Stakeholders meet to discuss climate resilience in education

Protecting school children from climate change was the main focus of a two day a consultation in Fiji this week.

Facilitated by Save the Children and UNESCO, stakeholders from around the region came together to discuss the way forward for addressing climate resilience in education systems.

Regional ‘Safe Schools’ lead John Lilo said Pacific school children are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of natural disasters.

Over the past decade, he has noticed an increased number of these disruptions to the education sector and says it has emphasized the crucial need for climate adaptation in schools.

“The Pacific is one of the vulnerable regions in the in the world, tropical cyclones [are] one of the most common hazards”

“In 2020, tropical cyclone Harold wreaked havoc across the Pacific, causing significant damages to schools, affecting 1000s of students, disrupting their learning.”

Devastation on Kadavu from TC Harold.

Over 60 percent of schools in Vanuatu were damaged or destroyed during tropical cyclone Harold, impacting over 20,000 children (24,200).

Four years later, and some schools still lie in disrepair.

The Lycée de Luganville school board is concerned for the wellbeing of students who continue to study in damaged facilities.

They are calling for the speed-up of efforts to rebuild, a project that is estimated to cost over $200-million Vanuatu vala.

Save the Children New Zealand say that “witnessing disaster devastation can have lasting effects on children’s well-being and academic achievements.”

Regional safe schools lead John Lilo.

Lilo said stakeholders need to collaborate to access resources better, especially climate financing.

“We have to work together with different partners at the table to ensure a comprehensive approach to the safety and well being of children in the region.”

“Climate finance is at the top of our stakeholders minds, supporting resourcing, and making sure that stakeholders and partners have capacity.”

He said the gathering in Fiji was well attended and gave ministry officials the opportunity to assess the region and develop strategies for the way forward.

Additional meetings continue this week to outline an action plan for the safety and wellbeing of Pacific children across the region.

Attendees at the Pacific Regional Stakeholders’ Consultation on School Safety and Climate Resilience in Education.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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