UNICEF, MERI, and UNESCO's Office of Climate Education to award teachers who promote climate education

The "Climate Guardians" award will recognize those who raise awareness about climate change in the classroom.

02 August 2022
The "Climate Guardians" award will recognize those who raise awareness about climate change in the classroom.
Climate Guardians Award

PANAMA CITY, PANAMA, August 02, 2022 - In the framework of the United Nations Climate Conference (COP27), UNICEF, UNESCO's Office of Climate Education, and Fundación MERI will recognize teachers in the Latin American and Caribbean region who promote climate education inside and outside the classroom. 

"Children and adolescents suffer the worst consequences of climate change, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean. At the same time, it is also a resilient and innovative region that transforms challenges into opportunities, as in the case of the teachers who committed to integrating environmental education and climate action into their subjects to raise awareness among future generations. The Climate Guardians award aims to recognize and promote the work of these pioneering teachers in the face of the climate crisis, a crisis that threatens children’s rights," said Youssouf Abdel-Jelil, UNICEF Regional Director ad interim for Latin America and the Caribbean.

According to UNICEF's Child Climate Risk Index, 9 out of 10 children in the region are exposed to at least two climate shocks; 55 million children and adolescents could suffer the consequences of water scarcity, and 60 million are exposed to cyclones. 

Faced with this reality, a concerted effort is needed to equip children and youth with the necessary skills to promote sustainable societies. Teachers and schools are vital spaces to create and implement environmental and climate solutions that generate more sustainable lifestyles and strengthen resilience in the face of climate change.

"Teachers are the main agents of change to build a more sustainable, integral society, in connection with nature and, above all, more humane. There are teachers who, with a deep vocation, conviction, and love for their students, promote environmental education in their communities for the well-being of future generations. Learning from these actions and strengthening them is the way to change the current paradigm", emphasizes Francisca Cortés Solari, Executive President of MERI Foundation. 

To recognize and celebrate the commitment of teachers to raise awareness of climate change, Climate Guardians will award four categories:

  1. School curriculum: Inclusion of climate education content and activities in the classroom.
  2. Educational resources: Teachers' training and education for implementing climate education in the classroom. 
  3. Professional development of teachers: Activities, experiences, tools and resources for teachers for training purposes. 
  4. The role of the school in the context of climate change: Implementation of climate education projects involving the entire educational community in their implementation.  

Teachers who wish to participate in the Climate Guardians award must send their project through the form available from August 2nd to September 18th at www.premioguardianesdelclima.com.

In this first phase, the semi-finalists will be selected. They will have the opportunity to participate in public speaking and effective communications training to present their initiatives on video.

Finally, a regional jury of scientific and educational experts will select the winners in each category. The winners will be notified via email and announced on UNICEF LACRO's digital platforms.

The winning teachers will be representing the region virtually at TeachersCOP, an event broadcast from Egypt before COP27, which will bring together the voices of hundreds of teachers worldwide on environmental education to mitigate climate change.

For more information on the contest rules, please visit www.premioguardianesdelclima.com

Media contacts

Tania Muñoz
Oficial de Comunicaciones
United Nations Children´s Fund - UNICEF Cuba
Tel: (+537) 2086307
Tel: (+537) 2089791

About UNICEF  

UNICEF works in some of the world’s most challenging places to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

For more information about UNICEF and its work, visit www.unicef.org/lac

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About MERI Foundation

MERI Foundation is a Chilean non-profit institution, part of Filantropía Cortés Solari. Since 2012 develops, scientific research, environmental education, and advocacy, in partnership with communities, in the service of the conservation of strategic ecosystems for the mitigation of Climate Change in Chile and the world.

About OCE

The Office for Climate Education (OCE), created in 2018 under the auspices of UNESCO, supports education systems around the world through the development of science-based, multilingual, accessible, and open-access climate change resources; professional development for primary and secondary teachers; deployment of operational Climate Change Education (CCE) projects; and support for CCE public policy.

For more information, please contact: