Addis Ababa — The Economic Commission for Africa's African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) is proud and delighted to have contributed to the milestone championing climate literacy around the globe celebrated one week ago by the One UN Climate Change Learning Partnership (UN CC:Learn) at UNITAR.
On the 18th September 2020, UN CC:Learn celebrated the successful completion of its free on-line courses by more than 100,000 learners, more than 50% of who were women. The ACPC contributed a course on climate information and services to the programme.
United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, congratulated the UN CC:Learn Partnership on this milestone, noting that climate education is crucial for raising the ambition needed to address the existential threat of climate change.
"This adds 100,000 informed voices to the cause, with increased knowledge, skills and, above all, the motivation to advance climate science, sustainable infrastructure design, responsible investment and other key dimensions of this challenge. The task is now to scale up this effort and to build a global movement that can help us fulfil the promise of the Paris Agreement" he said.
Action to combat the climate change crisis is a key pillar of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, through SDG 13 which urges the world to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
Within the African region, limited knowledge and awareness by vulnerable communities and policymakers on options that can be used to alleviate climate change impacts has been a hurdle in realizing progress.
To close the awareness gap, the ACPC, in collaboration with partners, has been at the forefront of efforts to promote learning.
"This is being realized through production, dissemination and support for the uptake of relevant knowledge, lessons and best practices in the region," says Mr. James Murombedzi, Chief of the ACPC, adding the Centre is delighted by its contribution to the UN CC:Learn Partnership milestone.
In 2016 for example, the ACPC convened a training of trainers (ToT) event on "Mainstreaming Climate Information and Services into legislation, development policies and plans", which was attended by legislators and youth groups drawn from across the continent.
In tandem with this activity, the Centre, under its then DFID-funded Weather and Climate Information Services for Africa (WISER) programme commissioned a collaboration with the UN CC:Learn Partnership to co-develop a self-paced online learning module on "Climate information and services". The module was launched in 2017 in both English and French and has seen a gradual increase in enrolments, reaching over 5,000 learners, with 2,000 coming from Africa.
Over the last three years, the ACPC engaged in a campaign to popularize the online learning module by undertaking training of policymakers and influence groups across the continent. Through this endeavor, the Centre trained members of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) in Pretoria; lawmakers from Uganda and Sierra Leone; media practitioners in Yaoundé, Cameroon; farmers' groups in Dakar; and the youth and civil society in Nairobi, Kenya.
"We, however, noticed that regionally, gender participation was extremely skewed, with only 20 percent of the learning module registrations in Africa being women," said Mr. Murombedzi.
"It is for this reason that the ACPC organized a consultative workshop on enhancing gender engagement in the uptake and use of climate information and services in Accra in 2018 and a webinar to strengthen gender engagement in CIS just recently."
The ACPC has made further strides in raising awareness and capacity development on building climate resilience and strengthening gender policies, notably through its Nordic Development Fund supported Africa Climate Resilient Investment Facility (AFRI-RES) with the African Union Commission, the World Bank and the African Development Bank, as well as its Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA)-funded programme on delivering climate-resilient development in Africa.
Mr. Murombedzi said the ACPC was delighted by the UN CC:Learn milestone, adding the ACPC is happy to have contributed to the achievement of making the UN's vast knowledge and expertise more easily available to people around the world, particularly in developing countries.
To commemorate this milestone, the initiative has launched a challenge for all UN CC:Learn alumni to generate 100,000 STORIES FOR CLIMATE ACTION. Details on how to enter are provided here.