Children are the ones who will have to live with the coming ecological disaster – and so the role of education is key. This summer has seen unprecedented heat, wildfires, and floods. Pupils see scenes of devastation on the news, but in many schools, they are not given the required information or context, which can lead to misunderstanding or anxiety.
The UAE is focusing on educating and empowering children to tackle climate change. Announced in April of this year, the UAE’s Green Education Roadmap aims to achieve several goals by the start of COP28, including transforming 50% of UAE schools and campuses to green accredited, training more than 2,800 educators and 1,400 principals on climate education, and designing the first education hub.
To bring the nation closer to these goals, The UAE Ministry of Education (MoE) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have launched a new initiative to advance climate education and action among children and youth.
Their partnership is one of the four pillars of the Green Education Partnership Roadmap, including greening learning, greening schools, and greening communities.
The Greening Capacities Initiative is part of the ministry’s efforts to achieve the objectives of the Green Education Partnership Roadmap in preparation for COP28.
The initiative will focus on three key areas:
Educator Training: Training teachers on climate change education and providing resources to integrate climate change into their lessons.
Net Zero Heroes: A program to empower students to become climate change advocates and take action in their communities.
Children’s Art Competition: An art competition to raise awareness of climate change and encourage children to express their ideas for a sustainable future.
Dr. Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary of the Care and Capacity Building Sector at the Ministry of Education, said, “This partnership will empower educators to raise climate change awareness among learners. It will also nurture environmental awareness and sustainability skills, preparing learners to lead the UAE’s future sustainability efforts.”
Al Tayyeb Adam, Representative of UNICEF in the Gulf Region, highlighted the importance of fighting climate change, “Combatting the repercussions of climate change is imperative for safeguarding children globally.”
“This underscores the vital role of education, encompassing curricula, teacher training, and school initiatives, in driving positive changes toward greater environmental sustainability.”
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