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Educating climate change in SE Asia

Published on 26 July 2017 KC3 News

In light of the shift from traditional coal economy, Southeast Asia spurs a fine lead in using renewable energy since the region’s sub-economies rely mostly on agricultural production and natural resources.

Most countries in the region are undeniably experiencing the same climate extremities with highly-observable effects on social institutions such as school. UNICEF’s research shown that almost 160 million children around the globe live in extremely humid areas and another 1 billion settle in potential flood bases, therefore risked by life-threatening ends of climate change. This only implies that the effects of the sudden change in weather patterns mainly threatens children, especially those in the school setting.

Climate change also affects a child’s learning pattern in school therefore resulting to an isolated or paused emergent development. As coal’s by-product, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), poses adverse health effects on children, a study shown major complications it brings about such as asthma and other respiratory diseases.

Consequently, children in Southeast Asia have undergone serious manifestations of climate change not limited to physical impacts but also psychological influences as UNICEF’s report added. Perhaps the biggest account on this problem is how the government should approach and employ huge efforts to counsel school children.

Asian Development Bank (ADB) in a report said that a rigid increase of 4 degrees after Paris accordwould possibly cause humanitarian disasters. Locked-in and large population stream is an instance of the effects of land and sea temperature rise.

Educating the ‘young’

The Philippines has taken its lead to promote environmental responsibility through infusing it to school-related activities, even integrating it to the country’s educational setting.

The country’s Department of Education integrated environmental education through DepEd Order No. 5, s. 2014. It strengthened Gulayan sa Paaralan (School’s Vegetable Gardening), Solid Waste Management, and Tree Planting in the school setting.

Ordering for its wide dissemination and compliance, the department is aspiring for the successful implementation of the National Greening Program (NGP) of the government in public and private schools, respectively.

Philippines’ neighbor, Indonesia, has boosted their clutches towards climate change adaptation through the “Indonesian Training and Education Programs”. The program inculcated major assets in a multi-level participation and cooperation of the country’s universities, schools, private sectors and other stakeholders in the field of climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment will also employ training schedules for teachers, emphasizing Pendidikan Anak Usia Dini (Education for Children) together with the country’s Department of Education and major NGOs to create support education in terms of understanding concepts in global warming and climate change.

Educating the young populace to act in their own, simple ways can contribute to the huge aspirations of the region towards sustainability and a distant quest for a healthy future.

The agricultural academic center, SEARCA or the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture, also initiated the course Master of Food Security and Climate Change in the Philippines (MS FSCC). The program course is a pursuit to higher education in terms of national survival, food security, disaster preparedness and climate change adaptation.

Underscoring those targets, it aims to counter massive climate change effects of agricultural production not only in the Philippines but also in Southeast Asia.

Investing for the future

With the efforts to resolve the rippling effect of coal usage, more than 80 leaders on the energy sector have gathered last March in Bangkok. The event hopes to build a comprehensive economy for clean energy. The goal is clear: it potentially offers a sustainable future for the region to avoid risk-related consequences.

Individual and multinational companies have committed to these actions. Still, it is not enough. Southeast Asia could drop its labor capacity by 16% over the next three decades according to a research firm Verisk Maplecroft said. Heat stress in labor-induced countries including The Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia is subsisting as patronage of other large companies to coal power continues.

As a response to this notion, PCCAP or the Philippine Climate Change Adaptation Project is setting a long-term vision of “developing and demonstrating approaches that would enable communities to adapt to the potential impacts of climate variability and change.” They believe that close cooperation of community and private sectors would guarantee an efficient adaptation and action framework.

Singapore’s NGO and leading social enterprise, Green Future Solutions, practically accredits a number of active NGOs in the country who work for the environment, specifically climate change adaptation and mitigation. These organizations have also focused on helping and rehabilitating land and marine animal groups, as they are the most vulnerable ones to the worst manifestations of climate change.

It is indeed distant before the region and its neighboring countries achieve synergized companies using clean energy on such rising economies. Southeast Asia has everything on the bail, however, it will not take a long journey before the region holds its decade-long revolution for sustainable energy.

Source: Voices of Youth | 19 July 2017