UNFCCC meeting19 - 21 June 2012, in Bonn, Germany - What is the experience of undertaking activities related to climate change education, training, public awareness, participation & access to information, and what barriers exist? Answering this question as well as identifying emerging needs and priorities were the objectives of the workshop on the implementation of Article 6 of the United Nations Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) in Least Developed Countries (LDC), organized by the  UN Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC).

In his opening remarks, Mr. Richard Kinley, UNFCCC Deputy Executive Secretary, said Article 6 of the Convention was so important because it gave people the tools to engage in environment related decision-making or policy development, and as a result a transformation was already underway especially among young people to protect and improve the environment.
 
The workshop brought together 36 participants, 28 from LDC countries, and representatives from UNITAR/UNCC:Learn, The European Union, The Global Environment Facility (GEF) and The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to:
  • Share good practices, lessons learned and experiences;
  • Assess the status of the implementation of the New Dehli Work Programme and identify gaps and barriers;
  • Identify emerging needs and priorities for a successor work programme on Article 6 of the Convention to be adopted at COP 18. 
UNITAR/UN: CC Learn presented on the initial lessons learned from supporting five Pilot Projects in  the Dominican Republic, Benin, Indonesia, Malawi and Uganda,  to develop a national strategy to Strengthen Human Resources and Skills to Address Climate Change. The presentation highlighted that the approach to encourage cooperation among different sectors, as well as the inclusion of national learning institutions in the development of a national strategy, were important features of the projects.
 
The presentations from the various Article 6 national focal points revealed that at the country level many activities are currently underway to raise awareness about climate change and to introduce climate change in both formal and non-formal education. However it also emerged that many of these activities are not embedded within a national strategy or action plan, therefore it was difficult to measure their impact or assess progress on the ground.
 
The LDC countries identified financing as a major obstacle to effectively implement Article 6 activities and requested funding institutions to provide dedicated financing for the implementation of Article 6.
 
In his closing remarks, Mr Yolando Velasco, UNFCCC, Manager Finance, Capacity Building and Knowledge Management sub-Programme, re-emphasized the importance of education, awareness, training and public participation in addressing climate change, and he announced that the outcomes of the workshop would contribute to the discussions on a successor work programme that would be finalized in Doha.
 
UN CC:Learn is a partnership of 32 multilateral organizations which supports Member States in designing and implementing results-oriented and sustainable learning to address climate change. 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. Core funding for the 2011-2013 implementation phase of UN CC:Learn is provided by the Swiss Government. The Secretariat for UN CC:Learn is provided by UNITAR.
For more information about the workshop.