UNEP & UNESCO Youth and Education project


About the UNEP & UNESCO Youth and Education project

SOS is coordinating an advocacy project, in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the UNESCO, aiming to work with education and environment ministries to better understand how curriculum change takes place in their countries with the ultimate goal being to see the inclusion of ESD and climate education in the curriculum across all levels of education. While UNESCO and UNEP are working to invite and encourage ministers to collaborate in this project, SOS International is leading on convening and supporting student-led organisations and groups of students on the ground to collaborate with ministries in their countries, with a specific focus on higher education.

The collaboration started in September 2021 and runs until July 2022.

The project consists of the following 4 work streams. Text in red highlights how SOS members can contribute to these.

1. Partnership development

  • Align with other organisations with similar intentions and plans to connect youth with environment and education ministers.
    > SOS members can let us know if they are working on similar plans or know of other organizations that are.

2. Consolidating asks and gathering insights

  • Coordinate a roundtable of all the main organizations working on climate education and climate action to pull together a set of key asks for how climate education should be integrated in the curriculum.
    > SOS members can join this roundtable and shape the collection of asks – Date: 20th October @ 3-4pm CEST.
  • Gather insights from existing research from young people on what they want in relation to climate education and carry out new targeted primary in-country research where needed.
    > SOS members can share existing research they are aware of / have conducted and support delivery of primary research in their countries.

3. Highlighting youth voices

  • Curate, compile and deliver short (60 second) video messages from 5 young people on how climate education has been integrated into their courses, and what they would like to see done differently. The film will be shown at the Times Higher Education Climate Impact Forum on 28 October, where it will be watched by participating ministers and delegates.
    > SOS members helped to spread the call for messages in their networks. The deadline for submission has passed.

4. Enabling collaboration

  • Coordinate collaboration between students and education ministries in their own countries, including: outreach to select students committed to work with ministries, and supporting students to organize, facilitate and follow-up on meetings with ministers.
    > SOS members can help reaching and connecting students and ministers
  • Build the capacity of students to collaborate with ministries, including: supporting with effective meetings with policy officials and ministers; understanding country-specific policy making systems; technical content on climate education; communication and team collaboration skills. We will do this through
    1. a series of two 2-hour virtual workshops, delivered in collaboration with student organisations who can share good practice experience in working successfully with ministries;
    2. monthly peer-support calls where students from the target countries can exchange about their progress and strategies and get support from each other and from SOS;
    3. bilateral support calls (if needed) for student groups who need extra support with challenges they encountered (e.g. no response from ministers, internal group conflicts, etc), to help them find solutions to deal with their challenges.
    > SOS members can help delivering capacity building workshops and support calls and provide input to recommendations.
  • Develop a set of recommendations for UN Environment on how ministries of education can better engage and involve young people in climate education.
  • Hosting a high-level roundtable where students from this project present the key recommendations that they developed through their collaboration with education ministers in different countries.

Please let Tim know if and how you’d like to be involved in this project if you are an SOS member (if not, you can apply to become a member here).