3 lessons: Geography and science; maths and economics; citizenship and history
Climate change threatens to undo and even reverse the progress made toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and poses one of the most serious challenges to reducing global poverty for the international community. However, the education sector offers a currently untapped opportunity to combat climate change. There is a clear education agenda in climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. Young people need to learn new knowledge and skills and changing behaviour in order to reduce the vulnerabilities and manage the risks of climate change. Therefore, investing in quality education to combat climate change is an essential tool in achieving the MDGs. What are the barriers to engaging the education sector in the discussions on climate change mitigation and adaptation? At present, there is no coherent dialogue on how to expand the climate change agenda to include education as a tool in adaptation and mitigation strategies. Our experience with CCA and DRR programmes in many countries including Bangladesh shows that leveraging education for climate change action is possible through existing national and international agreements and relevant agendas.
Citizenship education starts with infants and continues throughout childhood through adolescence – and adulthood Active citizenship needs support
Rio 1 failed in part because education was not prioritised. Climate change presents us with a historic opportunity to make development more sustainable. Education, through enabling young people and communities to gain new knowledge and skills, and to change their attitudes and behaviour, is a critical component of this process. A more effective and more sustainable climate change agenda should prioritise education. This means including education ministries in climate change debates, policies and funding allocations. It means investing in curriculum change, in teacher training, in making schools safe from disasters.
Children often have creative means and ambitious strategies to bring about change. They tend to be less constrained by social norms and common fatalistic attitude of their parents. Local Governments need financing and support to implement local adaptation Recognise that Children are effective risk communicators . Empowered children are innovative agents of change . Children’s holistic awareness of risks gives them a sound understanding of the consequences of climate change in their home areas, on local livelihoods, and on their right to survival, development and protection. This means that children can maximise the adaptive capacity needed to address climate change . Children can change behaviour for more sustained development . Today’s children are the leaders and decision makers of tomorrow .
Session 6_Nick Hall
Enabling child-centred agency in climate change adaptation Nick Hall Plan International
<ul><li>Climate change is a real threat to children in the 21 st century. </li></ul><ul><li>Nearly nine million children die before they reach their fifth birthday. These children are dying from a small number of preventable diseases and conditions, such as diarrhoea , malaria , pneumonia and malnutrition . </li></ul><ul><li>Climate change will make these conditions worse, placing children at greater risk . </li></ul><ul><li>85% of the global disease burden as a result of climate change is borne by children. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The world’s poorest children are on the front line of climate change and they need immediate support to cope with it. </li></ul><ul><li>Involving children in reducing disaster risks must be prioritised as a cornerstone of adaptation to climate </li></ul><ul><li>change. </li></ul><ul><li>AND - Children should also be recognised as actors who can reduce the impacts of disasters and climate change within their homes and wider communities, as well as influencing policy at all levels. </li></ul>
<ul><li>In many developing countries, children are over 50% of the total population. </li></ul><ul><li>Of the global population affected by climate change around half are children. (and the totals are increasing) </li></ul><ul><li>Every year, 500,000 children are displaced from school at any one time, for extended periods of time by flooding alone </li></ul><ul><li>For every year of education future likely income increases by 10% </li></ul>For every $1 spent on adaptation and prevention , $7 can be saved on recovery
“ Adults may want to do it themselves. “ “ They may think we don’t have the capacity – that we can’t do it.” “ But actually, if given a chance and some guiding directions we children can do anything.”
<ul><li>Children in a Changing Climate and Plan International recommend that governments enable children’s agency – their understanding and their active involvement - in CCA: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>1. Invest adaptation funds in education </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
<ul><li>2. Adaptation policies and investments should be designed to support programmes that encourage children to take an active role, locally and nationally </li></ul>
More information <ul><li>Websites for more information </li></ul><ul><li>Plan UK: http://www.plan-uk.org/action/issues/reducingchildrensvulnerability/ </li></ul><ul><li>Children in a Changing Climate: www.childreninachangingclimate.org / </li></ul><ul><li>About Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Plan International is one of the largest child centred community development organisations, working in 62 countries to address the causes of poverty and its consequences for children's lives. Plan works with children, their families and communities to build a world where children are safe, healthy and capable of realising their full potential. </li></ul>