OXFAM will support the Voice2Paris global storytelling contest launched in August by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) by providing three additional fellowships for participating journalists to cover the UN Conference on Climate Change, COP21, in Paris in December.
Oxfam’s contribution to the contest aims at encouraging journalists’ participation in climate change reporting and raising public awareness of climate actions.
“The contest is a fantastic opportunity to create awareness of the harmful impacts of climate change on communities, and of potential opportunities in climate-vulnerable developing countries. This is also a great opportunity for young journalists to strengthen their perception of climate change and to frame it not merely as an environmental issue but also as an issue of social justice and poverty alleviation” said Wang Binbin, Manager of the Climate Change and Poverty Team, Oxfam Hong Kong in a release to the media.
The storytelling contest targets writers 35 years and under from developing countries who want to contribute – locally and internationally – towards greater public awareness of climate change.
The authors of the top five prize-winning stories will be invited to attend and cover the COP21 UN climate summit in Paris. UNDP will support the top two winners and Oxfam, as a special partner in the contest, will cover travel costs and per diem for writers of the next three best stories worldwide.
“We welcome the partnership with Oxfam, as it gives UNDP concrete support to expand the voices of vulnerable countries, helps depict the reality of climate change globally, and gives a new generation of journalists a chance to get heard during COP21” said Jo Scheuer, Director, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction at UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support.
Stories can be submitted in English, and in Arabic, Chinese, French and Spanish with an English translation, on a rolling basis until October 11th, 2015.
Guidelines for participating are available on the UNDP Geneva website.
The stories, once screened and scored, will be published on UNDP’s website and disseminated through partners’ channels to ensure maximum outreach and to support the call for an ambitious agenda for climate action to be endorsed at COP21.
For more information, please contact:
Sarah Bel – UNDP Communication Specialist
+41 22 917 8544
SONG Yang – Oxfam Hong Kong Senior Communication Officer
For frequent updates follow also Twitter @UNDPGeneva and @TheCVF
Below is an opinion piece done by journalist Keisha Hill, as part of the Panos Caribbean-Commonwealth of Learning project, done in collaboration with the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication, looking at communication and learning for development in the Caribbean.
In recent months, climate change education has taken over the headlines. Education is an essential element of the global response to climate change. It helps people understand and address the impact of global warming, encourages changes in their attitudes and behaviour and helps them adapt to climate change-related trends.
It is vital that policymakers’ emphasis on education continue to be reinforced. A strong education system broadens access to opportunities, improves health, and bolsters the resilience of communities, all while fueling economic growth in a way that can reinforce and accelerate these processes.
Moreover, education provides the skills people need to thrive in the new sustainable economy, working in areas such as renewable energy, climate smart agriculture, forest rehabilitation, the design of resource-efficient cities, and sound management of healthy ecosystems.
Perhaps most importantly, education can bring about a fundamental shift in how we think, act, and discharge our responsibilities toward one another and the planet. While financial incentives, targeted policies, and technological innovation are needed to catalyze new ways of producing and consuming, they cannot reshape people’s value systems so that they willingly uphold and advance the principles of sustainable development.
Schools, however, can nurture a new generation of environmentally savvy citizens to support the transition to a prosperous and sustainable future. Governments are also increasingly integrating education strategies, tools, and targets into national development policies.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell if climate change education is making a difference. Greenhouse gas emissions keep rising despite advances in technology, and we regularly witness, and sometimes participate in, practices that are not the most environmentally friendly.
Albeit many people do make conscious decisions to mitigate climate change in a small, personal way, but if not to “fix” climate change, are we only learning about how it will affect our health in order to prepare for the changes ahead?
Malaria in new areas, more super-storms, drought and heat waves, floods, food security threats — just a sample of what is in store for us in the future. Scientists are predicting which areas and populations will be greatest affected in the near and far off future. The most well known, and one of the earliest, of these predictions is probably forecasting which cities or states are going to become underwater with sea level rise. And most people are at least somewhat aware of more frequent heat waves.
