Include climate change in curriculum from early age -UENR

BY: Emmanuel Adu-Gyamerah
Professor Berchie Asiedu
Professor Berchie Asiedu

The Centre for Climate Change and Gender Studies of the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), Sunyani, has called on the Ghana Tertiary Education Council and the Ghana Education Service to integrate a climate education programme in school curriculum from an early age to create awareness of climate change.

The centre also suggested that farmers should be provided with financial support, capacity building and training in organic, regenerative and climate-resilient techniques as a measure to mitigate the negative effects of climate change.

At a press conference in Sunyani last Wednesday to throw more light on the COP 26 in Glasgow, Scotland, the Director of the centre, Professor Berchie Asiedu, said the change of weather patterns in the country was a visible evidence that “global warming has caught up with us”.

He explained that Article 12 of the Paris Agreement on climate change required that both developed and developing countries cooperated in taking appropriate measures to enhance climate change education, training, public awareness, public participation and public access to information.

“Developed countries should contribute more towards knowledge transfer, capacity-building, investment and financial support in the developing countries,” Prof. Asiedu said.

Recommendations

He recommended the adoption of binding policies and laws at the international and national levels to ensure that state corporations, private companies and their subcontractors promoted gender equity and respected global environmental standards.

“Policymakers must implement systems for climate emergency declarations and climate change management plans that involve women and youth in the decision, design and gender equality, climate justice, and inclusive climate governance,” he said.

Prof. Asiedu stressed the need for funding to be made available for research and development, scholarships, internships, apprenticeships and fellowship programmes for climate change in universities.

He also called for the integration of climate change elements into existing courses and subjects to better drive all skills, expertise and habits towards climate sustainability by including education on the most affected people and areas.

Honour pledge

He urged wealthier nations to renew and honour their pledge to mobilise $100 billion a year to help developing countries take measures to adapt to climate change and reduce or prevent emissions.

In addition, he stated that political representatives at local, national and multinational levels should treat climate change as a matter of fundamental human rights.

He also enjoined the African Union to revise its Agenda 2063, as well as other regional, sub-regional and national development policies to bring them in line with a gender justice approach in full consciousness of the current and future challenges posed by climate change.

Prof. Asiedu challenged communities, including professional, religious and cooperative associations, to prioritise all-inclusive afforestation and re-afforestation as climate mitigating actions at the local level, adding that the Green Ghana programme was a laudable action and should be supported and replicated bi-annually.

“Climate change is a global challenge that requires coordinated global and national action.

A just and fairer playing field for developing countries and highly vulnerable groups such as women and girls in poorer regions, including Africa, is key, in order to create durable solutions and climate benefits,” he explained.