Collaborating for the Development of an Environmentally Conscious and Resilient Education System in Nepal

UNESCO and UNICEF, with backing from Norway, have united for a three-year initiative to fortify Nepal’s educational system in responding to climate change impacts.
Norwegian Ambassador to Nepal, HE Torun Dramdal, and Michael Croft, UNESCO Representative to Nepal, ceremoniously sealed the agreement in Kathmandu on November 24, 2023.

The collaboration marks a significant stride in addressing the local repercussions of climate change. The primary objective is to equip schools with resilience against climate challenges and to provide essential knowledge, tools, and skills to the country’s children and youth at the school level, paving the way toward a sustainable future.

HE Torun Dramdal emphasized, “This project underscores the intersection between Nepal’s climate and learning crises. It presents an opportunity to support the sector in terms of both mitigating and adapting to these challenges.”

Supported by the Norwegian Embassy, the initiative aims to bolster schools’ resilience and empower students, educators, schools, and various levels of government with a comprehensive understanding of environmental challenges linked to the climate crisis. The ultimate goal is to integrate targeted climate actions into the education system to mitigate and alleviate the effects of climate change.

The joint effort, funded by the Norwegian Embassy, seeks to establish model schools and enhance resilience, equipping individuals and institutions with skills for climate crisis management. Moreover, it aims to assess its efficacy and potential for scalability across three provinces where it will be implemented.

Michael Croft, UNESCO Representative to Nepal, stressed the broader significance of the initiative, aligning with the recent call from the UN Secretary-General for increased climate action, emphasizing its role in fostering a unified approach under national leadership.

The primary objective of this collaborative endeavor is to support Nepal in building a climate-smart, eco-friendly, and resilient education system through policy formulation, guidelines, and the establishment of model schools. The project’s implementation across three provinces will undergo rigorous evaluation to determine its effectiveness and potential for wider application.

UNICEF Representative to Nepal, Alice Akunga, highlighted, “This partnership underscores the vital role of education in addressing the climate crisis. It’s an investment in the future of Nepal’s children and youth, equipping them with skills to thrive in an evolving world.”

This joint project reflects the sustained commitment of the United Nations and Norway in tackling the climate crisis. It aims to harness education as a powerful tool in addressing climate change challenges and mitigating associated risks to education and children’s learning. The project’s launch arrives at a crucial juncture when global and local governments recognize the intricate links between climate change, poverty reduction, health, food security, and economic development.

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