Tag Archive for: climate change

Democracy in a Hotter Time: navigating the challenges of climate change

In a world where climate change is no longer a distant threat but a harsh reality, the pages of the book “Democracy in a Hotter Time” edited by David W. Orr beckon us to contemplate the nexus between democracy and the climate crisis. Let us embark on a journey to understand the vital role democracy plays in shaping our response to the greatest challenge of our era.

The crisis at hand

The year 2023 has already witnessed extreme heatwaves and devastating wildfires. These climate-related catastrophes are not isolated incidents but symptoms of a broader crisis—a political crisis that has gripped democracies worldwide for the past half-century. As David W. Orr reminds us, this crisis has contributed to the Earth being hotter now than it has been in millennia, threatening the very fabric of our existence. It is a crisis that demands our attention and action.

Democracy versus autocracy

In a world struggling to confront climate change, we find ourselves at a crossroads. On one side, there are growing anti-democracy movements that advocate for authoritarian rule, believing it to be more efficient in addressing complex issues. However, history reveals a different truth. Autocratic leaders often rely on corruption, fear, and division to maintain power, failing to tackle long-term problems like climate change effectively. In contrast, democracy rests on the foundation that people have an inherent right to participate in decisions that impact their lives. The climate crisis adds a new dimension to this, emphasizing that everyone must be engaged, informed, and involved because climate change affects us all. The creativity, energy, and knowledge of the broader public are indispensable in the battle against a destabilizing climate, as history has shown during times of crisis, such as World War II.

Evolution of democracy

David W. Orr takes us on a historical journey through the evolution of democracy, from its inception around tribal campfires (democracy 1.0) to the public dialogue and reasoned arguments of Ancient Greece (democracy 2.0), and the ideals of the American Revolution (democracy 3.0). Yet, today, we face the challenge of envisioning democracy 4.0, a democracy that must adapt governance, law, politics, and economies to the complex reality of our Earth as a biophysical system.

The vision of democracy 4.0

Democracy 4.0 demands more than just minor improvements to our present systems. It requires us to reorient our values, prioritize the rights of people over money, uphold the rights of future generations and the natural world, and ensure an equitable distribution of costs, risks, and benefits within and between generations. At its core, democracy 4.0 is founded on a moral imperative—a belief in our collective responsibility to protect the planet and each other. It calls for a shift from individualistic pronouns like “I” and “me” to inclusive pronouns like “we” and “us.” This transformation will manifest differently across cultures, but its essence remains the same: the rejection of domination, oligarchy, technical shortcuts, and above all, violence.

While democracy 4.0 may seem like a distant goal, history has taught us that ideas can spread rapidly in our interconnected world. We must work diligently to educate and mobilize citizens who are both ecologically competent and civically aware. Environmental literacy, civic principles, and the understanding of Earth systems science should be integral to every student’s education. As we move forward, let us remember that the “Great Work” of our rising generation is to build an inclusive movement—one that values clean water, clean air, a stable climate, a fair economy, and the collective voice of people. This movement acknowledges that our future is inherently political, focusing on the fundamental question of “who gets what, when, and how.” In closing, “Democracy in a Hotter Time” serves as a profound call to action. It challenges us to reimagine and reinvent democracy for the age of climate crisis. While the path to democracy 4.0 is fraught with challenges, it is not an impossible endeavor. As we face a world where time is of the essence, let us draw inspiration from the pages of this book and work tirelessly toward a future where democracy and sustainability are not mere aspirations but the bedrock of our existence.

The QAOEECL – Inauguaral Big Idea Oration

Join the Livestream on Septemebr 7, 2023!

Queensland Association of Outdoor & Environmental Education Centre Leaders (QAOEECL) with the support of the AAEEQ Chapter present The Inaugural Big Idea Oration, held in Stamford Plaza Brisbane and online on September 7, 2023 at 4:30 pm. A timely and amazing event, with talks from two renowned educators presenting their ideas about Outdoor & Environmental Education in the Contemporary World. 
In the first part of the event, Dr Ron Tooth, Honorary Associate Professor UQ and Founding Principal of Pullenvale Environmental Education Centre, will give a talk on “Enchantment: Designing Pedagogies for a Fractured World“, discussing contemporary scholarship on enchantment/disenchantment and First Nations philosophies to explore alternative ideas and to challenge “our habit of dividing the world into passive matter (it) and vibrant life (us)“.

