20.06.2014 - UNESCO Office in Kathmandu

Dialogue and Debate: Climate is changing – what is the role of education?

© We Inspire Nepal -

On Saturday the 14th of June 2014 a bunch of enthusiastic young debaters and a few senior speakers gathered together to discuss climate change education. The event Dialogue and Debate (DAD) on Climate Change Education was organized by We Inspire Nepal (WIN) with the support of the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu under the project “Climate Change Education for Sustainable Development” in Nepal. The event was opened by Ganesh Shah, former minister of Environment, Science and Technology, who said in his opening words, that when you sit down for a dialogue, you should respect the other.

A unique concept of Dialogue and Debate (DAD), developed by WIN, was used in the event: first the chosen topic, in this case climate change education, is debated from a particular perspective by two teams. After that a dialogue, aiming to mutual consensus, is practiced. This time the teams debated, whether climate change mitigation or adaptation should be emphasized in education in Nepal, and the audience witnessed an energetic exchange of arguments from the small global share of Nepal’s greenhouse gas emissions to understanding the sorry situation of polar bears.

Madhav Karki from ICIMOD reminded of the importance of setting climate change in the wider context of sustainable development and encouraged the youngsters to learn and to contribute. Tap Raj Pant, National Programme Officer from the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu, told the audience about the UNESCO Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and the need to go on working with the theme even though the Decade comes to its end in the end of this year. Dipesh Chapagain from Oxfam introduced how the discussion has evolved from mitigation to adaptation and further to the concept of Loss and Damage, which refers to adverse effects of climate change that occur despite global mitigation and local adaptation efforts.


Part of the session was Art dialogue, where all the participants – about 35 students and 10 senior experts – had the chance to express their thoughts and concerns about climate change with paints and brushes. Creativity, in all its forms, is needed to tackle the biggest problem of our time!

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