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AKU, US Mission celebrate climate action fellows in KP

The Aga Khan University Institute for Educational Development (AKU-IED), in collaboration with the U.S. Consulate in Peshawar, honoured its Climate Action Fellows and showcased their groundbreaking action plans at an event in Chitral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).  The top 10 plans will receive funding for implementation, a significant step towards creating a more sustainable and resilient future. This marks a significant milestone in the “Raise Awareness and Inspire Action on Environmental Protection” project.
KP is inhabited by 30 million people and is categorized by hot summers and mild winters in the southern part and extreme cold climates in the northern part. Climate change has intensified extreme events like forest fires, water scarcity, sanitation issues, and urban flooding in the province. Furthermore, the rapid melting of ice and snow caps, along with erratic weather events, is severely impacting agriculture and livelihoods.

The project, running from September 2023 to October 2024, aims to equip educators in KP with the knowledge and skills necessary to nurture a culture of environmental stewardship. Through scholarship and inquiry-based learning, teachers are implementing action projects within their schools and communities, encouraging hands-on approaches to environmental education.

“When I envisioned a long-term action fellowship for the climate crisis through the training of teachers, I had little knowledge of the degree of awareness teachers held,” said Dr Fozia Parveen, Assistant Professor and Project Lead at AKU-IED. “Their motivation, reflected in their willingness to participate in a non-stipendiary fellowship, their action plans, and their commitment to implementing these action plans, has also motivated me to do more work in the future. I hope that we can all bring about the much-needed systemic change required for a sustainable planet through collective action.”

The fellowship received an overwhelming response with 500 applications, out of which 50 exceptional educators were selected through a rigorous process. The programme commenced with a series of workshops in Chitral and Peshawar, training teachers to lead climate change education and sustainability efforts. These workshops laid the foundation for ongoing mentorship and support as fellows developed and implemented their action plans.

U.S. Consul General Peshawar Shante Moore said the AKU-IED partnership underscores the U.S. commitment to environmental protection and education in KP.   “By empowering teachers, we are fostering a generation of environmentally conscious individuals who will drive positive change in their communities,” he said.  “Through the U.S. Embassy’s Green Alliance initiative, we aim to create a more sustainable future.”

One of the key elements of the project is the engagement of key stakeholders and policymakers in KP to support and promote climate change education. Mr Abdul Akram, Additional Secretary of Education, Government of KP, remarked: “Teachers in our country hold the key to unlocking knowledge and a sustainable future. Through climate change education, they can motivate the next generation to act, innovate, and solve pressing environmental issues.”

As the project progresses, AKU-IED remains dedicated to building a network of environmentally conscious educators. Through continuous support and collaborative efforts, this initiative aims to make a lasting impact on environmental protection and climate resilience in KP.


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