Learning in a time of climate change

 

SurinameYouth are important players in addressing climate change as both potential actors and bearer of the greatest burden of its impact. Climate actions engaging youth should therefore be an integral part of the global and specific responses to climate change. ‘It helps young people understand and address the impact of global warming, encourages changes in their attitudes and behaviour and helps them adapt to climate change-related trends’, says UNESCO.

 

 

 

In GCCA+ two types of good practices can be distinguished:

1. Providing physical and online spaces for interaction and access to climate science and knowledge

GCCA+ has put emphasis on building a vast amount of resources and online fora targeting youth and easing their access to climate information based on science and empirical knowledge. Today, the GCCA+ is collecting and sharing success stories, tools, best practices and scientific facts.

International conferences also provide opportunities to interact with youth. As an example, the first Pacific Resilience Meeting, in 2019, themed ‘Youth Futures in a Resilient Pacific’ brought together over 300 participants, including students, policymakers, civil society actors, private sector representatives and scientists. A similar regional event in Trinidad and Tobago brought together young Caribbean researchers. The GCCA+ has also been sponsoring scholarships with the University of the South Pacific, based in Fiji.

2. Educate youth in climate change education (CCE) and education for sustainable development (ESD)

At the global level, the GCCA+ has developed training modules for youth and adults and relayed educational resources (e.g. MOOCs from international institutions, national educational resources). Games have also been developed for public and educational uses. In working directly with schools, three levels of integration can be considered as steps of the process:

  • Sensitization activities: ad-hoc activities and field visits, for example in Comoros, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Nepal and Sierra Leone. They build on a course for teachers and the development of formal and informal educational products. Depending on countries’ specificities, sectoral training curricula are developed for primary and secondary schools: health risks related to climate change in Kiribati, waste management in Liberia and Nigeria, forestry in Cabo Verde, Comoros, and mangroves in Belize.
  • Learning from sustainable practice and monitoring: planting trees, home gardening or rainfall monitoring in environmental clubs in Ghana, Marshall Islands and Tanzania; drought and flood early-warning systems for students and staff in Mozambique; mangrove education, including visits and youth camps, in Guyana. In Niue and Nauru, schools contribute to raising awareness on climate change and water conservation practices; in Tonga, children are involved in awareness-raising on coastal protection and monitoring; in the Marshall Islands, schools embrace tree planting and home gardening.
  • Full integration in curriculum: with help from the European Union, some countries have developed their own Eco-School programmes (Seychelles). In Cambodia, through GCCA+ support, the country has worked at integrating climate change into all curricula, from primary schools to university, as well as in vocational training programmes.

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