A Peace Boat delegation was in Bonn, Germany this week for the UN Climate Change Conference (SB50). The Bonn Conference is hosting a wide range of events, meetings, and negotiating sessions to set the stage for raising ambition to curb greenhouse gas emissions, accelerate resilience-building efforts, and ensure that climate policy is built on a solid foundation of the best available science and knowledge.
Peace Boat participated in the 7th Dialogue on Action for Climate Empowerment, organised by the UNFCCC. Action for Climate Empowerment, also known as ACE, refers to Article 6 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Article 12 of the Paris Agreement. It is concerned with six elements; the implementation of education, training, public awareness, public participation, public access to information, and international and regional cooperation. The dialogue was organised to provide a forum for Parties (governments) and other stakeholders to advance the discussions on the final review of the Doha work programme which was adopted in 2012 and will be concluded in 2020, with the aim of advancing the future of ACE beyond 2020.
The scene was set with an overview of ACE and the implementation of the Doha work programme on Article 6 of the Convention from Ms. Adriana Valenzuela, Education and Youth Focal Point, UN Climate Change, an overview of the international framework on Education for Sustainable Development from Mr. Abdoul Wahab Coulibaly from the Section of Education for Sustainable Development at UNESCO, as well as examples of good practices and lessons learned on integrating ACE into climate change policies
Participants in the dialogue were representatives from national governments, regional governments educational institutions and academia and civil society organisations. Working groups divided and focused on five of the six key areas of work of ACE; climate change education, training, public awareness, public participation and public access to information. Discussions concentrated on three questions of ‘What has been implemented?’; ‘What worked well and what did not?’; ‘What are the main gaps and possible actions to address them?’.
Key conclusions from the working groups and the later dialogue included important points particularly relevant for Peace Boat's education programmes and implementation of ACE. These included the importance of informal as well as formal education, life-long learning for older generations in addition to education for children and youth. A repeated theme was a need to include the socio-emotional dimension of learning, not only cognitive teaching, and a need for an emphasis on education through experience and action. Reference was made to SDG 4, in particular, Target 4.7 which aims to "ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development". The relationship between the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and ACE was noted by many of the speakers and participants.
Peace Boat is implementing the ACE agenda through its programmes onboard and in ports including study and education programmes related to climate change, guest educators onboard and specific programmes including the Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassador Programme and Youth for the SDGs.