Examples of interlinked action on education and climate
The good news is that there are many examples we can learn from, where countries have put in place successful strategies to protect children, teachers and communities from climate hazards.
There are also inspiring education approaches that promote practices and behaviors in harmony with local ecosystems, even in the most remote and marginalized communities. GPE is already supporting some of these.
For example, in Madagascar, we supported the Ministry of Education to identify safe locations to build schools, adopting climate-proof designs so school buildings are capable of withstanding disasters, and implementing new disaster-resistant infrastructure standards for schools in high-risk areas.
The ministry is revising the school calendar to align with the agriculture and weather seasons, which will help minimize high student and teacher absenteeism caused by problems for accessing schools during the rainy, cyclonic and drought seasons.
Similarly, in Lao PDR, GPE is supporting the country to incorporate climate-resilient design measures in early learning facilities, such as drainage improvement for flood control, rainwater harvesting and recycling in water-scarce areas, and tree plantation to protect the school areas from erosion and landslides.
Caregivers and teachers are being trained in emergency response and knowledge on conservation and efficiencies of natural resources and the local environment.
A blog series on the ways education can rise to the climate challenge
We are keen to learn from these promising practices and help countries address climate change through a systems approach. To support countries to integrate climate adaptation and action into all parts of their education system, we are developing a framework summarizing the key entry points for stronger climate resilience and greater sustainability.
These entry points include aspects related to the enabling environment, such as policies and plans, data and evidence, actors’ coordination and finance, but also inputs into the education system itself, such as infrastructure and teachers.
As countries look at the components of a climate-smart education system, it is critical to see how they are interlinked and interdependent. Countries can take a context-driven approach to prioritize their actions toward system transformation, tackling the key drivers of climate vulnerability and equipping learners with the 21st century skills needed to avert the climate emergency and restore a healthy environment.
For this blog series, GPE has partnered with Colin Bangay, who has curated a range of perspectives exploring different aspects of what it takes for education systems to rise up to the challenge of climate change and environmental degradation.
We will hear not only about the scale of the problem and its impacts on education, but also on some of the innovative approaches and good examples of planning for climate risks, carbon-smart schools, climate-informed data tools, and the opportunities for strengthening leadership and investment from multilateral actors including climate funds.
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