Ethiopia: British Council Climate Connection Challenges Ahead of Cop26 in Ethiopia –

The 26th session on climate change, the Conference of Parties (COP) session, the supreme decision-making body on climate change, is scheduled to be held from 01 November up to 12 November 2021 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. The COP26 session, which will be gathered by over 200 members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is expected to pass several decisions to halt climate change and its effects.
Ahead of the session in Glasgow, countries, civil societies, environmental activists and other public and private organizations are preparing discussions, organizing public gatherings, mobilizations and different actions on climate change and related issues. The activities by individuals, groups and organizations are to become part of the solution in climate action, to show their concerns for decision-makers to act, to mobilize the public for actions and in general to make influence the parties on COP26 to put practical decisions to save the world.
On the other hand, organizations and activities are also organizing different events, initiatives, challenges and mobilizations started months ago as preparations for the COP26 session and to aware the world about the upcoming COP26 session.
British Council in Ethiopia collaborating with different local NGOs engaged in environmental protection and environment activities has organized different events since late July 2021. On 29 July, British Council in Ethiopia has organized a webinar discussion entitled “Climate Action in Addis: Youth Leading the Way” brings together young Ethiopian environment activists and youths engaged in environmentally friendly businesses to share experiences with COP25 and COP26 UN High-level Climate Champions for climate change.
The discussion aims to share experiences for the Ethiopian youth from the high-level climate action champions to support and promote their efforts in the local actions and initiatives.
Recently, the British Council in Ethiopia has also launched a ten-week ten major local initiatives to be practised every week until the upcoming 26th session of the conference of Parties (COP26). According to the council, the ten-week climate actions challenges are 10 locally appreciated challenges to encourage youths to take actions against the impacts of climate change.
According to the information The Ethiopian Herald received from the British Council in Ethiopia through email, the climate action initiatives are planned to practice by the council’s community every week until the COP26 session.
According to the council, the initiatives are tree planting, climate change pledge, recycling materials, reduce carbon emission and power consumption. In addition, awareness creation on sustainable agriculture, shout for climate, cleaning rivers, waste management and community mobilization are the ten challenges planned by the council.
According to the Council, taking locally appreciated actions are key to mitigate the effects of climate change as its effects are varying across countries adding economies and lives are affected by drought, flood, sea level rising and extreme weather events due to climate change.
The council added that, though its mission is connecting people, it initiates the activities on climate to become part of the solution on climate change actions.
The council reiterated that “we are creating opportunities for cooperation, dialogue and action to address the shared challenges of climate change,” adding “to support the COP26 ambitions, we are working with partners and young people”
Started implementation of the actions two weeks ago, during the first-week challenge, by mobilizing students, youth climate champions, teachers and members of the BC staff, BC in Ethiopia has planted over 500 trees of indigenous species in Entoto Park, north of Addis Ababa. Similarly, during the 2020 plantation season, the BC community in Ethiopia has planted over 9,400 trees of indigenous species at the Entoto Natural Park, BC noted.
According to BC, the tree planting initiative is a campaign to support ambitious Ethiopia’s green legacy initiative by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, aiming at combating environmental degradation, build resilience, and transition a green society.
Organized in collaboration with Ethiopian Heritage Trust the tree planting campaign of the council at Entoto, was successfully achieved its mission by planting over 500 indigenous seedlings, according to the council.
On its second-week climate challenge, the council focuses on sustainable consumption and production by promoting recyclable paper bags in Ethiopia. The council stated that over 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide each year and each plastic product takes over 100 years to decompose.
The Plantable bags challenge of the council grants for young people initiative which supported active citizens’ alumni to take innovative actions on climate challenge and environmental issues. It also encourages the public to use plantable paper bags as an alternative to plastic bags during shopping to reduce the effects of plastic on the environment.
According to the schedules of BC, during the third-week climate action campaign, it plans to mobilize Ethiopian youth for a “global youth letter”, which is an action directly addressing policymakers and leaders concerning young people’s aspirations and recommendations in climate change. This initiative, according to BC, also aims to identify gaps in the ability of young people to influence positive change in climate action. BC motivates the Ethiopian youth to join the global youth letter initiative.
During its fourth week campaign, BC plans to organize schools video competitions to provide opportunities to inspire students’ and more young people to join the climate actions. The video competition, which is open for students, aged 11 to 18, and teachers, is expected to make a short film about their schools’ climate action. The fifth-week challenge is a climate connection challenge designed to support the UN Sustainable Development Goal 13 (SDG 13).
According to the document prepared by Inku Fasil, Programme and Partnerships Manager for Schools at BC Ethiopia, the sixth-week action is promoting a green curriculum aiming at helping teachers’ efforts for positive action towards climate change in schools. By preparing round-up online events, programs and classroom resources, this initative according to BC aims to support the UN SDG climate action activities.
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BC plans to present a free course on sustainable future for five weeks as part of its seventh initiative of the climate action ahead of the COP26 session. The free course campaign is expected to provide awareness on global, community and school-based contexts and to develop an informed personal response to major contemporary climate challenges the world is facing.
BC in Ethiopia also is planning to organize UK schools partners in Ethiopia to plant trees. “In this joint schools’ project; planting and growing of trees or participating in similar locally appropriate actions will be learning opportunity for students in both Ethiopia and the UK,” BC noted.
The week nine initiative of the council is to link climate action with language education mainly to create a common understanding of climate change. While the final initiative is to prepare an online event to create an experience-sharing network among schools in Ethiopia, the UK and Sub-Saharan African countries on how to deal with climate change challenges.
“On the event, Ethiopian teachers will share their experiences and discuss with teachers from the UK and SSA countries,” BC stated.
Through these ten consecutive weeks 10 challenges, the BC in Ethiopia is working to become part of the global and local solution on climate change and to contribute its side in combating the climate effects. In addition, through the initiatives, BC in Ethiopia plans to promote the COP26 session by creating awareness to the general public.
Read the original article on Ethiopian Herald.
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