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Skills-driven Education, Science, Technology and Innovation for Climate Change Action

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Skills-driven Education, Science, Technology and Innovation for Climate Change Action

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Skills-driven Education, Science, Technology and Innovation for Climate Change Action
Prof Kennedy Mutundu (RCE Greater Nairobi)
12th African RCE Regional Meeting
28-30 November, 2022

Skills-driven Education, Science, Technology and Innovation for Climate Change Action
Prof Kennedy Mutundu (RCE Greater Nairobi)
12th African RCE Regional Meeting
28-30 November, 2022

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Skills-driven Education, Science, Technology and Innovation for Climate Change Action

  1. 1. SKILLS-DRIVEN EDUCATION, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION FOR CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION Prof. Kennedy Mutundu Mount Kenya University – RCE Greater Nairobi kmutundu@mku.ac.ke / +254 722 474141 12th African RCE Regional Meeting 28th -30th November 2022 Role of African RCE in Climate Change Action
  2. 2. Introduction • Climate change presents the single biggest threat to sustainable development • This cuts across the globe and social classes • However, its unprecedented impacts disproportionately burden the poorest and most vulnerable • It, therefore, calls for climate action and sustainable development in integrated and coherent ways • This is achievable in different ways based on skills-driven education, technology, and innovation • RCEs Uniquely positioned to respond: ESD, Local Networks/Actions, Partnerships The 12th African RCE Region Meeting-28th -30th November 2022: Role of African RCE in Climate Change Action
  3. 3. What is Climate Change?
  4. 4. What causes Earth’s climate to change? Changes in the atmosphere Natural processes Volcanoes Tectonic plate movement Changes in the sun Shifts in Earth’s orbit Human activities – any activity that releases “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere
  5. 5. Source: Climate Analysis Indicators Tool, World Resources Institute
  6. 6. The Greenhouse Effect
  7. 7. The Challenge/Crisis of Climate Challenge – A Two-Thronged Response Adaptation The process of adjustment to changes in an environment. In the context of climate change, it refers to changing our lifestyles to cope with a new environment rather than trying to stop climate change. Mitigation Taking action to reduce/repair the severity or intensity of an event. In the context of climate change it refers to reducing the output of greenhouse gases and/or increasing the size and amount of greenhouse gas storage sites or sinks.
  8. 8. Hodder & Stoughton © 2018 Resilient agricultural systems High-tech: drought-tolerant species help resistance to climate change and disease. Low-tech: better practices generate healthier soils and may help carbon-dioxide sequestration and water storage: selective irrigation, mulching, cover crops, crop rotation, reduced ploughing, agroforestry. Land-use planning Soft management: land-use zoning, building restrictions in vulnerable floodplains and on low-lying areas. Enforcing strict runoff controls and soakaways. Assessment More expensive technology not available to poor subsistence farmers without financial aid. High energy costs from indoor and intensive farming. Genetic modification is still subject to debate but increasingly used to create resistant strains, e.g. rice and soya. Growing food insecurity in many places adds pressure to find ‘quick fixes’. Assessment Abandoning high-risk areas and land-use resettling often unfeasible, e.g. megacities such as Dhaka, Bangladesh, or Tokyo- Yokohama, Japan. A political ‘hot potato’. Needs strong governance, enforcement and compensation. Adaptation strategies (1)
  9. 9. Adaptation strategies (2) Solar radiation management (SRM) Geo-engineering involves deliberately intervening in the climate system to counteract global warming. One proposal is to use orbiting satellites to reflect some inward radiation back into space, rather like a giant sunshade. This could cool the Earth within months and be relatively cheap compared with mitigation. Assessment: Untried and untested. Would reduce but not eliminate the worst effects of GHGs. For example, it would not alter ocean acidification. Involves tinkering with a complex system, which might have unknown consequences. Would need to continue for decades or centuries as there would be a rapid adjustment in the climate system if SRM stopped suddenly.
  10. 10. Mitigation strategies: world (1) Wetland restoration Wetlands (salt and freshwater marshes, floodplains, peatlands, mangroves) cover up to 9% of the Earth’s land surface but contain 35% of the terrestrial carbon store. Trans-government initiatives such as the International Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar) and the European Union Habitats Directive promote restoration projects around the world. Assessment Large amounts of stored carbon would remain in the wetlands, and would increase over time. Maintaining wetlands prevents the decay of carbon stocks by aerobic respiration – they are resistant to decay under anaerobic conditions.
