Climate anxiety among children is real. They worry about it more than we realise. This can vary from mild concern for their future, frustration at perceived lack of action by decision makers, to acute anxiety, even depression; exacerbated by a lack of deeper understanding of the current environmental issues.
In 2020 the Montreal Protocol Ozone Secretariat began developing educational material to help build awareness around ozone layer and environmental protection. The Reset Earth campaign was launched in 2021 with an animation and mobile game app targeting 7-12 year-olds.
Using the Montreal Protocol as an example, the adventures of 3 teenagers battling to change history to save the ozone layer provided the storyline. More importantly, the animation was designed to provide hope - hope that harnessing the elements that made the Protocol a success: science, collaboration, cooperation and consensus, we too, can once more find solutions to some very serious climate issues.
Since its launch, teacher handbooks, student workbooks, games, videos and other resources have been developed for primary and secondary level to support educators. All the materials have been designed taking accessibility and technical constraints into consideration, can be customised and used independently of each other and are free to download on the Reset Earth education platform.
A side event hosted by the Ozone Secretariat at the Montreal Protocol ‘Ozone 2 Cool Zone’ pavilion on 9 December showcased the Reset Earth education platform materials, the concept and ethos behind its development. The ‘Youth and the Montreal Protocol: Becoming climate smart is the coolest thing you can do’ is available to view here at point 3:47:56 into the recorded livestream.
Schools globally are failing to meet the needs of young people by mainstreaming climate as part of the curriculum. This was evident from conversations with students at COP28 who all wished they’d received more formal teaching on climate and environmental issues. Not only from a young age but also as formally incorporated as maths, for example. This, they feel, would have better informed, prepared and empowered them to deal with climate issues.
To rectify this, the Ozone Secretariat joined forces with the Centre for Global Education (CGE). CGE is a Canadian based organisation dedicated to partnering with schools, educators and communities to integrate climate education into the global curricula and extracurricular activities.
During COP28 the Ozone Secretariat teamed up with CGE to provide teacher training and a workshop. The teachers from India, Jamaica, Canada and Kenya, among others, were introduced to the Reset Earth campaign and education platform. A workshop to demonstrate how the resources can be used provided a better understanding of how the different teachers could adapt the materials within their respective classrooms and schools.
To further raise awareness on the work of the Montreal Protocol, particularly under its Kigali Amendment, a ‘cool’ competition was launched during COP28. Children were informed about sustainable and passive cooling methods which they then had to find examples of around the COP28 venue and document photographically. The top 3 entries were awarded prizes.
The winning entries all captured numerous cooling techniques adopted by the venue such as shading for solar control, rooftop ventilation, landscape design, use of water, reflective (white) colour use etc in a single photo.
Prize collection by fellow students and teacher and video appreciation.
For more information on education material created by the Montreal Protocol Ozone Secretariat please contact: Stephanie Haysmith, Communications & Information email@example.com