teachers for guidance to initiate sustainability discussions or actions. And that is the direct outcome of creating a teaching environment that demonstrates sustainability in real-time. The UN CC:Learn courses have armed them with the knowledge, facts, and vocabulary to set up collaborative dialogue spaces as they exchange ideas, suggestions, and synergies in their work. This will eventually lay the groundwork for future partnerships with industries like SIEMENS and DULSCO to scale-up current initiatives and broader impact.

UN CC:Learn – In your opinion, which UN CC:Learn course is the most insightful for students?

Asha Alexander – The UN CC:Learn courses are a highly cost-effective way to address climate change, especially if combined with a lifetime learning approach. No one course is more advantageous than the other as each of them has a unique, insightful learning to offer.  However, children were particularly interested in Sustainable Diet, Gender Equality and Human Rights and Children and Climate Change as they were able to relate to them more effectively. Each course provides a comprehensive overview of the scientific evidence for climate change, followed by region-specific insights on the impacts of a warmer world in the 21st century.

Each course provides a comprehensive overview of the scientific evidence for climate change, followed by region-specific insights on the impacts of a warmer world in the 21st century. – Ms. Asha Alexander – Principal – GEMS Legacy School

UN CC:Learn – If you could send a message on climate change education to other school principals around the world, what would you say?

Asha Alexander – Unleashing the knowledge and creativity of teachers and students to combat climate change is a golden opportunity for global leadership. We can spearhead a new green learning agenda – a coexisting way of educating and engaging children, youth, and adults in climate solutions to develop and implement climate action projects in homes, schools, and communities. This approach to teaching and learning is grounded in decades of research on how children learn and help build mastery of core academic content while also catalyzing climate action. It could be an alternate route to closing the learning gap in 21st-century workplace skills between low and high-income girls and boys, and strengthening teacher capacity.

The Students’ Side of the Story

And what do the GEMS Legacy students think about all this? Do they really feel more empowered to deal with climate change? We wanted to get their take on this whole experience.

Here’s what one of Principal Asha’s students told us.

GEMS Legacy School Students delivering a presentation about the UN CC:Learn courses they have taken.

UN CC:Learn – In your opinion, how can school students address the climate crisis?

GEMS Legacy Student – I think school students can address the climate crisis bearing in mind that ‘a little bit of kindness can go a long way’. We can learn to be kind and empathetic toward the environment and Mother Nature. Planting trees through Plant A Legacy (PAL), electricity conservation, waste segregation, recycling, composting, carpooling or using school transport, sharing or reusing resources, upcycling older books, uniforms, and school bags as well as participating in community conservation efforts are just some of the little yet effective ways in which we as students can address the climate crisis.

UN CC:Learn – Please tell us a few things you have learned from UN CC:Learn that helped you take climate change action.

GEMS Legacy Student – The UN CC:Learn courses have provided us with the direction and knowledge we need to act. It has successfully led us on a path to sustainable entrepreneurship as we make conscious lifestyle decisions. Students today are now more aware of the impact of their personal day-to-day actions. Now, when we plan and implement climate action strategies, we feel confident that our ideas are backed by the learning that we have received through the UN:CC courses.

The UN CC:Learn courses have provided us with the direction and knowledge we need to act. It has successfully led us on a path to sustainable entrepreneurship as we make conscious lifestyle decisions. – GEMS Legacy School Student

UN CC:Learn – If you could send a message on climate change action to other students around the world, what would you say?

GEMS Legacy Student – Make your voice heard by those in power, especially by policymakers. Follow through on all words with effective and impactful actions. Start local and strive for global climate justice. The focus must shift from the blame-game to collective, shared responsibility as climate change is an issue that requires coordinated solutions across all levels.

UN CC:Learn has entered its fifth implementation phase aiming to scale up its activities and bring knowledge about climate change to different audiences across the globe. To celebrate this milestone, the Partnership brought partners together for a launch event and a series of discussions.

 

Find out more below!

On 4th May 2022, the One UN Climate Change Learning Partnership (UN CC:Learn) officially launched its fifth implementation phase at an online event that brought together over 30 stakeholders, among UN and non-UN partners. The gathering provided a space for partners to reflect on the role climate change education and training play in addressing climate change and, against this background, discuss the programme’s future activities.