  11. 11. Mitigation strategies(2) Afforestation The UN’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) scheme offers incentives to developing countries to protect their forests. Conservation and sustainable management are also crucial. Assessment UN-REDD+ is a set of guidelines on how to report on forest resources and forest management strategies and their results, in terms of reducing emissions and enhancing removal of GHGs. How does itlink to existing national development strategies? How can forest communities and indigenous peoples participate in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programmes? How will it be funded, and how will countries ensure that benefits are distributed equitably? How will reduced emissions and enhanced removals be monitored?
  12. 12. Mitigation strategies: (3) Changing agricultural practices Measures to reduce carbon emissions from agriculture which target both carbon dioxide and methane. They include: • Zero tillage: not ploughing but drilling seed directly into the soil thereby conserving organic matter in the soil. • Polyculture: growing annual crops in between trees which helps protect soils from erosion and stores carbon in the trees. • Crop residues: leaving residues such as stems and leaves on the field after harvesting helps protect soils from erosion. • New strains of plants, e.g. rice, which require less water in the padi fields, therefore generating less methane. • Managing manure, e.g. using it in anaerobic digesters to produce methane which can be used to generate power.
  13. 13. Mitigation strategies: world (4) International agreements Under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol many developed countries agreed to legally binding reductions in their carbon dioxide emissions although the USA and Australia refused to sign. Emerging economies, such as China and India, were exempt. The aim was to bring about a 5% cut in global GHG emissions from 1990 levels by 2008–2012. Countries such as Japan and most of the EU were expected to cut emissions by between 6 and 8%. Negotiations continued after 1997 and although Kyoto came into effect in 2005, there was ongoing discussion, and differing levels of compliance. The Paris Climate Convention (COP21) (2015) ended with an agreement to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions to below 60% of 2010 levels and to restrict global warming to a 2°C increase by 2050. Countries will set their own voluntary targets and there is no detailed timetable. It has been agreed that developed countries will transfer funds and technologies to help developing countries to achieve their targets.
  14. 14. Mitigation strategies: world (5) Cap and trade The Kyoto Protocol introduced the idea that a country which cut its emissions below the level at which it had been ‘capped’ would be able to trade the unused volume of emissions. Another country could buy these theoretical emissions and offset them against emissions above the agreed level. This would allow it to achieve its target or cap. The EU introduced a similar cap and trade system in 2005 (EUETS). Individual businesses, especially energy intensive ones e.g. metal, cement or refining industries, are able to receive credits if they achieve lower-than-set emissions, which can then be sold. The idea of this carbon market is that polluters have to pay while clean companies are rewarded.
  15. 15. Carbon taxation (UK) The carbon price floor tax sets a minimum price companies have to pay to emit CO2. It was unpopular with both industry and environmental groups and had debateable effect on emissions. In 2015, the policy was ‘frozen’. Lower road taxes for low-carbon-emitting cars. In 2015, oil and gas exploration tax relief was expanded to support fossil fuels, hence the current debate about fracking. Renewable switching (UK) Switching from fossil fuels to renewables and nuclear power. Renewables (solar, wind and wave) provide intermittent electricity, while fossil fuels and nuclear provide the continuous power essential for our current infrastructure. The Climate Change Levy, designed in 2001 to encourage renewable energy investment and use, was cut in 2015.
  16. 16. Discussion • What are the priorities of adaptation v mitigation? • How equitable are the proposed solutions? Many of those vulnerable to climate change have contributed little to GHG emissions • Does delaying mitigation shift the burden from the present to the future? • Given that developed countries have passed through their industrial phase of development without regard for the environment, is it now their duty to assist developing countries, or will they try to dictate terms in global agreements? • Is this some form of climate-colonialism? • What is the will of the world’s leaders regarding climate change? • Does humankind possess an ability to plan on the global scale?
  17. 17. Responses through Skills Driven Education, Science, Technology and Innovations Skills Driven Education - Curricular, capacity-building, legal and institutional frameworks, By-in Science and Technology - Science and Technology oriented institutions - Vocational Training, Industrial Parks Innovations - Innovation-Applied Research - Incubation Centres Application Towards Climate Adaptation and Mitigation How?