In the second part, Professor Emerita Annette Gough OAM will speak about “Outdoor & Environmental Education in the Contemporary World”  and how should outdoor and environmental education evolve to address the growing impact of the climate emergency and meet the needs of society in a post-COVID-19 world, while also learning from its tradition about what to keep and what to change.

The event will be live streamed, therefore capable of reaching audiences Australian wide and even globally. For more information on ticketing, click here

Climate Action, a new category launched by the Zayed Sustainability Prize

The Zayed Sustainability Prize has launched the new Climate Action category to address the need for bold & urgent climate action.
Nominate an organisation working to build climate resilience or develop environmental solutions today and help us build a cleaner planet.

Submissions are open until 23 May 2023 5:00PM EST.

The category recognises small and medium sized enterprises and nonprofit organisations that have demonstrated impact in the following areas:

  • Climate adaptation and resilience
  • Environmental solutions

Individuals can nominate their organisation or another eligible entity for this category.

Organisations must also demonstrate a clear vision and long-term plan to further deploy their solution and scale up their impact, as well as inspiring others to follow suit by advancing sustainable and human development.

The Zayed Sustainability Prize recognises nonprofit organisations (NPOs), small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and high schools for their impactful, innovative and inspiring sustainable solutions across the categories of Health, Food, Energy, Water, Climate Action and Global High Schools. Over the past 15 years, the Zayed Sustainability Prize has awarded 106 winners who have positively impacted the lives of over 378 million people around the world.

COP27, the annual hope to fight climate change

The 27th Conference of Parties will be hosted from the 6th to the 18th of November in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt. WEEC Network will follow the event, the opening plenary session will be held on the 6th of November, from 10 am to 1 pm.

According to the scientific community, the window for action on the climate crisis is rapidly closing, and COP27 represents (or should represent) a decisive moment to act based on the successes achieved (and failures) and future goals.

COP, the Conference of Parties, is the annual meeting of the countries that have ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), an international environmental agreement signed during the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, 1992). Its main objective (so far missed) is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, which are responsible for global warming.

COP27 is also an opportunity for all stakeholders to take a stand to address the global challenge of climate change effectively.

A part of the event will be dedicated to environmental education, as in the last editions.

Egypt – according to official statements- takes charge of the COP27 presidency recognizing the gravity of the global climate challenge and the value of collective action as the only means to address this threat, committing itself to support an inclusive, transparent and party-driven process to ensure timely and appropriate action. For further updates, we suggest following our work through our journals and socials.

The World EE Day 2022 at the University of Quebec

For the World EE Day 2022 the Centre for Research in Environmental Education and Training (Centr’ERE) of the University of Quebec in Montreal, organised a lecture programme, discussing topics of high relevance.

These days mark three symbolic dates whose meanings significantly influence the relationship with education, indigenous peoples and the environment.

On 5 October, for International Teachers’ Day, the Education – Environment – Eco-citizenship Coalition invited its members and the general public to participate in a meeting to update the proposed Quebec Strategy for Environmental Education and Eco-citizenship. The meeting was an invitation to explore the trajectory of this public policy proposal, from its origins, through a series of steps taken by the Coalition to date. We have also presented recent updates to the proposal, opening up a new collective assessment

The 12th of October, known as the Day of the Discovery of the Americas, is symbolically identified as Indigenous Resistance Day, commemorating the 530-year struggles of the First Peoples against colonisers. This event joined the movement for an engaged eco-citizenship, aimed at confronting the current wave of colonisation of territories by the extractive industry. 

The seminar took place within the framework of Environmental Education Days 2022 and, more specifically, within the activities of the project Resistaction – Critical and political dimensions of environmental education in the context of socio-ecological conflict and their contribution to the emergence of alternatives, which examines these realities in Quebec and Chile. 

Meanwhile, on 13th October, as part of the Environmental Education Days celebrations, Centr’ERE invited participants to a conversation about the place and role of critical pedagogies in this fundamental dimension of education.