The session covered UN CC:Learn’s key achievements so far, stressed key principles and directions (e.g., promoting gender equality and leaving no one behind), and walked participants through the four new outcome areas of this new phase, around which the programme’s activities, projects and indicators will be shaped.

They are:

  • Assist partner countries in promoting climate change learning and action
  • Support training institutions by helping them integrate climate change education into their curricula
  • Empower youth to ramp up youth participation and action on climate change
  • Keep providing free and accessible e-learning resources to the public in multiple formats on topics related to climate change

The event also hosted a panel on “Reframing the Climate Change Narrative”, which consisted of an exchange of ideas on how the climate change discourse can be reframed in order to reach more audiences. The panelists – Ms. Susana Hancock, linguist and youth climate activist, Ms. Camile Clarke, 2020 UN CC:Learn champion and geography teacher, Mr. Washington Zhakata, Climate Change Director at Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Environment, and Mr. Nikhil Seth, UNITAR Executive Director – provided good insights into the topic, such as the need of tailoring the message in accordance with each specific audience.

At the end of the event, partners discussed how they could best collaborate with UN CC:Learn in this new phase. As a follow-up to that discussion, three separate partner consultations were held in May and June 2022. Each consultation focused on one of the following three key areas:

  • Learning for countries
  • Learning through youth
  • Learning for citizens and professionals.

The consultations set up collaborative dialogue spaces for partners to exchange ideas, suggestions, and synergies in their work, and also laid the groundwork for future partnerships to scale-up current initiatives and broader impact.

Moving forward, UN CC:Learn will keep bringing partners together in these dialogues spaces and drawing relevant inputs and insights that will help inform its work.

UNITAR, WMO, UNFCCC and TEDx Geneva partnered up to organize a TEDx event that put youth and climate change in the spotlight. Read on to find out how a diverse line-up of youth activists, scientists, entrepreneurs and artists spread good ideas on how to scale up climate action.

On 12 November 2021, David Dao stepped on the stage of the CICG, in Geneva, to deliver a powerful message to an audience of 300 people: developed nations must work alongside indigenous communities, who are the stewards of the world’s forests, to halt deforestation and reward those who work tirelessly to preserve the planet’s natural resources. David, who is a scientist at ETH Zurich and the son of two Vietnamese refugees rescued by a German ship in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, believes that indigenous people and refugees play a crucial role in fighting climate change but are often overlooked.

David Dao at The Tide Is Rising

David Dao was part of the line-up of The Tide Is Rising, a TEDx Geneva event supported by UNITAR, WMO and UNFCCC, which brought six youth speakers, a slam poetry artist, and a musician to Geneva, Switzerland, to deliver TEDx Talks on how changing the climate change language can lead to enhanced climate action among broader audiences. The Tide Is Rising was the culmination of 8 months of work, which included several planning and coaching sessions,  and was the second TEDx event co-organized by UNITAR.

The event, which happened against the backdrop of COP26, aimed to spark a discussion on how changing the climate change language could reach and engage more people. Despite being the most important challenge humankind has ever faced, climate change is often perceived as a technical, unrelatable issue, which often hinders understanding and action. The TEDx-style talks, with presentations carefully developed in partnership with a group of volunteer coaches from TEDx Geneva, helped inspire the audience on-site, but will also be turned into videos and made available for everyone on the TED website.

In addition to David Dao, the line-up featured other youth engaged in climate action, such as Léa Geindreau, who is a full-time climate activist based in Paris, and Susana Hancock, an activist and linguist who believes effective climate change communication is all about “how you say it, not what you say”.

‘’Words matter. They create our reality. Metaphors are not working when it’s about climate change’’ – Susana Hancock at The Tide Is Rising.

