sport educationNovember 3, 2009
The importance of outreach
National strategies for addressing climate change can only succeed with the full engagement of the general public and important interest groups, or “stakeholders,” such as businesses and local policymakers. Since governments are directly responsible for only a small proportion of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), they must persuade businesses, communities and individuals to adjust their activities in a way that reduces their direct emissions. Otherwise, it will not be possible to realize the Convention’s objective and the Protocol’s targets.
Governments have several tools at their disposal for gaining public support. Policies can be used to raise the cost of activities that emit GHGs and reduce the costs of similar activities that do not. Regulations and standards can mandate changes in products and practices. Taxes and subsidies can be adjusted to influence behaviour. Such policies and measures, however, can engender opposition, particularly from those concerned about the imposition of a new cost. Public information and education is therefore vital for generating public support for such policies. It can also encourage voluntary changes in habits that will lead to lower emissions.
Many governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations (IGOs and NGOs) are already working actively to raise awareness. The scale of changes required, however, and the vast number of people and interests that must be influenced, call for outreach activities of a greater magnitude.
How the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol respond
The UN Convention on Climate Change recognizes this reality: under Article 6 on Education, Training and Public Awareness, it calls on governments to promote the development and implementation of educational and public awareness programmes, promote public access to information and public participation, and promote training of scientific, technical and managerial personnel.
The Kyoto Protocol builds on this and calls on Parties to cooperate in and promote, at the national and international levels, the development and implementation of educational and training programmes, including the strengthening of national capacity building; and to facilitate, at the national level, public awareness and public access to information ((PDF) Article 10 (e)).
Paving the way for action
At COP 8 (New Delhi, October/November 2002), Parties adopted the “New Delhi work programme on Article 6 of the Convention ((PDF) decision 11/CP.8), a five-year country-driven work programme engaging all stakeholders, and recommending a list of activities that could be undertaken at the national level to facilitate the implementation of Article 6 activities.
To further develop and implement the New Delhi work programme, Parties requested the secretariat to:
* facilitate regional workshops that could advance the work on assessing needs, identifying priorities, sharing experience and exchanging information on related activities; and
* work on an information clearing house that would include information on existing resources.
To date, four regional workshops have been organised in Europe, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia and the Pacific, and an additional workshop dedicated to the Small island developing States (SIDS) more>>
The prototype information network clearing house (CC:iNet) was launched at COP 11, November 2005, in Montreal.
The SBI, at its twenty-seventh session (Bali, December 2007), recognized that The five-year New Delhi work programme has proved to be a good framework for action, and the COP, at its thirteenth session (Bali, December 2007) adopted the amended New Delhi work programme for a further five years. A review of the work programme will be undertaken in 2012, with an intermediate review of progress in 2010, to evaluate its effectiveness and identify emerging gaps.
The SBI also assessed the usefulness and relevance of the prototype clearing house (CC:iNet) and recognized it as an important tool for promoting the implementation of Article 6. The secretariat was invited to further enhance CC:iNet in line with the evaluation report (FCCC/SBI/2007/26).
Based on the success of previous regional workshops, which have helped to advance the New Delhi work programme, the secretariat was also mandated to organize thematic regional and subregional workshops to share lessons learned and best practices, prior to the intermediate review of the work programme in 2010.
The first of the series, the European Regional workshop, was held in Stockholm, Sweden, from 18 to 20 May. Over 40 participants representing 23 countries and several intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations shared experiences and good practices in developing and implementing national education and outreach strategies and activities, and discussed the importance of such activities in supporting a new climate change agreement. After 2 and a half days of plenary sessions, working groups and social events, participants came up with recommending a list of issues that could be considered in supporting further the implementation of Article 6 and the New Delhi work programme in the European region. more>>
The regional workshop for Asia and the Pacific took place from 14 to 16 Ocotber 2009 in Bali, Indonesia. There were over 50 participants representing 31 Asia Pacific countries, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) such as UNESCO and UNITAR and national and regional experts from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) including the Youth Constituency to the UNFCCC process.
The first day and half of the Workshop was dedicated to sharing information and experiences, while the end of day 2 and throughout day 3 participants engaged in interactive learning sessions to define good practices to implement Article 6 of the UNFCCC in the Asia Pacific region. The participants were able to determine good practices to raise awarenes and promote training opportunities about climate change such as integrating climate change to the national educational curriculum, including education and training in the national development plans, recognizing experiential learning as a concrete tool to engage diverse communities, targeting children and youth as key audiences, and identifying champions in society to help disseminate the message such as other ministries, parliamentarians, business, press and media, NGOs and community groups. It was noted that these good practices must be holistic, measurable and country-driven. It was emphasized that regional and international efforts to galvanize efforts to implement Article 6 need to focus on specfic goals and have concrete added value to involved Parties. more>>
last modified: 26 October 2009