Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education, chaired the high-level Greening Education Ministerial Meeting. The meeting took place at Erth Theatre at the Greening Education Hub – Legacy from the Land of Zayed, at Expo City Dubai. Education ministers, senior education officials and climate education specialists from 13 countries, as well as representatives of international and non-governmental organisations concerned with climate issues were present at the meeting.
In his opening speech, Dr. Al Falasi, underscored the importance of sharing expertise, experience, and best practices to seamlessly integrate sustainability into educational systems. He highlighted education as a pivotal catalyst for advancement and a crucial tool for empowering individuals to actively reduce their carbon footprint.
Dr. Al Falasi emphasised the role of education in equipping the next generation with the knowledge and skills they need to develop sustainable solutions for the challenges posed by climate change.
He praised g
lobal efforts in this arena, which have resulted in various initiatives, programmes, strategies and international cooperation agreements. These include education goals for sustainable development, education-related materials within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Paris Agreement, the Berlin Declaration on Education for Sustainable Development and the Green Education Partnership.
Dr. Al Falasi stressed that in the UAE, sustainability is considered one of the core Emirati values, noting that the leadership declared 2023 as the Year of Sustainability. He underscored the country’s efforts to ensure that COP28 achieves tangible results that are reflected in international efforts to confront the climate crisis. ‘That’s why we have built the Greening Education Hub, themed ‘Legacy from the Land of Zayed’, the first-of-its-kind in the history of COP, which embodies the country’s efforts in this field and its commitment to leaving a sustainable legacy that benefits the world,’ h
Dr. Al Falasi presented an overview of the UAE’s efforts to incorporate green education seamlessly into the educational system. This is by launching initiatives and programmes aimed at raising students’ environmental awareness, enhancing their interaction with sustainability issues, and contributing to creating behavioural changes at individual and societal levels. His Excellency stressed the importance of providing teachers and educators with the training they need, as well as equipping young people with green skills that will enable them to build a sustainable knowledge-based economy.
The UAE, represented by the Ministry of Education, in cooperation with UNESCO, presented a statement titled ‘Enhancing the Role of Educational Institutions in Climate Action’. The statement highlighted global efforts, including those of the UAE, aimed at achieving the goals of climate education, including the pillars of the Green Education Partnership. The statement also explained the importance of harnessing modern
technology to share experiences, expertise and resources in an effective way that helps all countries around the world. Through the statement, the Ministry of Education launched two initiatives in cooperation with UNESCO. The first focused on tailoring climate education resources to be universally accessible. This includes establishing an ‘open-source online platform’ dedicated to leveraging learning, knowledge and information on greening education and building capacities in greening education including curriculum, and training material for teachers. All partnering countries and organisations are invited to utilise the platform by using its resources and contributing to it.
The second initiative aimed to leverage education for mitigation. The UAE Ministry of Education invited all participating countries in the meeting to partner collectively with UNESCO to create a ‘Sustainability Tracking Tool for Educational Institutions’. The UAE expressed its keenness to partner with a number of states between COP28 to C
OP29 to build this tool. Between COP29 and COP30, countries will be invited to pilot the tool as they wish and see fit within their national contexts. Further, in COP30 outcomes of the piloting stage can be shared.
The Ministry of Education and UNESCO called on the countries participating in the meeting to participate in these two initiatives in order to enhance the role of education in confronting climate change and mitigating its repercussions.
Source: Emirates News Agency