 In particular, critical pedagogies, associated with the thought of Paulo Freire, have been criticised for not making ecological issues explicit, whereas their potential and proven transformative and emancipatory power leads us to reflect on updating their role in environmental education and eco-citizenship. On the occasion of the Environmental Education Days, Centr’ERE invited participants to a conversation about the place and role of critical pedagogies in this fundamental dimension of education.

A Conference debates on political education in environmental and development issues, concluded the celebrations on 14 October.

This conference proposed to open the debate from a reading of the history of environmental and development education. It discussed the successive currents of environmental education, sustainable development and the Anthropocene era, with a view to highlighting the presence or absence of political education. The paper also pointed to a recent paradigm shift, following two decades of strongly behavioural education for sustainable development, towards education for the Anthropocene that offers more potential for political socialisation. This paper accompanied the publication of number 63 of the journal Éducation et socialisation on the subject, edited by Angela Barthes, Lucie Sauvé and Frédéric Torterat.

45 years after the Conference in Tbilisi: World EE Day 2022 celebrations 

The fifth edition of the World Environmental Education Day took place from 14 october to 26 October 2022. 

The Weec Network invited all the stakeholders of environmental education to join the World Environmental Education Day organising special events to highlight the importance of environmental educational actions all over the world. 

Here we present a selection of interesting celebration taken place around the world: 

In Cameroon, People Earthwise (PEW), organise a mobilisation of schools and teachers, youths and natural resource-user groups, through various out-reach media, to engage in environmental protection actions. In particular, this year’ events included press interviews; information letters on WEE Day; EE and Environmental Protection calls through social media avenues.

Meanwhile, in Macau, the University of St. Joseph organised a two days session workshop “Measuring microplastics in the coastal environment: a citizen science workshop” on microplastic pollution

The workshop will train citizen scientists the steps that they can take to help understand and address microplastic pollution in our coastal environment. Participants will learn some background information about microplastics, proper sampling techniques, sample extraction and analysis through hands-on training sessions.

In South Africa, the University of the Witwatersrand and the Water Community Action Network  (WaterCAN), this year for World Environment Day, they have been teaching students how to test water quality testing, then conducting water tests in the Greater Johannesburg area as well as across the country involving other volunteer citizen scientists. The students are all in their final year of a Bachelor of Education degree and will confidently go into schools equipped with knowledge and skills to foreground the importance of water quality in environmental education. 

The Water Citizens Action Network (WaterCAN) established a ‘citizen science’ methodology that allows for an increase in citizen understanding of, and participation in, addressing South Africa’s water quality issues. The program is aimed at democratising water by involving citizens in basic monitoring of the quality of their water resources and to raise the alarm around poor quality and inadequate quantities of water. It involves a process to empower people to be able to test water resources, monitor and hold government accountable for the state of the quality and quantity of the water resources that they are receiving. 

Although this is an ongoing project to monitor water resources, it being submitted as a World Environmental Education Day 2022 campaign project to support the initiative.

As well, in Latvia, as the EE Day 2022 initiative has been organised an international conference on biodiversity from 20 to 22 October 2022 at Daugavpils University.

In Moscow, Russia, this autumn will celebrate the 35th anniversary of the free environmental education program Open Ecological University, founded in 1987 at M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University. The project of this year has been devoted to the discussion of “Planet Earth and the need to Ecocatarise” and, besides the introductory lecture of Professor Valery S. Petrosy, there were 8 lectures of eight professors with the discussions of particular aspects of the concept. 

 In Italy, on the EE Day, Istituto per l’Ambiente e l’Educazione Scholé Futuro – Weec network organized the Earth Festival second edition.

Three days, from 14 to 16 October, in Lombardy on the Lake Maggiore river, full of events, conferences and activities thought to people awareness raising  to climate change and environmental education. The topic of the second edition of the Festival was sustainable tourism and Biodiversity. The festival is Earth Prize’s heritage, that ‘s took place for three years.  

In Canada, from 17 to 23 October, the Municipality of Dysart et al organised the Waste Reduction Week. The municipality will be educating residents about the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling with daily social media hints and tips.