  18. 18. Climate Change and Education Global Campaign for Education (2020): “While education is needed to enhance people’s awareness of the damaging impacts of human actions against natural ecosystems, at the same time ecosystem unbalance and climate change-related emergencies are one of the critical barriers for people to enjoy their right to education. “Indeed, climate change-related emergencies leave millions of learners out of school. Disasters like landslides, wildfires, droughts, floods, cyclones or typhoons cause famines, death, force people to move or destroy school facilities and universities, and communities might take years to recover from search events” If addressed: What is the role of education in
  19. 19. Why education in climate change action? • Creating knowledge • Understanding ecosystems to build more resilient societies • Raising awareness • Finding solutions • Holding leaders accountable The 12th African RCE Region Meeting-28th -30th November 2022: Role of African RCE in Climate Change Action
  20. 20. 1. Creating knowledge  Our knowledge of the climate crisis is based on solid science, research, data that scientists across the world rigorously dissect and analyse.  They are the basis of the policy recommendations by government non-governmental interventions  Researchers, academics and higher education develop the research to understand the causes, consequences and magnitude of the climate crisis and global warming-related emergencies.  Scientists have unveiled both the important role water systems or forests play in regulating the climate, along with revealing the immediate impacts the climate crisis is having on these fragile ecosystems.
  21. 21. 2. Understanding ecosystems to build more resilient societies Education is pivotal to our understanding of how the actions of all individuals are negatively impacting the balance on Earth, Constant transformative learning to truly understand the fundamentals of natural life is needed as diversity increases resilience.  Local and indigenous knowledge have contributed to ecosystem functioning, disaster early warning systems, and climate change adaptation and resilience. Traditional knowledge in such areas as agriculture, food production and conservation has played an important role in environmental sustainability for centuries.
  22. 22. 3. Raising awareness  Today’s children are the citizens and consumers of tomorrow. Their behaviours and decisions will inevitably affect the environment.  Children are also important agents of social change in society, because apart from adopting responsible environmental behaviours themselves, they also have the potential to bring about change by influencing the environmental knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of peers, family and of the wider community.  Educating youth and adults on issues related to the climate crisis, pollution of water and land will encourage individuals and communities to change attitudes and behaviour towards it.  Initiatives to prevent and mitigate the impact of climate change through education may allow children, young people and adults to get a better understanding of the impact of global warming on their possibilities to enjoy their fundamental human rights.
  23. 23. 4. Finding solutions As the climate crisis is unfolding, education, skills and innovative ideas based on sound science are needed to find solutions and mitigate damages. Engineers and technologists make constant progress in improving devices to produce cleaner energy, devise ingenious process to clean oceans of plastic pollution and design practical mechanisms for Universities are at the forefront of research to develop more recyclable materials, improve efficiency of man-made tools and increase the reuse of precious resources.
  24. 24. 5. Holding leaders accountable Educated citizens and youth are more equipped to hold their leaders accountable and to put pressure on their governments to take decisive actions against the climate crisis. Climate change agenda in our civic and political processes
  25. 25. What is knowledge- and skill-driven education (SDE)?  Knowledge-based education (KBE) entails a close study of books, specializing in the ‘examine and write’ system. It relies on rote learning  Skill-based education (SBE), requires experience, believing that real-life practice lies at the core of better learning. ‘Learning by doing’ is the mantra, extending beyond the confines of the blackboard to actually learn new skills through practice.  Learning a skill comes from applying knowledge to particular situations with a combination of sensory input and output. Knowledge, then, is theoretical, while skills are practical.  Skill-based learning aims to build upon knowledge by developing practical expertise in a particular area.
  26. 26. The key issues in tackling skills development • Access • Quality • Relevance • Equity • Efficiency The 12th African RCE Region Meeting-28th -30th November 2022: Role of African RCE in Climate Change Action
  27. 27. Skills Development “Low skills perpetuate poverty and inequality. When done right, skills development can reduce un- and underemployment, increase productivity, and improve standards of living. Helping people develop and update their skills makes economic sense” World Bank
  28. 28. The Competency Based Curriculum in Kenya
  29. 29. 1. Bridge “Learning to Know” to “Learning to Do” 2. Schools as living labs – practicing what we preach 3. Engaging Youth as Well as Adults
  30. 30. Education, Skills Development and Climate Change If only 16% of high school students in high/middle-income countries were to receive climate change education, we could see a nearly 19 gigaton - reduction of carbon dioxide by 2050 (Asian Development Forum 2020) Countries taking strong climate actions between 2018 and 2030 could, by 2030, generate over 65 million new low-carbon jobs, and deliver at least $26 trillion in net global economic benefits (Global Commission on the Economy and Climate) Nearly $23 trillion in climate-smart investment opportunity exists in emerging markets from 2016 to 2030, arising from national climate change commitments (International Finance Corporation). Education is key to train the professionals needed to obtain these benefits…..HOW? In 4 key areas
  31. 31. 1. mutually reinforcing policies for education and climate change  In a global survey by UNESCO in 2020, nearly two-thirds of respondents named climate change and biodiversity loss as the number one challenge, and education as key to addressing them.  It also reported that over half of education policies and curricula studied made no mention of climate change in primary and secondary education.  Education for climate change needs to be embedded in all levels of education and in formal institutions, communities and workplaces.  Education systems have to become more resilient to climate-related disasters to avoid disruption during extreme weather events.  Schools can play a critical role in increasing awareness of local communities on climate and disaster risk issues and promote local actions to build resilience.  It is crucial to identify education as a key climate solution in national climate change policies such as nationally determined contributions and national adaptation plans.  Such integration provides a strong basis for countries to mobilize climate finance to advance climate actions in the context of education sector.
