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The Asian RICE Project holds Regional Training Workshop on Climate Change Education

© Korean National Commission for UNESCO

01.11.2012

The Asian RICE Project holds Regional Training Workshop on Climate Change Education 

The Asian Regional Initiative for Climate Change Education (RICE) Project is an initiative by the Korean National Commission for UNESCO (KNCU) and the Chiang Mai YMCA, aimed at supporting partnerships between local communities and schools in strengthening their responses to mitigate and adapt to climate change in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Since its inception in 2011, the RICE Project has conducted pioneering Climate Change Education (CCE) projects in Bangladesh, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand and Sri Lanka. These have addressed issues such as organic farming, composting, water resource management, renewable energy and sustainable living, in addition to raising awareness among students, parents, teachers as well as the local community. 

The third Regional Training Workshop held 15-19 October in Chiang Mai, Thailand brought together experts, stakeholders and educators to share their experiences, knowledge and good practices as well as strengthen cross-country networks. 

During the four-day workshop, the participants visited several successful CCE initiatives in Chiang Mai and learnt, among other things, how to make a biogas digester out of PVC at the Faculty of Agriculture of Chiang Mai University. As a result, participants from both Nepal and Sri Lanka indicated that they would bring this knowledge back to their schools and communities in order to use their available resources for climate change mitigation. 

The workshop’s overarching aim was to usher the project into is final phase: RICE to LocalICE, the goal of which according to Project Manager Mr. Myoung Shin Kim is “to transfer full ownership to the local initiatives under the guidance of the different UNESCO NatComs. In this way, they will be further empowered and may also be sustained beyond the Asian RICE Project.”

Mr. Kim also said that “Although the Asian RICE Project is addressing Climate Change Education, it is really all about establishing successful school – community partnerships. Community involvement is essential for achieving real and long-lasting change.” 

The project utilizes UNESCO’s Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet) and plans to fully take advantage of this global network of schools to expand its scope of school – community partnership to other countries in the future. 

Following the workshop, the next step is for the participants to bring back the newly gained knowledge to their respective countries, and further spread it to other educators through local training workshops. 

The “Climate Change Starter’s Guidebook” (co-published by UNEP and UNESCO) is also currently being translated into six different languages by the participating countries to further increase awareness among educators and students in their local communities. 

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The Asian RICE Project spans from 2011 to 2013 and is supported by the Korea Energy Management Corporation and the UNDP Special Unit for South-South Cooperation.