Thanks to Professor André Francisco Pilon of the University of São Paulo and his studies on environment and sustainability, Brazil has formally joined the World Environmental Education Day 2022.

A week camping to fight the climate crisis

By Michela Colpo and Francesca Santangelo

From the 25th to the 29th of July Turin (Italy) hosted the Climate Social Camp, an international event that sees the participation of movements, collectives and activists from all over the world. The goal is to create a moment in which people can confront themself and discover different realities, with the aim of discussing the issues of global warming and climate change.

Among the participants, the international movements Fridays For Future and Extinction Rebellion, both focused on the fight for climate justice. In addition, numerous people representing MAPA, Most Affected Peoples and Areas, showed up to share their stories and raise awareness about how the fight for the environment affects everyone and not only a small part of the population. Michelin Sallata, from Indonesia, and Nansedalia Ramirez, from Mexico, were two of the many guests who made touching and important speeches.

The organization of the camp

The camp was in a park of Turin, where different areas were settled up, such as the camping area, three marquees for conferences, evening events and meals, and open spaces for workshops and relaxation areas.

During the week, mornings and afternoons were moments for debates and group activities, analyzing the theme of the climate crisis from many different perspectives, also thanks to the multiple guests who proposed and addressed different topics, such as antispecism, ecotransfeminism, work, migration. This helped to analyze the theme of climate justice and climate crisis through a 360-degree analysis, raising awareness and educating about environmental problems from multiple angles, and spreading information about realities connected to a more ethical and sustainable development.

The camp was an event accessible to all: meals were vegan and gluten free, designed to be as inclusive and sustainable as possible, and a psychological support desk was also set up.

Fridays For Future at the Campus and the Friday strike

Throughout the week, a series of afternoon conferences organized by Fridays For Future took place at the Luigi Einaudi Campus of the University of Turin. This ended with the meeting “The great blindness: how to tell about climate change in the media”, a round table that saw some of the directors of the most famous Italian newspapers, such as La Stampa, La Repubblica and Il Corriere della Sera, discussing with activists about how in these days the media deal environmental issues and topics such as greenwashing.

The Climate Social Camp ended with the Friday strike, the symbol of the environmental movement Fridays For Future. The march started from the park and ended in Piazza Castello, where a last meeting was held to involve tourists and citizens to listen to the speeches of the participants of the camp.

Our magazine “.eco” followed the whole event: we want to mention the honorable behavior of the participants, who preserved the original state of the park without polluting it, and also to the environment of mutual respect and cultural exchange that was maintained during the whole event. This positive and predominantly young atmosphere, of lightness but also social commitment, could remember the festivals of the 60s and 70s, such as the famous Woodstock. But in this case, the music, the chats, and the new friendships are only the outline of the greater final goal: the fight for respect and rights of all living beings and of our planet.

Better Ocean Data for a Better Environment with SOFAR Ocean

The Ocean is key to our life. It regulates the climate system, it produces more than 70% of the oxygen we breathe thanks to sea plants and provides us food. For these reasons, it’s very important to get to know it better in order to protect it and to manage it in a more sustainable way.

A company from San Francisco, SOFAR Ocean has a clear mission: “We connect the world’s oceans to provide insights to science, society, and industry for a more sustainable planet”.

The main goal of the company is to create data-abundant ocean to raise awareness of the risks connected to climate change, to generate a better understanding of the ocean environment and contribute to a more sustainable planet. They developed a real-time ocean weather sensor network, inspired to the way marine mammals communicate, which is able to provide data, information and forecasts about marine weather .

According to A. Reynard, writer of the article “Mitigating Climate Change: It Starts With Better Ocean Data”,  better ocean data are fundamental. The ocean has a key role in mitigating the effects of human emissions, but now this is resulting in rising sea levels, acidification and extreme weather events.

To mitigate these effects and reduce our carbon footprint we need more affordable and open data and a unified approach.

Read here the full article.

Call for applications: 3rd Mediterranean Climate Change Adaptation Awards

The French Agency for Ecological Transition (ADEME), in partnership with the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and Plan Bleu, launches the 3rd edition of the Mediterranean Climate Change Adaptation Awards.

