Education

Education

How to address environment in the education sector in a humanitarian response

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The Education Cluster brings together NGOs, UN agencies, academics, and other partners under the shared goal of ensuring predictable, well coordinated and equitable provision of education for populations affected by humanitarian crises. It works to uphold education as a basic human right and core component of humanitarian response.

Educational activities provide a good opportunity to foster sustainability. Firstly, it is possible to foster environmental awareness through educational programs. Secondly, it is necessary to ensure that educational activities are carried out in an environmentally responsible manner. Specifically, facilities should be constructed in a durable manner, allowing them to provide a return on investment over years to come.

Environmental education

Educational activities in emergency settings can provide an important venue to:

Environmental education can be offered as part of the formal school curriculum, as an extracurricular activity (through clubs or events), and through non-formal educational activities. Environmental education activities should be undertaken as part of the overall educational programme. Activities should be designed in close cooperation between environmental and educational specialists.

Suggested environmental education activities include:


Environmentally sound design and management of educational facilities

Environmentally sound design and management of educational facilities facilitates learning,  safeguards the health and safety of students, reinforces basic hygiene behaviors for better public health; and assures the sustainability and durability of school facilities. Failure to address environmental issues may result in schools becoming transmission points for disease or pose risks to people by being physically unsafe. Additionally, it might lead to schools becoming unusable or requiring rehabilitation too soon. To this end it is important to:

For detailed guidance, refer to (for example) the USAID sector environmental guidelines for primary and secondary schools.

School projects should also include efforts to moderate climate-related risks and vulnerabilities, thereby advancing the long-term project success. Examples of adaptive actions include the consideration of increased flood risk in drainage plans and intense heat waves when choosing construction methods. Project design should also assess the potential greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impacts of a project, and implement cost-effective strategies and actions that minimize these.

Resources

Key Resource

Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies: Minimum Standards Handbook

The INEE Minimum Standards Handbook is the only global tool that articulates the minimum level of educational quality and access in emergencies through to recovery. The environment is addressed throughout the publication.

Visit

Key Resource

USAID Sector Environmental Guidelines: Primary and Secondary Day Schools

Guidelines for environmentally sound design and management of schools.

Visit

Key Resource

UNESCO Guidebook for planning education in emergencies and reconstruction

Guidelines to provide an educational response in emergency and reconstruction settings. Chapter 4.4 focuses on environmental education in emergencies.

Visit

Additional Resource

Evaluating Climate Vulnerability in Humanitarian Hotspots

This study, conducted in 2019, focuses on the definition of climate vulnerability with operational and political perspectives and delivers guidelines for assessing climate vulnerability in long-term crises, such as in conflict-affected countries and recurrent disaster-prone areas.

The research draws on an extensive academic literature review in the fields of biology, political science, sociology and geography. It derives data from a variety of innovative projects and methods in the field of development and humanitarian aid, induced and encouraged by the Grand Bargain. In addition, the research offers a contribution to the IKI Project carried out by the UNEP/OCHA Joint Environment Unit in the refugee camp of Gitega Province in Burundi.

The study is available in French only.

Download

Additional Resource

Nepal Environment and Humanitarian Action Country Study

The Nepal Environment and Humanitarian Action (EHA) country-level study is one in a series of studies undertaken by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) / UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Joint Environment Unit (JEU) in 2015 that assesses the extent to which environmental concerns have been mainstreamed in humanitarian action. It provides guidance to humanitarian actors on how to improve environmental mainstreaming in a rapid onset emergency.

Visit

Additional Resource

UN Environment ‘Quick guides’ on how humanitarian action can minimize environmental impacts

The ‘Quick guides’ contain key guidance on environmental issues relevant to six sectors of (viz. Food Security and Agriculture Sector, Basic Needs Sector, Health Sector, Education Sector, Protection Sector and Livelihood Sector) of humanitarian response to population displacement. They underscore the opportunities to minimize negative environmental impacts during humanitarian action. These quick guides are developed by UN Environment mostly for humanitarian action in urban setting. Please download the Quick Guides here.

Additional Resource

UNESCO: Education for Sustainable Development Goals: Learning Objectives

UNESCO Guidance on using Education for Sustainable Development to promote achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs’). The environment is especially addressed under SDG 15, from p. 40.

Visit

Additional Resource

Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies: Toolkit

The INEE Toolkit contains a wide variety of practical, field-friendly tools and resources to guide educationalists, humanitarian workers and government officials working in the field of education in emergencies through to recovery.

Visit

Additional Resource

USAID Education in Crisis and Conflict Network Repository

A USAID repository of resources on education for children and youth in crisis and conflict-affected environments.

Visit

Additional Resource

GADRRRES: List of Resources for DRR in the Education Sector

The Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Education Sector (GADRRRES) published resources and guidance for implementing the three Comprehensive School Safety Framework pillars (Safe Learning Facilities, School Disaster Management, and Risk Reduction and Resilience Education)

Visit

Additional Resource

UNESCO, Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development: Resource Bank

A comprehensive repository of resources on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

Visit

Additional Resource

Education in Emergencies Resources

A list of resources on Education in Emergencies

Visit

Additional Resource

UNESCO: Education for Sustainable Development: Good Practices in Addressing Biodiversity

A UNESCO compilation of good practices on integrating biodiversity in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

Visit

Additional Resource

UNESCO: Education for Sustainable Development: Good Practices in Addressing Climate Change

A UNESCO compilation of good practices on integrating climate change in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

Visit
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