Several international pronouncements and initiatives call upon UNESCO to take a lead on climate change education within the framework of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014). Responding to these international pronouncements and recognizing that education offers an untapped opportunity to combat climate change, UNESCO use Climate Change Education as an entry point for promoting the principles and practice of sustainable development through education.
Therefore, UNESCO Paris is implementing a global programme “Strengthening Climate Change Education for Sustainable Development (CCESD) at National and Regional Levels”. In first phase five countries were supported and in second phase eight countries are supporting including Bangladesh to undertake the National CCESD programme. The overall objective of National CCESD Programme is to support the capacities of education policy makers and teacher training institutions in Member States to strengthen their educational responses to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The specific objective of CCESD country programme is to support the development and implementation of CCESD programmes in cooperation with national responsible authorities and change agents to ensure that education systems can respond to the needs of climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable nations to global climate change and disaster-prone countries in the world, based on several analysis of impacts of major climate events that occurred around the world over the last decades. In terms of education, there are already instances of very negative impact. Severe cyclone (such as Sidr, Aila, Mahasen) and flood had destroyed school infrastructure, disrupting transport, and interrupting teaching and learning. Despite such, the education authority of the country has limited technical capacity to address DRR and Education in Emergencies (EiE) through education system. As example the national agencies do not gather disaster (neither natural nor man made) related information like impacts of certain disasters on school resources and capacity, impacts on competency of the students, disaster preparedness plan and ability of students as individuals and school as agency. Therefore, the Bangladesh “Climate Change Education for Sustainable Development (CCESD)” project is focusing on “Generation of DRR (Disaster Risk Reduction)/CCA (Climate Change Adaptation)/CCE (Climate Change Education) data for Education Sector through BANBEIS (Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics)”. BANBEIS, the national agency, produces education sector data on different variables. Through this CCESD project with technical supports from UNESCO Dhaka and CDMP II, BANBEIS will incorporate DRR/CCA/CCE variables into the existing questionnaire. The information base would help - to assess the lose and damage of the educational institutions induced from disaster and climate change impacts; to know about the degree of DRR/CCA/CCE interventions taken from different corners for protecting schools/colleges from disaster and climate change impacts. The national and international policy drivers like SoD (i.e. the “D” form; column 23), BCCSAP (i.e. component T2P3), HFA (i.e. priority actions 2, 3 and 4) and project document of CDMP II (Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme) (i.e. 1.3, information management) advocate for generation of information that will assist disaster risk reduction in educational institutions.