The Mediterranean basin is the second-most impacted area by climate change after the Arctic as shown in the recent MedECC (Mediterranean Experts on Climate and Environmental Change) report.

Adapting to climate change is a priority for this particularly vulnerable area.

Cities and rural communities across the Mediterranean must therefore work to create stable social, economic and environmental conditions so that the region is better able to deal with the impact of extreme weather and events linked to climate change.

The 3rd edition of the Mediterranean Climate Change Adaptation Awards is an opportunity to raise awareness of the urgent need to take action and the importance of working together to create inspiring and innovative solutions that can be used throughout the region.

A competition to encourage territories to adapt to climate change

The Mediterranean Climate Change Adaptation Awards identify and mobilise the key players involved in implementing projects to adapt to climate change from coastal, urban and rural territories across the Mediterranean. The aim is to reward exemplary and replicable practices in order to encourage other parts of the region to take action to adapt to the challenges presented by climate change.

Previous editions of the Awards have celebrated more than 50 projects from across 15 Mediterranean countries, such as the coastal management plan designed by the County of Šibenik-Knin in Croatia, the work of the Union of Municipalities of the District of Bint Jbeil in Lebanon and many more.

Here are key competition dates:

  • 20th January 2021 Competition start date
  • 15th April 2021 Competition end date
  • June 2021 Award Ceremony

The Award Ceremony will take place during the European Climate Change Adaptation Conference (ECCA) in Brussels.

For further information: www.medadapt-awards.com

African youth against climate change, a new hub is born

A major new initiative to fight climate change was launched by Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa, President of the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection, at the 2019 Climate Action Summit of the United Nations. The initiative, focused on promoting the ideas and solutions of young Africans, was launched on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. Her Royal Highness, as a globally committed actor, has, for several decades, systematically placed young people and citizens at the center of the Foundation’s activities.

This initiative was born out of a partnership between the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection, YOUNGO (group of children and young people at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, the OCP Group, as well as young people who were at the heart of the co-construction of this initiative.

The Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection brings to this initiative its 18 years of experience in education for sustainable development in Morocco, as well as a significant emphasis on Africa, digital technology and international cooperation . YOUNGO makes use of more than 200 youth-led NGOs for young people, as well as its technical expertise. The Mohammed VI Polytechnic University contributes with its approach based on learning by doing (learning by doing), its network of African experts as well as its cutting-edge resources. Finally, the OCP Group provides its support and expertise as a representative of the private sector.

The African Youth Climate Hub will offer young Africans the opportunity to establish and foster a generational movement to fight climate change. The Hub will educate, inspire, empower and mobilize young people to create lasting change in their schools, communities and professional ecosystems, at all levels.

The aim is to create a forum where young Africans can discuss their ideas for combating climate change. The ideas deemed most relevant to the key targets of the Hub will be developed in an incubator before being refined and then deployed. The Hub hopes to bring together the most committed and innovative young African thinkers on climate change, create a learning center and help people find green jobs in Africa.

«Africa is affected by climate change and at the same time constitutes a rich breeding ground for solutions. There has never been a more inclusive and impact-oriented space, allowing young Africans to come together and share their ideas for solutions adapted to their continent». This was stated by Meryem Hdia, a 21-year-old Moroccan woman, youth ambassador for the Hub. «This new platform will allow young Africans to create their own solutions to climate change. It is about developing ideas that will have a real impact on the lives of people around the world».

The African Youth Climate Hub will enable young Africans to identify and connect with the different groups and organizations that need to rely on their ideas to integrate best practices and amplify the impact of their actions. The Hub aims to generate forums involving the main stakeholders and young people, to reduce differences in capacity and to promote an active intergenerational approach.

But the Hub is not limited to ideas: the objective is to generate tangible results with support mechanisms put in place to make ideas happen. Among these mechanisms, the establishment of a network to facilitate cross-border and intergenerational connections, an incubator and a knowledge center.
The African Youth Climate Hub will be based at the Hassan II International Center for Environmental Training in Rabat, Morocco. An annual meeting of the Hub will be held at the Center and will allow young people from all over the African continent to share their knowledge, exchange their best practices, etc.

Contacts: contact@youthclimatehub.org