Three United Nations research and training institutes based in Turin, Italy, have called for urgent climate action and emphasized the important role of education as a catalyst for change.
In a joint campaign to mark UN Day, the United Nations Staff System College (UNSSC), United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), and the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ITCILO), highlighted the importance of education as a tool for effective climate action. Rallying around sustainable development goal (SDG) 13, which calls for “urgent action to combat climate change and its impact,” the institutes emphasized the benefits of a coherent approach to climate change, that takes education into consideration.
“At UNSSC, we have seen how effective learning programmes can contribute to changed attitudes and behaviours, as well as bold approaches for climate action,” said Jafar Javan, UNSSC Director.
From the many peace and security practitioners who take up learning to improve their ability to address climate security risks, to sustainable development actors who upskill to contribute to the development of just and climate-neutral societies, the institutes realize that learning has a unique role to play in supporting efforts to drive transformative climate action.
As the world witnesses the devastating impact of extreme weather events, triggered by climate change across continents – from floods in Asia, to droughts in Europe and Africa – the resultant threats to global peace and security cannot be ignored.
“UNICRI’s research shows that the erosion of natural resources, and resultant increases in poverty and food insecurity, create an environment where conflict and violent extremism thrive. As a research and training institute for criminal justice and crime prevention, we tackle this worrying phenomenon through research, awareness raising, and capacity building,” said Antonia De Meo, UNICRI Director.
The cross-cutting impact of climate change also affects employment, raising the need for better understanding of the inter-linkages between work and the effects of climate.
“Climate change is interlinked with the world of work, and this is the reason why at the International Training Center of the ILO here in Turin, our training, our courses, and our masterclasses are putting an emphasis on the effects of climate change on the world of work,” said Giuseppe Casale, ITCILO Director.
As the world marks UN Day, the message is clear: continuous learning will help people to contribute meaningfully to the urgent global fight against climate change.
“We cannot afford any further delay in advancing learning to empower individuals to protect the world around us. As we celebrate UN day, let us remember that it takes a combination of knowledge, skills, and determination to act on what science is telling us,” the leaders of the institutes concluded.
Photo credits: @Chris Gallagher