Education to climate change: A missing ingredient in climate action plans for MENA countries?

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This article outlines how improving climate change education might enhance the fight against it in the MENA region and is featured in Orient I/2023.

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is one of the most vulnerable to climate change, with implications for already high levels of water stress, food insecurity, and forced displacement,
among others. Confronting these challenges requires a multi-faceted approach. roadmaps to do so tend to focus on issues related to food systems, water management, energy use, how to create climate-smart cities, and how to provide sustainable financing for climate action. These are key priorities, but education to climate change should also be considered as a priority. Based on research by UNEsCO, this article analyses the extent to which MENA countries have integrated climate change education in their national curricula. Challenges faced by teachers in educating students to climate change are documented. Finally, examples of initiatives taken in MENA
countries are shared. Overall, the MENA region may be lagging other regions, but there are also some bright spots.

Quentin Wodon is Director of UNEsCO’s International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa. Previously, he worked at the World Bank, including as lead Economist, lead Poverty specialist, and manager of the unit on values and development. Before that, he taught with tenure at the University of Namur. He also taught at American University and Georgetown University. He holds four PhDs, has over 700 publications, and has held leadership positions with multiple nonprofits as part of his volunteer work. His research has been covered by leading news media globally.

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