Article 6 of the Convention seeks to reduce the impact of climate change by enabling society to be a part of the solution.
Education and training are integral in enabling citizens’ contributions to local and global efforts to meet the climate change challenge. Increased knowledge and learning about the causes and impacts of climate change affect everyday lives. People become more aware of their role as consumers and are empowered to make ethically informed decisions. Communities can contribute to a solution-oriented public dialogue, while engaging local decision-makers in taking meaningful action and shaping climate policy.
Article 6 of the Convention is a useful resource for governments, civil society and many others. It encourages people to take the lead and cooperate in creative climate change education and training.
The mandate of Article 6 calls for initiatives that are diverse, innovative and resource-efficient. They can include practical action in formal and informal education and training. These initiatives may cut across different types of learning, from preschooler classes and seminar rooms of universities, to vocational training and lifelong learning.
Education profoundly impacts the lives of people and ultimately the well-being of the environment. Over the last three decades, governments and civil society stakeholders have been developing national education strategies that are climate sensitive and integrate goals on sustainable development.
Climate change educational initiatives have been exceptionally diverse. A number of governments have successfully supported teacher training initiatives and integrated climate change education in all levels of school curricula. Other initiatives have broken new ground in informal education, nurturing community-learning enterprises and hubs that build on the capacity of people to experiment and innovate.
Climate change presents a complex global problem and crosses national borders. Climate change is complex in that it is connected to many other issues from global poverty and social inequality to biodiversity loss and natural resource depletion. This complexity makes climate literacy and awareness of what it takes to shape a low-emissions and equitable future pressing.
As societies collectively shape a climate resilient and low-emission future, training for all sectors of professional life are increasingly important.
Training is a social and collaborative process, whether it comprises vocational learning or on-the-job skills enhancement. At an individual level, training means acquiring know-how and the creative ingredients needed to make climate-conscious decisions. At an organizational level, training strengthens the capacities of governmental, private sector, non-governmental and international organizations, among other stakeholders, to try strategies and encourage climate-smart institutional cultures.
Training is about learning by doing. Far from comprising a one-way flow of knowledge, effective training strategies and initiatives encourage groups to experiment with what works best for them. Whether it encourages farmers to try climate-resilient crops or equips businesses with the means to source sustainably procured raw materials, training provides knowledge that can be creatively tried, tested and used widely when proven effective.
Moreover, training initiatives have a strong multiplier effect. Strategies and projects with a strong train-the-trainer element can ensure that best practices travel fast and can be scaled up from local to national and regional levels.
Photos: UNICEF, V. Meadu (CCAFS)