during rewirED at COP28 in Dubai
(from left) Dr Andrew Cunningham, Global Lead for Education at the Aga Khan Foundation; João Marques da Costa, Minister of Education, Portugal; Edil Baisalov, Deputy Chairman, Cabinet of the Ministers, Kyrgyz Republic; Yasmine Sherif, Executive Director of Education Cannot Wait; and Dr Tariq Al Gurg, CEO and Vice Chairman, Dubai Cares during a session at The RewirEd Summit 2023 at COP28 in Dubai on Friday Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited and the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change launched a ‘Green Rising’ initiative on Friday at COP28 in Dubai. The announcement was made at the RewirEd Summit, which aims to collectively tackle education on a global level.

According to the ‘Green Rising’ initiative, in the next three years (2023-2025) pathways will be created for at least 10 million children and youth, especially girls, in developing countries.

The aim of the initiative is to take grassroots action and tackle challenges through volunteering; green skills building, jobs and more.

The “Green Rising India Alliance” and the global “Green Rising” initiative are the result of a partnership between UNICEF, Generation Unlimited, and a wide range of youth, public, and private partners.

The alliance is said to inspire millions of youth across the globe to actively engage in green initiatives that address and mitigate the severe effects of climate change on their local communities. It will impact youth for grassroots, impactful environmental actions

On December 8, other key initiatives were announced at the second edition of RewirEd Summit.

The Aga Khan Foundation launched a new online portal of over 100 teacher-led, teacher-tested, and teacher-approved climate action solutions for education from more than 60 countries, co-funded by Dubai Cares. The foundation also announced a new mechanism at the country level, for advancing climate action in and through school and system-level collaborative networks, titled “Policy-Practice Translational Mechanism for Climate Education”.

In collaboration with Early Childhood Development Action Network (ECDAN), the Governments of the Kyrgyz Republic and Malawi announced plans to link early childhood development and foundational learning with climate resilience and action in their countries.

Social programme

The Social Investment Programme (SIP), an initiative led by Dubai Cares, with Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation, under the World Food Programme’s School Meals Coalition, launched the first ever global social impact bond that will scale up sustainable homegrown school feeding programmes in Senegal, and catalyse the development of a sustainable private post-secondary Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme around climate and green skilling, and promote women entrepreneurship in resilient agricultural value chains.

In partnership with Dubai Cares, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens (BKMC) announced the launch of the Green Jobs for Youth Online Training and Mentoring Programme to empower youth in choosing careers that contribute to solving the climate crisis and enhance their potential in driving system transformation around Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 on Climate Action, and other SDGs.

The second edition of the RewirEd Summit created history by being part of a Conference of the Parties of UNFCCC.

Dr Tariq Al Gurg, CEO and Vice Chairman of Dubai Cares, said: “Dubai Cares has delivered on its commitment to the world in bringing education as a main thematic in the agenda of the COP through its current Presidency, and through the second edition of the RewirEd Summit, we have also delivered on our promise to make this edition, a Summit of Solutions, by showcasing hundreds of incredible innovations that exist at the climate-education nexus.”

He added: “And each of the launches, announcements, and commitments made today, has served as a real and concrete example, of what we can achieve, for current and future generations, when stakeholders from across sectors actively come forward with solutions, thereby demonstrating the power of transforming education, through a whole-of-society ecosystem approach, built on cross-sectoral collaboration.”

Over 1,000 participants attended the Summit where 260 speakers from 209 entities and 76 countries united to voice their position on education transformation at the heart of climate action.

Creating opportunities

Other delegates and Ministers climate champions, teachers, children, youth, indigenous leaders, and others discussed solutions at the climate-education intersection.

Speaking to Gulf News, Miguel Sedoff, Minister of Education, Misiones Province Argentina, said: “We need to create opportunities for youth to realise their future. It is not about just creating jobs, it is about creating opportunities for young fresh graduates who can make a huge difference to the world.”

Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and the CEO of Expo City Dubai, rendered the opening remarks of the Summit, saying: “It has been a year since we all gathered here for the inaugural edition. The learning crisis brought us together to try a new way forward with a prosperous and more sustainable outcome. The first Summit was the collective recognition that business as usual will not work anymore.”

She added: “As the host of COP28, we embraced the opportunity to reinforce education as a key solution for climate ambitions. This day in particular, a full day dedicated to global education, is a first among previous COPs and allows us to place a much-needed spotlight on an important principle: a green economy runs on green jobs that rely on green skills taught in schools. Where education goes, the economy follows,” she said.

The RewirEd Summit agenda featured 35 sessions, with every discussion bringing together key actors from diverse sectors to shape a collective path forward, for transformed educations systems to be at the forefront of climate action.