April 2013, Paris, France - The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) organized an Expert Consultation on Guidelines on Climate Change Education (CCE). The event took place at the UNESCO Headquarters. This two-day meeting brought together policy makers from education ministries, delegates from United Nations agencies, academics, research institutes, education and climate change experts from different world regions.
 
UNITAR attended the meeting, and shared information on the UNITAR/UN CC:Learn Resource Guide on “Integrating Climate Change in Education at Primary and Secondary Level” which is under preparation. A spokesperson from UNITAR/UN CC:Learn pilot country, the Dominican Republic, also attended and spoke on recent achievements on climate change education.
 
The meeting agreed on a number of key areas for follow up including: sustainability literacy; scaling up capacity development for education systems; increased use of social media; and the strengthening international networks and partnerships for climate change learning.
 
Participants
 
Opening Remarks
 
Ms. Soo-Hyang Choi, UNESCOUNESCO stated that the meeting was integral in efforts for developing guidelines on climate change education for ESD that can be used by  Member States, UN agencies and other stakeholders. UNESCO equally expressed that the meeting was part of on-going efforts to advice on developing a common framework which integrates the various educational responses to climate change into one coherent whole. UNESCO also added that Climate Change Education is a responsibility for all Parties as stated under Article 6 of the United Nation Convention of Climate Change.
 
This meeting was an opportunity for its attendees to discuss important items which enable the development and implementation of CCE in the context of ESD. Three main items were presented and discussed:
  1. Discussion on the findings of a cross-national study of recent policy development in ESD and CCE coordinated by UNESCO;
  2. Deliberation on what approaches to ESD and CCE policymaking have actually been taken in different countries; and 
  3. Refining the draft policy guidelines on creating an enabling environment for ESD/CCE implementation.

The discussion of these items enabled the participants to highlight the important aspects of their own experiences on integrating climate change into education and vice versa.

UNITAR/UN CC:Learn at Consultation
 
Mr. Melvin Arias, Dominican RepublicMr. Melvin Arias, National Coordinator Area of Natural Sciences of the Dominican Republic Ministry, spoke of the  main achievements of the UNITAR/UN CC:Learn project so far in the Dominican Republic, including a training workshop for teachers on Climate Change Education developed with the support of UNESCO and UNITAR. As conveyed by Mr. Arias, the Dominican Education Ministry is currently reviewing the national curriculum for integrating CCE on a holistic-based approach.
 
Ms. Adriana Valenzuela, UN CC:LearnMs. Adriana Valenzuela, from the UNITAR, added that UNITAR/UN CC:Learn, with valuable inputs provided from its partners, is preparing a Resource Guide on “Integrating Climate Change in Education at Primary and Secondary Level”, which aims to facilitate access to existing materials relevant for climate change education produced by UN organizations and other institutions. Ms. Valenzuela expressed that UNITAR/UN CC:Learn at national level is supporting a long-term and strategic approach to climate  change education which includes designing national strategies in five pilot countries (Benin, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Malawi, and Uganda).
 
Participants
 
About the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD)
 
The UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD) 2005–2014 was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2002 with the overall goal to integrate the principles, values and practices of sustainable development into all aspects of education and learning. UNESCO is the lead agency of the Decade and the Task Manager of Chapter 36 of Agenda 21 (education, training and public awareness).
 
About UN CC:Learn
 
UN CC:Learn is a partnership of 33 multilateral organizations which supports Member States in designing and implementing results-oriented and sustainable learning to address climate change. The Secretariat for UN CC:Learn is provided by UNITAR. An important aspect of UN CC:Learn is to support countries in developing a National Strategy to Strengthen Human Resources and Skills to Advance Green, Low Emission and Climate Resilient Development, through a multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder process. During the course of 2012-2013, Benin, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Malawi, and Uganda are participating as UN CC:Learn pilot countries. Core funding for the 2011-2013 implementation phase of UN CC:Learn is provided by the Swiss Government.
 
For further information please contact uncclearn@unitar.org or visit: www.uncclearn.org.

Photo 1: Expert Consultation Participants
Photo 2: Ms. Soo-Hyang Choi, UNESCO
Photo 3: Mr. Melvin Arias, Dominican Republic
Photo 4: Ms. Adriana Valenzuela, UN CC:Learn
Photo 5: Expert Consultation Participants