Education, Climate and Environment Topic Guide

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This Topic Guide sets out the existing knowledge around the links between education, climate and environment. In particular, it highlights the two-way relationship between these key areas, including:

  • The risks and opportunities posed by environmental and climatic factors on educational supply and demand at all levels (primary, secondary, tertiary) and modes (formal and informal).
  • The role education and educational infrastructure can play in building the resilience of communities (particularly poor and vulnerable population groups) to climate and environmental change, and the potential opportunities provided by low carbon technology and environmentally-sensitive construction and design in that process.

The Topic Guide has six sections. Section 1 highlights the links between DFID’s Resilience Framework and education responses to climate and environmental change. Section 2 provides an overview of existing research on the impacts of climate and environmental change on education, in terms of both infrastructure (e.g. loss of or damage to school buildings or transportation networks) as well as learning and access (e.g. disruptions due to extreme weather events). Section 3 explores the existing research on the potential role of education in fostering sustainable development in the face of environmental and climate change. The Topic Guide then outlines the key areas which an educational response to climate and environmental change should take into account (Section 4) and how these can be integrated into short, medium and long-term education responses (Section 5). It concludes with a discussion of the key challenges and opportunities for education responses to climate and environmental change (Section 6).

Case studies have been integrated throughout the text to show how key ideas and approaches are already being put into practice in education systems around the world. A range of resources for further information are also provided at the end of the text.

This Topic Guide has been produced by Evidence on Demand with the assistance of the UK Department for International Development (DFID) contracted through the Climate, Environment, Infrastructure and Livelihoods Professional Evidence and Applied Knowledge Services (CEIL PEAKS) programme, jointly managed by DAI (which incorporates HTSPE Limited) and IMC Worldwide Limited.

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