It was during the World Economic Forum in Davos that Dubai Cares signed an historic agreement to put education, and specifically climate education, on the main agenda of this year’s COP28.
The incoming presidency of the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Dubai Cares have agreed to partner on a suite of climate education outcomes on the sidelines of COP28, which will take place at Expo City Dubai from 30th November to 12th December 2023.
Dubai Cares will notably host the second edition of the RewirEd Summit, the global education cooperation platform, in conjunction with the global climate summit with a focus on climate action education and approaches this year.
“The theme of the RewirEd summit will be climate and education: green skills and green jobs towards green economies. This will be the first ever COP to have an education day as a main pillar,” Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman of Dubai Cares, told Monaco Life.
Dubai Cares will lead a global preparatory process from now until the summit to mobilise public and private actors around new policy, financing, and technology outcomes that both equip learners for the net-zero economy and enhance accessibility and resilience in the education sector.
“In developing countries, we always look at it through the lens of opportunity for the children and youth who missed out on education or who don’t have any jobs even if they are certified,” added Dr. Al Gurg. “We look out how we can have the best ecosystem built in the context of that country, so we can give the opportunity of training and upskilling to these youth for future jobs.”
Dubai Cares was created in 2007 as part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, and has been working towards providing children and youth in developing countries with access to quality education through the design and funding of programmes that aim to be impactful, sustainable and scalable. To date, the UAE-based global philanthropic organisation has successfully launched education programmes reaching over 21 million beneficiaries in 60 developing countries.
Dubai Cares plans to support the efforts of COP28 by convening climate and education stakeholders from around the world to unify efforts towards a common vision.
“COP28 represents the UAE’s enduring commitment to addressing the climate crisis and accelerating progress towards a better and more secure and prosperous world,” said Dr. Tariq Al Gurg. “As COP28’s education partner, Dubai Cares looks forward to supporting the UAE’s efforts by uniting education and climate actors towards a common vision of unlocking the potential of transformed education systems to not only mitigate climate challenges, but also contribute to national and global aspirations. We are pleased to see that COP28 will be the first COP gathering to prioritise education in climate discussions by placing it at the forefront of its agenda.”
Dubai Cares plays a key role in helping to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, which aims to ensure inclusive and quality education for all, and promote lifelong learning by 2030, by supporting programmes in early childhood development, access to quality primary and secondary education, technical and vocational education and training for youth as well as a particular focus on education in emergencies and protracted crises. Dubai Cares also adopts a strategic approach to improve student enrollment and learning outcomes through an integrated school health and nutrition model that is made up of school-based deworming activities, school feeding, and WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) in schools.
“Climate change is the defining challenge of our era. It is essential for us to empower our youth and society with the knowledge and skills to become changemakers and contribute to meaningful action,” said H.E. Amb. Majid Al Suwaidi, Director General of COP28. “We welcome this partnership with Dubai Cares, to connect with diverse stakeholders, create capacity-building opportunities and mobilise a concerted drive for inclusive climate progress.”
“Green and climate education is what we can include in our curriculums today in schools to instill a mindset in our children of the importance of climate and planet Earth and how we have to take care of it,” said Dr. Al Gurg. “Our generation will not be able to solve these issues, but we can instigate small solutions and prepare the upcoming generation to make the change that needs to happen.”
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Photo: H.E. Amb. Majid Al Suwaidi, Director General of COP28 and Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman of Dubai Cares, source: Dubai Cares