Forest Whitaker presents education at UN climate change conference
UNESCO, as part of the UN Communications Group, is organizing a discussion on climate change education during the 17th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 17), which is taking place in Durban, South Africa, from 28 November to 9 December 2011.
An introductory video message from Forest Whitaker, a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors for Peace and Reconciliation, will launch the debate on the role of youth and education in the efforts to address climate change, both in terms of raising young people’s awareness of the issue and encouraging them to take action therein. The recently published YouthXchange Climate and Lifestyles guidebook will also be launched at the event.
COP 17, which is convened annually, brings together representatives of the world's governments, international organizations and civil society to look for ways of moving forward the implementation of the Convention, which ultimately looks to “to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system”.
Education is an essential element of the global response to climate change. An informed population, knowledgeable workforce, sensitized government officials and, in particular, environmentally aware youth are essential to the fight against climate change.
UNESCO aims to make climate change education a more central and visible part of the international response to climate change. Its corresponding programme looks to help people understand the impact of global warming today and increase "climate literacy" among young people.