The Institute of Early Childhood Development (IECD) Category 2 Institute under the Auspices of UNESCO was honored to be present at the 28th Session of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) held in Dubai, last week.

The Chief Executive Officer of IECD, Mrs. Shirley Choppy, on Wednesday 06the December, 2023, had the privilege of participating in a high-level panel on “Building Climate Resilience by Investing in Early Education and Care: Putting Young Children at the Centre of Climate Change.” The panel discussion was organised by Early Childhood Development Action Networks (ECDAN) in collaboration with UNESCO and UNICEF, and it was held at the Greening Education Hub.

During the discussion, Mrs. Choppy shared Seychelles’ experience as a Small Island Developing State (SIDs), highlighting the vulnerability of the nation to the climate crisis, and after which gave an interview with SBC on how investments in nurturing care be integrated into the greening education movement.

The IECD delegation further attended various other sessions, including an enlightening presentation on the ALEC (Latin America for Climate Education) project on climate education being undertaken in Colombia and Mexico by the Office for Climate Change Education as a Category 2 Centre (OCE C2C) under the Auspices of UNESCO. This initiative aims to foster the integration of climate change topics into school curricula, with a similar project currently underway in Ghana, which the IECD delegation had the opportunity to participate in.

A productive meeting was later held with the OCE C2C, as part of their commitment to collaborate and knowledge exchange, where discussion revolved around identifying areas of cooperation in climate education in the context of early childhood development.

During their participation at the COP28, the IECD delegation also took the chance to learn about the innovative practices in early childhood education at the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority. The insights gained during this visit will further enrich IECD’s own programmes and initiatives aimed at promoting climate education and resilience among young children. The two organisations have pledged their commitment to work together in the area of climate change among young children.

In addition to engaging with esteemed partners in the field, the COP28 provided an unparalleled opportunity for networking and future collaboration. As a result, a special meeting was arranged between Mrs. Choppy and the CEO of the Financial Benefits and Empowerment Community Development Authority in Dubai, Ms. Maitha Alshmsi. Ms. Alshmsi was representing H.E Hessa Essa Abdulla Buhumaid, the Minister of State and Director General of the Dubai’s Community Development Community.

Both CEOs exchanged best practices and information about their respective organisations, and explored areas of future cooperation in the establishment of ECCE system among other initiatives in ECCE.

IECD’s presence and active participation at COP28 showcased its dedication to fostering climate education and resilience among young children in Seychelles and worldwide. These efforts align with IECD’s mission of nurturing the current and future generations that can effectively address the challenges posed by climate change.