  32. 32. 2. Build green skills in the workforce Training and skills development are crucial for a just and green transition and building a resilient economy There is a need for new courses to strengthen capacities and skills. Tertiary education and research play a key role in building higher order human capital for resilience and climate action It is crucial to invest in skills to meet emission regulations, adopt renewable and clean energy, manage waste, and produce green and resilient products and services.
  33. 33. 3. Expand investments at the intersection of sustainability and digitalization The digital transformation currently underway is far reaching. The market size of the global digitized construction industry using artificial intelligence and other technologies, is projected to increase from $10 billion in 2017 to $29 billion by 2027. Whether it is smart grids, smart transportation, smart cities, digital agricultural advisory services or gig economy work, wide-ranging digital skills are called for.
  34. 34. 4. Strengthen inter-disciplinary climate studies  There is need for interdisciplinary education that is focused on Climate Change issues. Programs offered aim to educate future climate leaders, and generate knowledge solutions.  Climate studies in developing countries need to jointly house different schools such as engineering, architecture, agriculture, arts, social sciences, management, law, public policy, and communications to build up the diverse talent pool needed for climate solutions.  Problem-based and contextual approaches are required
  35. 35. TAKE – AWAY AND WAY FORWARD The 12th African RCE Region Meeting-28th - 30th November 2022: Role of African RCE in Climate Change Action Curriculum Development and Climate Change Education Government investment in Education, Research and Innovation Climate Change affects societies invariably Partnerships: The Focus of RCEs and SDG 17  Climate Change- North-South Divide, South-South Divide The Strength and future of RCEs
  36. 36. THANK YOU Prof. Kennedy Mutundu kmutundu@mku.ac.ke/ +254 722 474141
  37. 37. SKILLS-DRIVEN EDUCATION, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION FOR CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION Prof. Kennedy Mutundu Mount Kenya University – RCE Greater Nairobi kmutundu@mku.ac.ke / +254 722 474141 12th African RCE Regional Meeting 28th -30th November 2022 Role of African RCE in Climate Change Action
  38. 38. INNOVATIVE Initiatives to Combat Climate Change: CASE STUDies • Case 1: Mount Kenya University
  39. 39. MKU Graduate Enterprise Academy • Through the program, MKU equips graduates with educational skills to remain sensitive to climate change. • This includes the unemployment effect created by climate change • Through entrepreneurship skills, graduates can circumnavigate the effect of climate change
  40. 40. MKU Partnerships and linkages for skills DEVELOPMENT
  41. 41. MKU PARTICIPATION IN environmental activities • MKU has Environmental Club • Practices climate change model activities • Including; • Tree planting to increase forest cover • Cleaning and keeping the environment clean • Outreach programs for environmental conservation • Participation in COP27
  42. 42. MKU in Partnerships as response to climate change • MKU has partnerships and linkages directorate • It has several Private-Public partnerships • MKU has partnered with international universities to offer exchange programs • MKU has partnered with several civil societies to create knowledge on adapting to climate change
  43. 43. MKU in Partnerships OFFER CLIMATE CHANGE RESPONSIVE PROGRAMMES
  44. 44. MKU OUTREACH AND SUPPORT PROGRAMMES
  45. 45. MKU OUTREACH AND SUPPORT PROGRAMMES
  46. 46. Case study 2: Yunus centre’s 3z social enterprise model • Yunus Centre is a foundation of the Nobel Prize winner, Social entrepreneur, Prof. Mohammad Yunus of Bangladesh • It has an affiliate, Grameen Bank that lends the “poor” • It works on an innovative model dubbed 3Zs
  47. 47. Case study 3: sme adoption of emerging technologies (ET) in circular economy (CE)
  48. 48. SAMPLE SMEs 1. Mr. Green Africa - The technology- driven plastics collection model has enabled the collecting of waste at the source by integrating the informal waste workers, consumers and the micro- entrepreneurs into the company’s formal value chain. 2. EcoPost - A social enterprise that addresses the problems of waste management mainly plastic pollution, deforestation, vast youth unemployment, and change in the current climate.