According to the UNESCO-led UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, which began in 2005, every human being over time must possess “the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values necessary to shape a sustainable future.”
Already, more than 14 million students and 1.2 million teachers in 58 countries have been engaged in such learning, and 550 business schools have signed on to the Principles for Responsible Management Education, developed by the UN Global Compact.
This progress, though important, is just the beginning. What is needed now is a global movement, with every student in every country learning about sustainable development from well-trained teachers, equipped with the appropriate curricula and resources.
Through its Climate Change Education for Sustainable Development programme, UNESCO is also aiming to make climate change education a more central and visible part of the international response to climate change.
The programme aims to help people understand the impact of global warming today and increase “climate literacy” among young people. It does this by strengthening the capacity of its Member States to provide quality climate change education; encouraging innovative teaching approaches to integrate climate change education in school and by raising awareness about climate change as well as enhancing non-formal education programmes through media, networking and partnerships.
An ambitious sustainable development agenda, together with a legally binding global climate deal, could go a long way toward catalyzing such a movement. A sustainable future cannot be undertaken in a matter of months, but, with a well-designed set of commitments and targets, we can move onto the right path.
And, with effective educational programmes that instill in future generations the importance of restoring Earth’s balance and delivering a prosperous future for the many, rather than the few, we can stay on that path.
This is the message that education ministers must emphasize at their forums, and that policymakers should heed as they negotiate critical global agreements.
The UK campaign against the removal of climate change from the Geography curriculum is itself proof of the power of education. Education has a key role in showing young people that not only do they have wider responsibilities, but also that they are entitled to involvement in decisions. Climate change and sustainability are issues that cut across generations, and the decisions that are made today will have impact not upon the generation that makes them, but generations to come.
Education can help give young people the tools to take part in these decisions, allowing them to enter into the debate.
On the bright side we are recognizing that climate change education as we know it is less than ten years old. Adults about my age and older did not grow up with climate change as part of their upbringing. In another 15 or 25 years those becoming young adults and professionals will finally be able to act upon all of their years of climate education and realize that their actions have consequences, whether they affect them directly or indirectly.
Then we will see if we are only learning about climate change to prepare, or to “fix” it, too. In fact there is a legal obligation for many countries to educate about climate change. Under Article 6 of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, signatories are obliged to: ‘promote and facilitate …the development and implementation of educational and public awareness programmes on climate change and its effects’. This article is clear and direct, and must not be ignored.
However, in many respects, this legal obligation is a lesser consideration when compared to the moral obligation each generation has to educate the next about climate change.
Keisha Hill can be contacted through Panos offices at 876-920-0070-1.
1. Panos Europe has announced it is closing, why?
Simply for financial reasons. During the second trimester of 2015 it was confirmed that the hopes born of the latest negotiations which began in 2014 would not be achieved. Institut Panos Europe (IPE) aimed to have a multi-annual and structural funding commitment at our disposal. The latter point being key. It was impossible for us finance the activities and functioning costs (to 100%) solely by implementing projects.
In May 2015 we drew the logical conclusions of the lack of structural funds and the running deficit, by proceeding with the closure of our associative work and international development, a dynamic led since 1988 in west and central Africa, Europe, Maghreb, Mashrek, and more recently in the Gulf countries. The lack of success is the result of repeated complications over several years. Institut Panos Europe, like many NGOs, has already experienced periods of serious financial difficulties and a weakening, which were overcome (2000-2006) or recurrent since 2012. As of 2013 we implemented saving and rationalisation measures, with a 35% reduction in our structural costs in 2014.
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BONN, Germany — The latest round of UN climate change negotiations ended September 4, on track to produce the first comprehensive draft of the new, universal climate change agreement that governments are committed to reach in Paris, in December.
The draft, to be drawn up by Ahmed Djoghlaf of Algeria and Daniel
Reifsnyder of the United States, will present clear options and ways forward on all elements of the agreement and the decisions that will operationalise it from 2020.
