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Climate Change Education and Awareness


Education  and  awareness-raising  enable  informed decision-making, play an essential role in increasing adaptation and mitigation capacities of communities, and empower women and men to adopt sustainable lifestyles. Climate  change  education  is  part  of  UNESCO’s  Education  for  Sustainable  Development  (ESD)  programme.  In  2014  UNESCO  launched  the  Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD, the official follow-up to  the  UN  Decade  of  ESD,  with  climate  change  as  a  critical  thematic  focus.  Through  the  UN  Alliance  on  Climate  Change  Education,  Training  and  Public  Awareness,  UNESCO  supports  and  guides  countries to meet commitments under the Paris Agreement and UNFCCC Article 6 on education.

UNESCO supports schools, including  UNESCO  Associated  schools  (ASPnet)  and  training  institutions   to   implement   climate   change   education   through    a    ‘whole-school    approach’.  Dedicated  teaching  and  learning  resources,  such  as Climate   Change   in   the   classroom:   UNESCO   course   for   secondary   teachers   on   climate  change  education  for  sustainable  development  and  many  other  climate  change  education  resources  are  freely  available  on UNESCO’s Clearinghouse on ESD.
Through  the  provision  of  capacity-building  for  journalists  and  broadcast  media  on  climate  change,  UNESCO  enhances  public  awareness  on  climate  change,  and  of  what  countries  and  communities  can  do  to  adapt.  This  also  aids  reporting  on  what  governments  and  companies  do,  or  do  not  do,  to  respond  to  these  threats.  An  example  is  Climate Change in Africa: A Guidebook for Journalists.

As part of its work on Education for Sustainable Development, UNESCO supports countries to integrate climate change into their education systems, and facilitates dialogue and exchange of experiences on climate change education through organizing international expert meetings. It mobilizes schools to implement climate change education through a whole-school approach whereby sustainability principles are also integrated into the management of school facilities and the governance structures of learning institutions. It develops technical guidance material and teaching and learning resources, such as a six-day online course, ‘Climate Change in the classroom: UNESCO course for secondary teachers on climate change education for sustainable development’. UNESCO’s clearinghouse on climate change education provides stakeholders with free access to hundreds of climate change education resources.

Through the provision of capacity-building for journalists and broadcast media on climate change, UNESCO is assisting Member States to enhance public awareness and understanding of the cause and effects of climate change, and of what countries and communities can do to adapt to the impacts ahead. This work also aids reporting on what governments and companies do, or do not do, to respond to these threats. An example is Climate Change in Africa: A Guidebook for Journalists.

Together with thirteen other UN agencies, UNESCO promotes climate change education and public awareness at high-level events such as the annual UNFCCC-COPs through the UN Alliance on Climate Change Education, Training and Public Awareness.