  49. 49. SAMPLE SMEs 4. SunCulture company - Deals in selling the AgroSolar irrigation kit (ultimately powered by solar). The kit has combined solar water pumping technology that is highly efficient in drip irrigation and has everything that a farmer requires to grow more at the same time spending less in a sustainable and efficient way. 5. UjuziKilimo - Incorporates desirable skills in farming to boost the sector of agriculture.
  50. 50. SAMPLE SMEs 6. Insectipro -Through the aid of insects and the circular production, the company breeds Black Soldiers Flies and changing their larvae into the animal feed and farming crickets for consumption by human
  51. 51. CASE 4: MULLY CHILDREN’S FAMILY (MCF) SUSTAINABLe FOOD PRODUCTION MODEL • MCF initiatives encompass Rescue, Rehabilitation, Reintegration and Prevention (3RP) to safeguard the rights, safety, well-being, dignity and development of children. • Located in the Ukambani region (perceived semi-arid) • The philanthropist has adopted a food-sustainable production method integrated with technology to adapt to the harsh climate
  52. 52. CASE 5: negotiation for environmental conservation success stories • 1. Red kite in Britain • The reintroduction of the red kite to Britain is one of the greatest conservation success stories of the 20th century. After decades of persecution from egg collectors and illegal poisoning, red kites were practically extinct in the UK by the late 1980s. • However, in 1989, conservationists started negotiations to stop the destruction • The kites have since been restored. • 2. Bear forest in Britain • In 2009, the government of British Columbia announced a conservation plan for the Great Bear Rainforest – the most comprehensive of its kind in North America. This victory followed a ten-year campaign – one of the longest in Greenpeace history. • 3. Beavers in the UK • More than 400 years after it was hunted to extinction in the UK, the beaver is back! Initially illegally released in Tayside, Scotland a few years ago, there are now over 400 beavers in 100 territories. Courtesy of negotiation with communities.
  53. 53. Take-away cum Good Thing
  54. 54. HOW WE GET THERE The 12th African RCE Region Meeting-28th -30th November 2022: Role of African RCE in Climate Change Action EDUCATION AND SKILLS • Teach skills • Train skills • Adopt skills INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY • Appreciate innovation • Adapt technology • Sensitize on technology PARTNERSHIPS AND NEGOTIATIONS • Public-private • Public-public • Private-private
  55. 55. SUMMARY The 12th African RCE Region Meeting-28th - 30th November 2022: Role of African RCE in Climate Change Action For adaptation to climate change, we may need to remain focused on educating skills as we use emerging technologies and work in partnerships. It is the responsibility of all of us to keep the planet sustainable. Even if it means negotiating, but at least remain as a team for a better tomorrow
  56. 56. THANK YOU Prof. Kennedy Mutundu kmutundu@mku.ac.ke/ +254 722 474141

Editor's Notes

  • Overall caused by changes in the atmosphere – 2 major possibilities
    Natural causes
    Volcanoes – release gases and particles into the air
    Plate tectonic changes – changing the location of landmasses on Earth affects wind and current patterns, which create climate patterns
    Solar changes – the sun can become hotter or cooler over time as it ages
    Orbit changes – Earth’s orbit does occasionally change, but it happens very slowly, over tens to hundreds of thousands of years.
    Human activities – any activities that release “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere
    Includes burning fossil fuels, burning forests or grasslands, industrial activities, agriculture
  • Based on this data, it becomes clear that energy production and usage are the largest contributor to GHG emissions. That leads us into our next section on electrical energy production – where does it come from?
  • The greenhouse effect: certain “greenhouse” gases in the atmosphere permit sunlight to pass through the atmosphere, but absorb much of the infrared (heat) radiation from Earth’s surface. The atmosphere warms, and radiates additional heat to the surface. The planet’s temperature is therefore higher than it would be without greenhouse gases, and it stands to reason that adding more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere is likely to warm the planet.
  • Education plays a vital role in combating climate change and is key to understanding how the human-made climate crisis is affecting the planet
  • Studying our ecosystems, their systemic nature and their connections to human and non-human life are important to care, preserve, restore and reverse damages human development is causing on Earth.
  • Education is a fundamental tool for advancing action on climate change, yet it has not been adequately tapped for its potential.
  • The prestigious Columbia University and Stanford University each established a climate school in 2020 and 2021. For Columbia, it was the first new school in 25 years and for Stanford its first new school in 70 years, underscoring the importance of education in tackling the climate crisis. These four paths will enable shifting behavior patterns towards sustainability and establishing more direct links between climate study programs and their positive impacts on climate adaptation and mitigation. Education needs to mesh with many other actors to realize climate goals, but it must be made a priority

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