Art proved to be a compelling way of getting the message across, with slam poetry artist and activist, Florent Mariaud, and West African musician, Djeli Moussa Condé, delivering inspiring performances that got the audience hooked. Youth scientists Dimitrios Terzis and Stephen Bell walked the audiences through their innovative solutions and confirmed that climate change action and innovation walk hand in hand. The power of language and young people as catalyzers of change was highlighted by Amy Meek, a 18-year-old activist who founded “Kids Against Plastic”, a UK-based charity working with over 1,000 schools to address the plastic waste issue.

TEDx Geneva crew, volunteers and partners.

After the event, guests were invited to attend a post-event reception at CICG itself, where they met and interacted with the speakers, and got an opportunity to network with the rest of the audience.

Read The Tide Is Rising’s full programme here.

Karen Miranda is our 2020 UN CC:Learn Champion. She grew up in a small rural town in Panamá. After taking UN CC:Learn course, she started dedicating herself to climate change causes in Panamá and is currently leading a youth organization. Read her story and learn how far she has gone and what positive changes her organization has promoted in her country.

I’m Karel Miranda. I’m 27 years old, and from the province of Chiriqui in Panama.

Photo: Karel Miranda

Photo: Karel Miranda

I grew up in a small rural town called Santa Clarita – surrounded by nature, between coffee plantations and forest. However as time went by, all of this changed and I started to worry about the situation. The climate is no longer as cool, there are not as many trees as before, and the landscape has totally changed. My concern led me to study Biology at University, where I first learned about climate change. That led me to want to know more about the subject, and from that, I found the UN CC:Learn platform.

I took the course “Introduction to Climate Change”, and it helped me to gain the basics on what climate change is, and to have a better understanding of this issue. Climate change is more than just an increase in global temperature. It is the biggest crisis facing humanity and includes all economic, social, and environmental sectors on the planet. The course helped me to see beyond an environmental problem, and to understand that we are all vulnerable – but also that some sectors, ecosystems and population are more vulnerable than others.

Photo: Karel Miranda

Photo: Karel Miranda

The course marked the beginning of a great action in my life. After enrolling I wanted to learn more, and to know where my own country stood in relation to this problem. This led me to apply and be selected to participate in the first Academy of Young Leaders on Climate Change in Panama, organized by the Ministry of Environment. Over the course of one week, I was able to learn how to lead initiatives to address climate change. At the end of the Academy, together with other young activists, we decided to form the Young People Facing Climate Change Organization of Panama. We have now established ourselves as the reference organization on climate change in our country. Our main pillar is education on climate change and citizen participation.

In 2020, the Young People Facing Climate Change Organization of Panama participated in the Climate Crisis and Water Forum, where we delivered a statement in which we call on all ministries, institutions and organizations in the country to work urgently and interconnectedly to address the climate emergency. The current COVID-19 pandemic has not stopped our work. In a virtual way, we are supporting the updating of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and the Climate Change Law of our country. Personally, the course has inspired me to lead a more sustainable life, and to form an organization that has allowed me to share what I had learned with others.

Photo: Karel Miranda

Photo: Karel Miranda

Get involved:

Have you engaged in an organization that fights against climate change? Tell us what you do and how the organization contributes to tackling climate change. We’d love to hear your story.  Drop us a line on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Start your learning journey:

Small steps can lead to impactful changes. Be inspired by our champions and start learning about climate change today through our e-learning platform www.unccelearn.org. After reading Karel’s story, you may be interested in starting taking the following courses:

Image Credits: Frerieke - Flickr I 30.06.2009 - Original: https://bit.ly/3vhmFdI
As a child growing up in Namibia in the late 80s and early 90s, my earliest memory always has the sound of the radio in the background. That would be whether I was at home in town or while helping out in the fields while visiting the village. I vividly remember listening to Christmas carols or the liberation songs to commemorate the Namibian liberation struggle against apartheid on Independence / Heroes days. Radio has been a big part of my childhood, it was a source of information and entertainment.”