“At this session, countries have crystalised their positions and have
requested the Co-Chairs to produce a concise basis for negotiations with clear options for the next negotiating session in October. This means that we will arrive in Paris on time without too much turbulence — not before, not later,” said Mr Djoghlaf, Co-Chair of the ADP, the negotiating body tasked with reaching the agreement that must put the world on a path to stay beneath a 2 degree Celsius temperature rise.
“What Parties are looking for now is a better basis from which to
negotiate. This week, we achieved an enormous amount of clarity as to where we are going which makes this possible and allows us to speed up,” said Co-Chair Daniel Reifsnyder.
Djoghlaf said they will deliver the basis for the negotiations of the
Paris climate package the first week of October, well in advance of the next ADP meeting in Bonn, Germany from 19-23 October.
Reifsnyder said that this meant that all Parties to the UN Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will be able to negotiate the Paris package in a single drafting committee.
“In October, countries will continue their important work, basing their negotiations on a clear, consistent, comprehensive, and coherent draft of the agreement and its accompanying decisions. They will get it in shape and ready for successful completion in Paris,” he added.
The document will retain sets of options reflecting the different views and positions where governments still need to agree common landing zones.
Laurence Tubiana, Special Climate Envoy for the Government of France said:
“At this session, countries have clarified all the different pieces of the puzzle. Now, all pieces of the puzzle will be assembled and this will
enable the negotiations to pick up pace.”
Assembling the puzzle will provide countries with the overview of options that they need for the final steps towards the new agreement.
“I am very encouraged,” said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana
Figueres. “This session has yet again proven that all countries are moving in the direction of progress and all agree that Paris is the final destination for the new universal agreement.”
The October meeting is the final scheduled session of the ADP (Ad-hoc
Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action) before the
— Source: UNFCCC
About the UNFCCC
With 196 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol has been ratified by 192 of the UNFCCC
Parties. For the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, 37 States, consisting of highly industrialized countries and countries undergoing the process of transition to a market economy, have legally binding emission limitation and reduction commitments. In Doha in 2012, the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol adopted an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, which establishes the second commitment period under the Protocol. The ultimate objective of both treaties is to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Panos Caribbean, as part of its Adaptation Fund NGO Network Project, is seeking a set of writers to do work looking at climate change adaptation in Jamaica.
“We would like to see applicants with an interest in climate change and who are able, through their writing, to connect the dots for people, particularly as it concerns climate change adaptation, which is so crucial for Jamaica and the Caribbean as a whole,” said Senior Programme Officer Petre Williams-Raynor.
Writers are to submit a letter of interest and a sample of their work in order to be considered. Applications are to be sent to Ms. Adene Chung at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Panos’ Adaptation Fund NGO Network project is funded through the German non-governmental organisation Germanwatch. Panos, through the project, is required, among other things, to follow the progress of Jamaica’s Adaptation Fund project, dubbed “Enhancing the Resilience of the Agriculture Sector and Coastal Areas to Protect Livelihoods and Improve Food Security”.
The Jamaica project, managed by the designated National Implementing Entity,the Planing Institute of Jamaica, has three components. They are:
1) Increasing the climate resilience of the Negril coastline.
2) Enhancing the climate resilience of the agriculture sector by improving water and land management in select communities.
3) Improving institutional and local-level capacity for sustainable management of natural resources and in disaster risk reduction in the targeted vulnerable areas, and raising awareness for behaviour modification.
Meanwhile, Panos Caribbean is a regional communication organisation established in 1986. Panos believes that information which is independent, accurate and timely is a key resource for development. Information needs to be locally generated in order to enable countries and communities to shape and communicate their own development agendas through informed public debate.
The mission of Panos is to promote sustainable development in the Wider Caribbean Region through empowering all sectors of society to articulate their own information and perspectives on development issues and broadcast them across language and political borders.
In particular, Panos aims to amplify, through the media, the voices of poor and marginalised people who are affected by key development issues, including climate change, HIV/AIDS, etc. This encourages their full participation in shaping the development of their societies.