“TeRRIFICA: The Belarusian Experience” featured at the “Tackling Climate Action at the Local Level: Education for Sustainable Development Projects”

May 10, 2021

A new publication from the Education for Sustainable Development Project at UNU-IAS was launched in April 27th 2021, featuring a number of outstanding climate education projects from Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCEs).

It features the contribution “Territorial Responsible Research and Innovation Fostering Innovative Climate Action: The Belarusian Experience” within the framework of the TeRRIFICA project in the pilot region of Minsk (Belarus), which is led by the AESD, Education for Sustainable Development Association.

Tackling Climate Action at the Local Level: Education for Sustainable Development Projects from the Global RCE Network‘ highlights the contributions that RCEs have made – with a focus on climate action – to implement the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through education at local and regional levels, during the period of the Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) from 2015-2019.

During the GAP, RCEs worked on projects covering a broad range of sustainable development challenges, whereby the majority of projects included a focus on SDG 13 (Climate Action). Despite this focus, the actionable solutions presented by RCEs often also addressed other sustainable development challenges in tandem.

The projects featured in this publication showcase examples of how global goals can be translated into local actions through education and training to respond to the climate crisis. The innovative solutions developed by RCEs demonstrate the importance of localised approaches when it comes to creating education programmes, with RCEs well-positioned to understand all aspects given their multi-stakeholder model.

Some key areas addressed within the publication include:

  • Conservation: RCE Dar es Salaam worked on conservation training programmes for local communities on biodiversity management in the face of climate change, whilst RCE Greater Eastern Uganda conducted programmes aimed at promoting practices for sustainable forest management.
  • Adaptation: RCE Greater Atlanta‘s project provided training to the labour force of agricultural workers related to adaptation to warming climates, while RCE Chandigarh designed a program to teach about sustainable adaptation initiatives through ESD, which included public awareness campaigns and capacity-building programmes.
  • Emissions and Mitigation: RCE North Rift‘s project addressed waste emissions, educating the local community about responsible waste management, while RCE Belarus mapped local emissions and designed actions in response to how climate change affects urban life.
  • Disaster Risk Reduction: RCE Grand Rapids worked with a community in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to assess risk and vulnerability from landslides.
  • Agriculture and Food Security: RCE Crete worked with learners in Egypt and Jordan to foster the skills needed to develop agricultural practices and policies to address challenges posed by climate change within the region, such as sustainable agriculture and food security.
  • Youth Empowerment: RCE Okayama and RCE Penang‘s projects empowered youth to teach their communities and in doing so, build capacity for action around climate change mitigation and adaptation. RCE Okayama’s projects aimed to inspire students to take actions for a low-carbon and sustainable society using IT. RCE Penang’s project included activities such as exhibition booths, quizzes and games, documentary screenings, and discussion sessions which built up knowledge, awareness, and insights into how to take action.
  • Low-Carbon Solutions: RCE Denmark‘s project conducted training programmes for students in order to integrate sustainability into the building industry, while RCE Bogota worked on a project involving urban youth to educate the public on low-carbon lifestyles.

The projects incorporated a range of formal, non-formal, and informal education, modalities, and audiences, each with an emphasis on action. A ‘Tips to Tackle Climate Action’ section within each project provides inspiration and suggestions for others to initiate similar projects in their communities. Dr. Philip Vaughter, Research Fellow, UNU-IAS notes, “The projects presented here are to serve as a starting place for educators, policy-makers, and communities to begin creating and implementing their own actions to respond to the climate crisis through education.”

The publication can be viewed online here.

A copy of the publication can be downloaded here.


During the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD, from 2015-2019, close to 140 climate education projects were conducted by RCEs across 32 countries. Not only did these projects have a focus on SDG 13 (Climate Action), but all were tied to SDG 4 (Quality Education) and covered a range of other sustainable development challenges.

This video provides an overview of research that analysed the SDGs, themes, institutions, audiences and environments across the projects completed. In addition, we hear from a number of RCEs on the challenges they worked to mitigate, their approaches, and the impact their activities had in their communities following the implementation of their climate education projects.

Take a look at how RCEs have addressed climate action here: https://youtu.be/37KBFHDKwoQ



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