The UAE Ministry of Education (MoE) announced the Green Education Partnership Roadmap in preparation for COP28. The dignitaries present during the announcement at the headquarters of MoE in Abu Dhabi were:
Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, the Minister of Education; Dr. Amna Al-Dahak Al-Shamsi, the assistant undersecretary of the Ministry of Education for the Care and Building Capacity Sector, and various other spokespersons from different local bodies and international organisations were also present at the press conference.
Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi said that COP28 is essential as it lays down the roadmap for applying education to achieve goals of sustainable development and fighting the climate change crisis.
He pointed out that the United Arab Emirates is determined to draw an effective blueprint for other nations to implement and reap the benefits by educating their citizens about climate change. He also stressed global collaboration to merge the climate agenda and put in efforts to cooperatively tackle climate change.
Later, Dr. Al Falasi stated the fact that behavioral changes in a common person’s day-to-day life are the most significant turning point in the fight against climate change, and this could be accomplished by proper education about changing habits, actions, and approaches toward environmental changes in the future.
He added that the Ministry of Education has an important part in imparting the role of education in tackling climate change, and this could be done by building schools and curricula in compliance with environmental norms and providing training to educators to develop sustainable green communities. The opportunity of hosting COP28 in UAE has provided them with the opportunity to showcase the country’s efforts and bring the world to one stage to cooperate in including green education in the schooling curriculum all across the globe.
Blueprint for COP28
The guidelines consist of the UAE Green Education Partnership, a pivotal step undertaken to inculcate the role of education in accomplishing sustainable goals and adding the climate change agenda into the UAE’s educational curriculum.
At COP28, the Ministry of Education signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It also signed another MoU with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to provide climate education and encourage children and youth to take charge ahead.
UNESCO has agreed to help UAE to set meetings with administrative officials of member state leaders on the role of education in fighting the climate change crisis and host the first co-creation meeting of the Greening Education Partnership (GEP) Multi-Partner Trust Fund. The GEP was launched last year at the Transforming Education Summit to attract focus on climate change fighting solutions.
Salah Khaled, the director of the UNESCO Regional Office for the Gulf States and Yemen, said that UNESCO will closely cooperate with MoE in co-designing the first Education Pavilion to be ever made by COP; GEP will also work with them. UNESCO will partner with MoE to drive the concerns of students and teachers regarding the role of saving oases. Oases are natural water bodies taking care of climate change. It is common in the deserts of Gulf countries.
Jumana Haj-Ahmad, the Gulf deputy representative at UNICEF, said that they at UNICEF are elated to join the Greening Capacities Initiative led by the Ministry of Education of UAE.
She said that UNICEF would aid in providing teaching to the principals and teachers in schools all across UAE on climate change. They will also provide materials for open source learning for teachers not only in UAE but globally also.
The MoE has a goal of reconstructing more than half of the schools and campuses in UAE to be green accredited and teach more than 1,400 principles and 2,400 educators. The MoE has mapped similar environment-friendly initiatives in the blueprint that it aims to achieve by the beginning of COP28 and after its end too.
Apart from all of this, the MoE and UNESCO will partner to set up a United Nations Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) for making education avenues climate compliant. UAE will be the main country developing the Terms of Reference for the Fund with the other partners in MPTF and trying to capitalise on it.
Under the promises of MoE to work towards accomplishing the Green Education Partnership goals, the ministry has identified four pillars to strengthen, namely Greening Schools, Greening Learning, Greening Capacity, and Greening Communities.