“….Through this mode of communication, we learned of far-off relatives either hospitalized or passed on before the diffusion of mobile phones. If there was one thing that was a constant in many households, from the well-off to the poor, it was a basic FM/AM radio. It was affordable and required minimal maintenance and their batteries lasted for weeks if not months. That was the reality for many in the Southern African region, and most probably the rest of the African continent.”  – Josefina Ashipala, UN CC:Learn

In Southern Africa, radio continues to be the primary means of mass-communication and a source of information and entertainment especially to young people and their families. It can reach both the well-off and the poor, young and old, educated and illiterate. This mode of communication provides programmes for all audiences, from listening to folktales or stories for kids to discussing relevant pressing societal issues. It also provides a platform for Early Warning Systems such as tracking the whereabout of the swarms of desert locusts that were devastating crops in the region in early 2021.  More than a tool to share information, radio continues to be a key site for community-building and foster positive change.

Image Credits: Joe Haupt – Flickr I 08.04.2021 – Original: https://bit.ly/2SiPdq3

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made the importance of radio in sub-Saharan Africa particularly clear. In a context where access to the internet is limited, closing schools also meant that the education of many was put on hold. Radio changed that as it allowed students from all backgrounds to keep up with their studies.

In this spirit, a climate change radio programme “Our Changing Climate – Our Time to Act!” was created by the MIET Africa, UN CC:Learn Partnership and relevant environment Ministries as part of the COVID-19 emergency response in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Between November 2020 and February 2021, 108 episodes were broadcast with an estimated reach of more than 27 million listeners from all ages across the three countries.

The 30-minute radio episodes fostered discussions around key climate change issues; practical ways of mitigating the impacts at country, community, family and individual levels; and calls to action for communities, families and individuals to do their part as friends of the earth. Listeners were also encouraged to join the discussions and take climate actions through weekly competitions. The winners won prizes that included solar-powered radios. A winner from Zambia said that the programme was very useful as it increased knowledge on climate change issues. For a teacher in Malawi, the content covered on the programme proved to boost his interest in environmental conservation and a way to supplement gaps in the syllabus of the current course curricula

Additionally, a two-episode programme (episode 1 and episode 2) for TV was developed and broadcast in different languages in the countries with an estimated reach of over 5 million viewers across the 3 countries.  Radio programme hosts opined that the programme was timely and that the experts had articulated the issues well, making the programme accessible and exciting while increasing listeners’ interest and engagement.  This new approach in mainstreaming climate change through radio programme is an effective way of providing information that can increase knowledge and change attitudes and behaviors of citizens. It particularly offers opportunities where internet connection is not stable and when countries started putting COVID-19 containment measures in place such as closure of schools and many key programs such as climate change education became very limited.

Image Credits: Jos Verhoogen – Flickr I 02.09.2004 – Original: https://bit.ly/3vfEREL

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

Enroll
  • Climate Change
  • Youth
  • Education

Self-paced course

3.5 hours

Welcome

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

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

Course at a glance

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

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

Completion requirements

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

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

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

Leia a história na integra em Português clicando aqui.

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

Photo: Maurici Tadeu

Photo: Maurici Tadeu

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

Slope and erosion protection | Photo: Maurici Tadeu

Slope and erosion protection | Photo: Maurici Tadeu

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get Involved:

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

Start your learning journey:

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

Aikaterina Lengou is the president of the Children’s Art Gallery of Greece and a UN CC:Learn champion. She was inspired to organize an international education programme for children and youth focusing on empowering children as actors of change through art. The programme conducted in an international painting competition where children and youth submitted their climate artwork. Check out the results of the competition and how she has influenced others to take climate action.

My name is Aikaterina Lengou, and I am the President of The Children’s Art Gallery of Greece.

Photo: Aikaterina Lengou

Photo: Aikaterian Legou

The Children’s Art Gallery of Greece is a pioneering educational and cultural organisation that aims at promoting and encouraging children’s artistic creations on an international level. By organizing a variety of educational programmes, thematic competitions, painting exhibitions and artistic events, we release the expression of children through their innate language – art. We have now organized and conducted over fifty educational-cultural programmes for children and youth, between the ages of 4 and 18 – both in Greece and internationally.

Artwork by Kyriakoulea Anastasia | Photo: Aikaterina Lengou

Artwork by Kyriakoulea Anastasia | Photo: Aikaterina Lengou

After completing the UN CC:Learn course on Children and Climate Change, and being enlightened by the knowledge I had acquired, I was inspired to organize an international education programme for children and youth – focusing on empowering children as actors of change through art. Me and my colleagues at The Children’s Art Gallery of Greece therefore conducted an international painting competition with the central theme: “Empowering Children to Act on Climate Change through Art.”

