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11 December 2023

COP28: Green education prepares future generations to lead climate action pathway

By E247

Education is a key pillar in the global efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) and address the impacts of climate change. The UAE has committed to launch a number of educational initiatives that support these goals, including the "Green Education" initiative, which is a platform to prepare future generations to lead the climate action path and enrich their knowledge in this field.

In April this year, the Ministry of Education announced the launch of the Green Education Partnership roadmap as part of the country's preparations to host the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), which will witness the first education pavilion in the history of the conference.

The roadmap is based on four key pillars: green education, green schools, green communities, and green capacity building. It has led to the launch of the Green Education Partnership in the UAE, a major initiative that aims to enhance the role of education in achieving the SDGs and integrating the climate agenda into the country's educational system.

This initiative aims to enhance the role of education in achieving the SDGs and integrating the climate agenda into the educational system.

In conjunction with the launch of this initiative, the Ministry of Education has committed to sign several partnerships that aim to achieve the targets of the Green Education Roadmap.

The Ministry of Education has signed a strategic partnership with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to launch the 'Greening Capacities Initiative'. The initiative aims to advance climate education and action among children and youth to help them adapt and prepare for the repercussions of climate change.

The partnership revolves around "Greening Capacities", one of the four pillars of the roadmap. Through this partnership, both parties will launch and execute three joint programmes, namely Educators Training, Net Zero Heroes, and the Children's Art Competition. These programmes aim to create a meaningful impact, empowering students and educators to navigate climate changes and work towards a better environmental future.

Through the programmes, the Ministry of Education aims to provide each learner with the knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes necessary to address climate change and promote sustainable development. This will be achieved through professional development for every teacher, educator, and school principal in the UAE in partnership with UNICEF.

The two sides are also working to provide children with the opportunity to express their views during the period leading up to COP28 through the Educators Training – "Climate Education Pioneers", Net Zero Heroes initiative, and Children's Art Competition.

The Ministry also launched the "Educator's Voice" initiative, in cooperation with the Office for Climate Education (OCE) and "Alef Education," to highlight the efforts of educational staff in raising awareness, addressing climate change, and preparing for its potential impacts during COP28.

The cooperation with OCE came to enhance educator participation to showcase their climate projects from around the world, organise side events related to climate action in the Education Pavilion, and consolidate a distinguished legacy for the post-COP28 phase by translating all the resources of OCE into Arabic for widespread use and dissemination in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The initiative includes organising the third edition of the TeachersCOP competition, which was created by OCE, and is considered an international event that aims to inform international officials and decision-makers about the work of teachers and the role they play in facing challenges and strengthening the global response to climate change.

In the same framework, the Ministry signed a strategic partnership with Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation to enhance climate action and environmental sustainability, in confirmation of the shared commitment to achieve progress in the field of sustainability and develop a growing sense of green responsibility among different segments of society.

Under the partnership, the Ministry and the Foundation are working to accelerate sustainability and climate action by providing long-term learning opportunities for climate awareness throughout the UAE.

The Ministry of Education and Alef Education signed a Memorandum of Understanding, strengthening their collaboration on environmental sustainability and climate education. The MoU is aligned with their shared commitment to integrating sustainability into the educational process at all levels.

The MoU contributes to the acceleration of green education by implementing a series of initiatives aimed at developing the knowledge and skills of students and academics and empowering them to lead climate action paths. Under this cooperation, Alef Education shares its expertise and capabilities and provides access to educational resources.