Climate Education Advocacy Working Group
Climate Change education is a strong point of access for outdoor learning. Since climate change’s impacts are most apparent at the local scale, climate education provides a unique opportunity to link youth to the environment in their communities. There are successful models for climate education policy elsewhere in the US, strong existing networks of support and advocacy in Maine, and multiple frameworks for advancing this policy initiative. With the coronavirus crisis highlighting the necessity of resilience in our society, the importance of learning from current crises in order to face future ones has never been more clear.
This working group was formed in March 2020, when participants in NBEC convenings elevated climate education as an important priority they wanted to see advanced through the network. Given that climate education often takes the shape of outdoor learning as a means to communicate the impacts of climate change on students, their communities, and the local environment, and with the Maine Climate Council and the presidential administration's initiatives around climate change, there are real opportunities to create additional support for climate education. Climate education has been a catalyst for youth engagement in the network and was the #1 need expressed by educators in the 2019 census. It is a real priority for many people in this network.
Do you want all Maine youth to have access to climate change education?
Are you already providing climate change education?
Are you a Maine student who cares about climate change education?
Last year, this task force successfully advocated for the inclusion of climate education in the Maine Climate Council Climate Action Plan. In 2021, its focus is on pushing climate education legislation forward, through storytelling, lobbying, and collaboration with other networks. The Climate Education Advocacy working group will continue working alongside the Maine Climate Council (with whom many group members have formed relationships in the past year) and the Maine Department of Education to support a stakeholder process to push forward next steps toward increased climate education through policy in Maine.
Deeply informed by successful climate education policies nationwide, the Climate Education Advocacy working group will continue to vision and work toward designing innovative and community-led, equitable climate education policies.
Current Climate Education Advocacy working group participants:
For inquiries about the Climate Education Advocacy Working Group, contact co-chairs Kosi Ifeji and Ogechi Obi
For general inquiries, contact network coordinator Nathan Broaddus
Climate change has unbalanced impact on people across race and class. Rooting in themes of climate justice is a priority. In our Stories for Change working group, we are amplifying stories of BIPOC and other marginalized youth outdoors
Like the Climate Education Advocacy working group, the Local Outdoor Learning Advocacy working group is focused on building strength statewide and impacting decision-makers to make decisions that benefit all Maine youth. The Local Outdoor Learning Advocacy group focuses on municipal-level decision-making bodies, and both groups are working toward training participants and networks on advocacy.