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Countries around the world are ramping up efforts to implement activities on climate change education, training, public awareness, public access to information, public participation and international cooperation. Each of these elements is critical to mobilize action and ambition as national governments work toward implementing the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

At the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn last month, a series of real-world success stories that have raised awareness and mobilized action on climate change were shared at the 4th Dialogue on Action for Climate Empowerment.

Education is integral in empowering people to take action to meet the climate change challenge. Increased knowledge and learning about the causes and impacts of climate change affect everyday lives. People become more aware of their role as consumers and are empowered to make ethically informed decisions. Communities can contribute to a solution-oriented public dialogue, while engaging local decision-makers in taking meaningful action and shaping climate policy.

Teaching children this lesson is at the core of an innovative, international school in Gabon called Ruban Vert.

It is a school scripted with sustainable values on the hem of virgin rainforests in Gabon. The school believes there is only one true learning context – biodiversity. Biodiversity within a sustainable attitude is regarded as the key context for learning. The school promotes sustainability and action that benefits the climate with a focus on skills for innovation across the curriculum and across the year groups.

Biodiversity has become a resource for all lessons and subjects. There is no inherent hierarchy and the aim is an attitude towards sustainability. Children studying at Ruban Vert are groomed as influencers and as change makers, making the Ruban Vert approach a valued national education strategy that is relevant to all countries.

The scale of the planet’s biodiversity is beyond the comprehension of any child – this is why the school deliberately acts locally by placing emphasis on its plants, insects, crops and local examples of lifecycles. An individual can only influence the local environment and through this focus principle, and children at the school see relevance in their studies and actions. Collective, local actions with a sustainable attitude are happening in the classroom. Once fluent in biodiversity, the students build the case for change.

They see patterns, they can play with innovation – ideas and technology – and they are encouraged to establish a sustainable enterprise as a project.

Ruban Vert sees improving education as a national mission and cares about preparing children for the future and for survival in a more climate-resilient world.

Learn more about the UNFCCC secretariat's Action for Climate Empowerment and the role education plays in addressing climate change.

Visit Ecole Ruban Vert online at: http://www.ecolerubanvert.com/ 

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