Climate Box: UNDP Rolls Out Climate Curriculum for Children

Climate Curriculum for Children
Climate Curriculum for Children

UNDP has launched a climate curriculum that teaches children how to fight climate change in their everyday lives.

“Climate action needs to start in the classroom. If we empower today’s children to understand the devastating impact of climate change and take action, we’re winning the battles of the future,” said Armen Grigoryan, Regional team leader for climate change, disaster and energy.

The Climate Box will be taught and distributed as part of the national curriculum in Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. It is also available online and downloadable as an application.

What Is Climate Change?

Climate Change refers to the change in the distribution of weather patterns over a period of time – usually measured over decades to thousands of years. Climate Change is caused by natural factors as well as human activities.

Natural factors such as variations in solar radiation received by Earth, plate tectonics, and volcanic eruptions contribute to the change in global weather conditions. The human activities that cause Climate Change are referred to as ‘global warming’. In the modern environment science, the term ‘global warming’ is interchangeably used with Climate Change.

The main cause of global warming or the human-led Climate Change is environmental pollution which contaminates the atmosphere with pollutants such as chemicals and energies. Pollution, therefore, has become a major factor that is causing ‘global warming’ or Climate Change.

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As compared to the perils of environmental pollution that affect human health, the Climate Change brings mass destruction with floods, droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis.

Climate Change, which is an emerging subject in the global debate on environment, has assumed greater significance after 2016 Paris Agreement on Climate Change or Paris Climate Agreement.

It is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that aims to deal with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation and overall environment protection, starting in the year 2020. As of August 2017, 195 UNFCCC members have signed the Agreement and out of them 160 have ratified it.

By Rakesh Raman

The Climate Box was initiated through a partnership between UNDP and the Coca-Cola Foundation and was supported with funds from the Global Environment Facility and the Government of Russia.

The textbook is an illustrated encyclopedia of climate issues targeting children aged 7 to 14 who not only get to learn about the science behind climate change but are given practical tips on how to dramatically reduce their carbon footprint.

It was authored by climatology, geography, biology and economics experts, working closely with teachers and professional writers of books for children.

For teachers, the box offers scientifically sound and updated information on climate change and provides guidelines on how to present to children.

The Climate Box will ultimately expand to countries heavily affected by climate-related impacts in and outside the region.

From flooding in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia to more widespread and prolonged droughts in the countries of Central Asia, extreme climate events are threatening decades of hard-won development achievements across the Europe and Central Asia region.

The region is also characterized by high levels of energy intensity and inefficiency, ageing infrastructure and the slow adoption of renewable energy sources.

Photo courtesy: UNDP

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Rakesh Raman