Education Program on Climate Change Tailored to Regional Dynamics

The International Climate and Environment Center (hereinafter, “ICEC”) was founded in 2012 to systematically research responses to climate change tailored to regional dynamics of the Gwangju Metropolitan City and to encourage citizens to practice green lifestyle. The ICEC continuously develops and distributes citizens’ education and capacity building programs to propagate the low-carbon, green lifestyle in an effort to lay the groundwork for the City’s march toward carbon-neutral city. The ICEC’s education program covers key areas of climate action such as renewable energy, buildings, transport, and resource circulation, providing a comprehensive and systematic education for all age segments from young children to adults so as to raise public awareness on climate action for their greater practice on a daily basis. Furthermore, the ICEC is developing new types of education materials and programs to boost the effects of education.

Education on climate change

To seek greater understanding of citizens on climate change and their active participation, the ICEC is providing target-specific education in different sectors. For the education of ordinary citizens, ages were segmented to encompass all age groups including young children, elementary school children, middle/high school students, and adults, and education programs were put together for customization. For our future generations of young children, elementary school children, middle/high school students, Bitgoeul Climate School is run. And for adults, a program that promotes understanding on climate change and encourages green lifestyle practice is provided. Also provide is a program to nurture the growth of climate action leaders: trainings for speakers/lecturers, incumbent school teachers, climate education leaders, green leader groups, non-industry sector greenhouse gas diagnosis consultants, and other local leaders and experts committed to climate action. In addition, instead of educating in classrooms, the ICEC conducts campaigns with citizens for them to carry what they have learned into action in their daily lives, redoubling the effects of education. For example, the ICEC is carrying out citizens’ participatory practice project including online/offline campaigns to practice low-carbon green lifestyle and the movement to reduce one ton of greenhouse gas emissions per person.

Building up and systematizing climate change education are one of the main areas of ICEC’s focus on growing local capacity to respond to climate change. The ICEC develops and distributes textbooks and teaching materials for effective education on climate change, runs teachers’ research group on climate change education, and operates climate change education e-information center (http://icecgj.or.kr/icenter) for effective local information sharing and networking.

 

Climate/Environment Education Belt

Climate/Environment Education Belt developed to strengthen education fundamentals aims to provide an education space constantly open to citizens for their sustainable and systematic learning. To raise awareness on climate and environment and encourage green lifestyle practices, certain zones in the local region were designated as Education Belt for systematic and effective education. The Education Belt connects not new but existing environmental facilities, education programs, and natural environment to ensure the consistency and structured approach of learning. Instead of building new facilities, existing local resources were utilized to connect strategic bases of education. Since the ICEC alone is not able to create an educational space allowing constant access, the Belts are being developed jointly in association with the Climate Change Education Network that is comprised of institutions and organizations in Gwangju in the field of climate, environment, and energy. Detailed components of the Climate Change Education Network for its operation are as follows.

 

Resource component Description
Human resource Experts who can contribute to climate and environment education, including environmental activists, teachers, experts, socio-environmental education instructors, etc.
Facility resource Facilities and spaces for activities and for the operation of programs, including climate change experience hall, Environmental Corporation of Gwangju, and Eco-Center
Organizational resource Organizations and related institutions that can participate in the planning and development of environment and ecosystem education belt program
Environmental resource Environmental resources to be utilized in the programs of geography, history, and culture.

 

Development of various content

The ICEC strives to develop various, creative climate change education content. Besides the development of basic textbooks and teaching materials, it develops play-oriented climate/environment learning materials and produces and distributes related videos. It is recently developing innovative education programs using virtual reality (VR). VR experiences are expected to contribute effectively to raising awareness on the seriousness of crisis caused by climate change and on the importance of education and putting educated knowledge into practice.

 

Education program on climate change and actions using VR

This program enables learners to easily understand climate change and environment through virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) content accessible via mobile phone. The subjects of water, air, climate change, and environment & health are segmented according to their education targets such as elementary school children, middle/high school students, and adults. Learners select a specific subject and access its content via QR Code that appears on the page of each subject. These innovative learning materials have been developed since July 2018 by the ICEC in partnership with Chonnam National University’s LINC+ (Leaders in INdustry-university Cooperation) project group, a noteworthy collaborative program where university technologies meet the demands of local communities.

