Climate Box: How UNDP's Educational Initiative Helps Combat Climate Change

April 18, 2024
Photo: UNDP Kazakhstan/Roman Kopanev

This spring, Kazakhstan is facing its worst floods in 80 years, affecting tens of thousands and leaving many homeless. While the full extent of the damage is yet to be assessed, it's clear that what we're witnessing is part of the global climate change affecting us all.

Despite feeling powerless in the face of such natural forces, each of us can make a difference, however small, when combined with others. All it takes is the right knowledge and habits.

To tackle this, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and its partners have developed educational materials for students known as "Climate Box." The main aim of this project is to inform and educate young people and the wider public about climate change and potential solutions through interactive materials for students.

"Climate Box" offers a comprehensive educational tool to help young people understand and respond to climate change responsibly. It includes illustrated guides, game cards, posters, maps, and digital resources for interactive learning.

Photo: UNDP Kazakhstan/Roman Kopanev

Covering multiple topics such as reducing carbon footprints, water conservation at home, the environmental impact of public transportation, the benefits of LED lights, and the effects of meat consumption on climate, these resources not only provide information but also inspire action to reduce our environmental impact.

"Climate Box" can be integrated into school curricula and used for extracurricular and independent student activities. The materials are adapted for different age groups and cover both theoretical knowledge and practical aspects, including recommendations for experiments and projects to apply knowledge in real life.

Photo: UNDP Kazakhstan/Roman Kopanev

A team of experts including climatologists, geographers, biologists, economists, children's writers, and educators collaborated on "Climate Box." Each country involved has its own team tailoring content to its specific geographic, socio-cultural context, and national education system.

First launched by UNDP in 2014 with support from the Global Environment Facility, the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology, and Coca-Cola for Russian schools, the project received positive feedback. Consequently, UNDP decided to release an international version in English, with plans to adapt it for new countries. Kazakhstan was among the first to join, and adapted versions are already in use in schools and other educational institutions.

Photo: UNDP Kazakhstan/Roman Kopanev