Building Resilience to Climate Change at Local Levels: The Role of Education

Building Resilience to Climate Change at Local Levels: The Role of Education

Mphemelang Joseph Ketlhoilwe (University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0803-8.ch009
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Abstract

Climate change impact is calling for international attention and collaborative efforts through multilateral and bilateral agreements to reduce it. It is a complex environmental problem that is not only naturally induced but made more stressful by anthropocentric capabilities in the quest for better lifestyles. Although climate change causes and impact are known, its mitigation strategies are compounded by human wants at the expensive of their own sustainable survival. This chapter explore different ways of promoting climate change awareness through environmental education. It is important to accompany all climate change awareness efforts by recognition of local ecological knowledge that promote resilience as well as engage in research to enhance sustainable development in local communities.
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Contextual Background

Public education needs drastic re-orientation to mainstream climate change and variability to promote learning for sustainable development. Community environmental education programme has a role to play in understanding, mitigating and adapting to climate change. A study conducted by Ardoin and Heimlich (2013, pp 106) has indicated that

During the interviews, several of the decision makers commented on the role that education plays, particularly as a tool for awareness. One said, “The benefit to education is that it helps people develop a deeper understanding of an issue. . . . If [my organization] wants to encourage people to take a specific action around an issue, if people are already up-to-speed on it—they’re knowledgeable about it, they care about it—it makes [my organization’s] work easier.

Climate change is one of the key action themes of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, as was reaffirmed at the World Conferences on Education for Sustainable Development held in Bonn in April 2009 (UNESCO, 2009) and in Aichi-Nagoya in November 2014. Education is meant to encourage changes in attitudes and behaviours needed to put our world on a more sustainable development path, and build a new generation of climate change-aware citizen (UNESCO, 2010). This is in line with the objectives of environmental education and education for sustainable development, both of which are viable tools for climate change adaptation and mitigation. Community education on climate change could be based on its impact or possible impact on livelihoods so as to encourage the community to develop adaptive strategies or resilience.

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