 

Climate/environment education program for citizens

The ICEC endeavors to educate citizens, encouraging their participation in climate actions, and strengthen their sense of responsibility for future generations and for those who are susceptible to climate change. Based on the belief that target-specific and subject-based education is needed to raise citizens’ awareness on aggravating climate change and induce a vast majority of citizens’ participation in climate actions, the ICEC is providing various types of education as follows.

 

(1) Consultant training program for greenhouse gas diagnosis

The ICEC is training consultants who specialize in diagnosing greenhouse gas emissions in non-industrial sectors such as houses, commercial buildings, and schools. Trained consultants provide customized greenhouse gas diagnosis and consulting tailored to the needs of houses, commercial buildings, and schools in an effort to practically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in non-industrial sectors. Each year, 35 consultants are trained, and graduating consultants provide diagnosis and consulting for about 2,500 places per year. In particular, they take part in Low-carbon Green Apartment Project[1] implemented by the Gwangju Metropolitan City, providing consulting for apartment residents to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Collected data on emissions per energy source and greenhouse gas emissions reduction achieved by customized consulting at each venue are quantitatively documented and announced through a greenhouse gas diagnosis report published each year. 

 

(2) Job School

“Climate & Energy Job School” is an education program aimed at improving future job performances of college students on climate & energy, so they can be better prepared for a job in relation to climate & energy through a customized training. The education is being provided in partnership with Gwangju regional headquarters of Korea Energy Agency with such detailed programs as theory and job experience on climate & energy, recruitment manager lecture, and site tour and visit to institutions and companies in the field of climate & energy.

 

(3) Energy and climate change education teacher training

It is an educator training program that provides education on energy and climate change aimed at cultivating the talent of educators to record knowledge on the education of energy and climate change and to actively respond to climate change issues. The education is provided to local socio-environmental education leaders and educators in partnership with Gwangju regional headquarters of Korea Energy Agency with such subjects as education theory and cases of energy and climate change, hands on training on related technologies and renewable energy, and site visit to venues of energy and climate change, graduating 50 educators every year. Educators graduated teach middle/high school students and citizens and carry out campaigns with them.

 

(4) Education of citizens for low-carbon, green lifestyle practice

It is a program of collective experience of citizens and site tour aimed at raising citizens’ awareness on climate change and propagating the culture of practicing low-carbon green lifestyle. Main education content relates to reducing food wastes and conserving energy, with an ongoing program for citizens to apply what they have learned to in their daily lives, including a visit to food-waste recycling facilities. The education is provided to over 600 citizens on over 30 occasions each year.

 

(5) Bringing climate school to children

The ICEC makes a visit to elementary schools and community children’s centers to raise children’s awareness on climate change and encourage their efforts to practice green lifestyle for a better future of our society. At the beginning of each year, elementary schools and community children’s centers make an application and the ICEC forms a team of lecturers who will visit the education sites. Education methods include theory, playing and learning, and experience-based learning per age group. Education subjects include understanding on climate change, how to practice low-carbon green lifestyle, response to climate change, reducing food wastes, and water footprint. Each year, the education is provided to over 20,000 children in some 900 sessions. This education program is the largest in terms of the number of events and students, being named as the most effective program with fast revisions and improvements in program development.

 

(6) Climate change experience hall operation

The climate change experience hall run by the ICEC is a site of education that offers various experiences, serving as a climate change education base for communities, where young children, students and citizens visit. Each year some 2,000 people visit the hall, and most common programs provided there target little children and lower-grade elementary school students.  

 

 

[1] A project for greenhouse gas emissions reduction for 60 apartment complexes that apply for participation. Winners with the biggest and significant achievements in greenhouse gas emissions reduction are rewarded in an awarding ceremony.

Call for cooperation

  • Articulating needs/interest to learn from other stakeholders in similar situations
  • Distinct invitation to cooperate with other stakeholders
  • Getting feedback and comments on the pursued climate action

Climate Actors

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