Alongside the competition, we held seminars to inform the children about climate change – making the step from learning to acting. The children then understood what the problem means to them, as well as what key actions they can take to mitigate it – from adaptation and low-carbon development to climate finance and engaging in climate negotiations. The response was immense, and culminated in the creation of a digital platform featuring the distinguished artworks from around the world.

Artwork by Kokkini Eyangelia | Photo: Aikaterina Lengou

Artwork by Kokkini Eyangelia | Photo: Aikaterina Lengou

This collection, entitled “Empowering Children to Act on Climate Change through Art”, is a great example of both the resilience of children and their strong will to change our world for the better. In the end, children and youth from 30 countries answered our call to create climate artworks, sending a global message of the need to protect our planet with respect for future generations.

Through their artworks, the young artists portrayed the urgent need to embrace our planet: by protecting the oceans, by preventing air pollution, by recycling and by protecting the forests. The message is loud and clear: the time to act is now. The example set by the young artists is illustrated in their creations, and forms a life lesson for all of us.

Artwork by Fani Vasiliki | Photo: Aikaterina Lengou

Artwork by Fani Vasiliki | Photo: Aikaterina Lengou

To be able to empower children as actors of change – and to give them a voice to teach, and to guide the world on how to strengthen their resilience to climate change – was a miraculous experience for all of us working at The Children’s Art Gallery. UN CC:Learn’s Children and Climate Change course offered us the seeds of change, which we planted in our children’s conscience – so that a new future will flourish, on a healthier planet for all its inhabitants.

Get Involved:

Have you ever participated in an activity or competition that addresses climate change in your country? Share your experience with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. We want to hear what you have learned!

Start your learning journey:

Join our global learning community at www.unccelearn.org and take our free courses on climate change and green economy. Our course catalogue offers several courses that may be of interest such as:

 

Moussé Sane is our UN CC:Learn Champion. He is a Ph.D. candidate and has been deepening his studies in the field of water resources management, especially related to the Senegal River Basin. He has started a project to engage young students to protect their water resources and prevent their shortage due to climate change. Check out his story to learn how he has been engaging with the local community to face the negative impact of climate change in Senegal.

My name is Moussé Landing Sane and I am from Senegal. I am currently a doctoral student in hydraulics, and my thesis is in the field of water resources management.

So far I have taken two UN CC:Learn courses online: one on ‘La prise en charge du changement climatique dans le bassin du fleuve Sénégal’ and the second on ‘Integrating Information on Climate Risks into NAPs’. These courses allowed me to have a better understanding of climate change issues, and particularly the key actors involved. I learned that two of the primary impacts of climate change are floods and droughts, and since a large part of the population of Dakar is frequently impacted by floods, we felt the need to find a way to help.

The knowledge and understanding that I’ve acquired from these two courses have allowed me to take part in challenge competitions that focus on climate change and water and sanitation. Recently, I was shortlisted to participate in the “Young Water Fellowship Senegal” competition,  and now I am embarking on an awareness-raising project that will encourage young people to get involved in the field of water. We are hoping to engage with around 20 young people at first, and are currently working on the implementation of a communal tool that will allow local populations to face the negative effects of climate change.

For me, water control is the key element for adapting to climate change. As an example, I take the Manantali Dam in the Senegal River Basin. This is designed to regulate water flows and to produce energy, but if the releases of Manantali are not controlled this could lead to conflicts of interest between different water users. For me, the survival of the populations living around the Senegal River Basin depends in large part on the waters of the river. That is why I defend the idea of water control in order to face and adapt to climate change.

Finally, I am passionate about research and that is why I would like to share the knowledge that I have acquired on climate change, both in the field and from UN CC:Learn, with others. As a second project, I am aiming to include the teaching of climate change in high school. Personally, I only started to know and learn about climate change when I started at university, and I think it’s important that this knowledge be introduced at an earlier age.

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