on Climate Change and Education for Sustainable Development
The UNESCO-Sandwatch Foundation-Rhodes University course on “Climate Change Education Inside and Outside the Classroom” was successfully delivered to a Caribbean group of teachers and educators in the Dominican Republic in May 2014 and to a Pacific group in New Caledonia in October 2014.
Helping the next generation of young people understand the impacts of climate change and climate variability is crucial for addressing those impacts at the local and global level. In 2013 UNESCO and the Sandwatch Foundation partnered with Dr. Lausanne Olvitt of Rhodes University to create a course that would empower secondary school teachers to teach the elements of climate change inside and outside their classrooms: “Climate Change Education Inside and Outside the Classroom”. The course utilises the Sandwatch MAST approach (measure, analyse, share and take action) as an example methodology for climate change education for sustainable development at the local level.
Following the delivery of the course in South Africa and Cape Verde in 2013, the course was delivered to a Caribbean audience of teachers and educators in the Dominican Republic in May 2014 and to a Pacific audience in New Caledonia in October 2014.
Thirty two (32) participants from 11 Caribbean countries met in Boca Chica (Boca Chica Beach pictured below), Dominican Republic in May 2014 to take part in the course and share their knowledge and experiences about climate change and how it impacts the environment. Boca Chica was an ideal location for the workshop as it is a very popular beach location for residents of Santo Domingo and already displays many development pressures which combined with the impact of climate change made it an excellent case study for the course.
Then in October 2014, Twenty eight (28) participants from 14 Pacific Islands and one Indian Ocean island met in Poindimiéon the northeast coast of New Caledonia. This location was somewhat different in that it represented a more pristine site, but nevertheless proved a good “outdoor classroom” for learning about climate change and the coastal environment.
While the long term impact of the two courses has still to be assessed, the immediate feedback can be summed up by one participant’s comment in the course evaluation: “Excellent teaching tool for climate change education work”