March 2021 Newsletter – UNEP Youth and Education Alliance


“The Earth has music for those who listen.”
– William Shakespeare

UNEP Youth & Education Alliance (YEA!) 

Green Jobs for Youth:
from UNEP’s Youth and Education Alliance!

Global Guidance for Education on Green Jobs: Connecting Higher Education and Green Opportunities for Planetary Health – Designed for educators, career advisors, curricular developers, education commissions and administrators, this document has useful information and resources about the role of higher education in helping to develop the workforce we urgently need for the transition to a green and sustainable future, including how to enhance student and employer connections.

Race to Zero:
The Race to Zero is a global campaign to mobilize leadership and support from different sectors for a healthy, resilient and fair, zero carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth). The higher education sector currently has more than 600 signatories on board with the goal to reach 1,000 by COP26 in November 2021. 

We need your support in order to demonstrate the amazing work being done around decarbonization within the higher education sector!

How to join the Race to Zero?

To join the Race to Zero, institutions should:

  1. Pledge: set a 2050 or sooner net zero target;
  2. Plan: explain what steps will be taken toward achieving net zero;
  3. Proceed: take action towards net zero; 
  4. Publish: commit to report progress annually.

Join the Race to Zero by completing the Global Climate Letter sign-up form! 
See the full Global Climate Letter here.


Adaptation Innovation Fund:
 Second Call for Proposals

Are you looking for funding to make your innovative adaptation ideas a reality?

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Climate Technology Centre & Network (CTCN) are providing USD 5 million worth of technical assistance to foster innovation for adaptation in developing countries (up to USD 250,000 for each successful application). The second call for proposals is now open until 30 April 2021. 

This initiative is part of the Adaptation Fund Climate Innovation Accelerator (AFCIA), which targets a broad range of potential finance recipients, including governments, NGOs, community groups, young innovators and other groups.

UNEP-CTCN technical assistance will be provided to developing countries on a competitive basis. The selected applications will be further developed to design a customised solution tailored to the need of developing countries, and the solution will be implemented by a technology provider selected by the CTCN. The eligible countries in the programme include developing countries in Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America and Caribbean under the UNFCCC that do not have National Implementing Entities (NIEs) accredited with the Adaptation Fund. 

Learn more and submit your application here.

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) is also working with the AFCIA, administrating an additional USD 5 million of small grants to NGOs and Civil Society Organisations registered in a developing country. You can learn more here. Read more about the AFCIA through the brochure.

For developing countries with the Adaptation Fund’s accredited NIEs, the Adaptation Fund provides a recently launched innovation grant funding window, and more information on this can be found here.

2021 Global UNWTO Students’ League

Launching the 2021 Global UNWTO Students’ League

Registration deadline: 15 April 2021!

In 2020, UNWTO launched the UNWTO Students’ League, an innovative environment to empower and motivate tourism students by providing real-time experience to create and present innovative sustainable solutions for the challenges that the sector is currently facing.

Through an online competition, students from around the world will seek to develop their best ideas on subjects strongly linked to the UN SDGs. This 360º tool enables public and private sector stakeholders to foster talent development and obtain innovative sustainable solutions for the challenges they face. It also seeks to bridge the gap between students’ education and training and the realities of the sector, and therefore not only gives students more insight into the possible job avenues that exist, but also enables these young people to then enter the labor market as highly qualified and skilled professionals capable of adapting to any situation.

A dedicated event at the UNWTO General Assembly in October will showcase winning solutions.

Further information can be found here:

UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development

Call for Nominations:
Three prizes of US$ 50,000 to be won | Deadline: 30 April 2021

UNESCO is launching the call for nomination for the 2021 UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).

Generously funded by the Government of Japan, since 2015 the Prize rewards exceptional projects and programmes in the field of Education for Sustainable Development. 

In 2021, three winners will be rewarded with USD 50,000 each and will be invited to establish a long-term collaboration with UNESCO by joining the ESD for 2030 Global Network (ESD-Net).

Find out more!

Nominations can be made by Governments of UNESCO Member States via their Permanent Delegation to UNESCO in consultation with their National Commission for UNESCO as well as by non-governmental organizations in official partnership with UNESCO. Learn more!

Eligibility and Selection Criteria: the three Prize winners are selected by the Director-General of UNESCO on the basis of recommendations made by an international independent jury consisting of five experts. Learn more!

Climate Changemakers Launched 

World’s Largest Lesson believes learning is the first step to action!

Check out their recently launched Climate Changemakers – for children aged 8+ to add their voices to the movement for formalised climate and environmental education.

Through a short persuasive writing experience young people are encouraged to reflect on the value of climate education, be inspired by young activists and share why climate education matters to them. This is a tangible climate action step which students can take in the lead-up to Earth Day that can inspire everyone to realise their right to learn.

Get involved at

Youth Hacktivators

The Youth Hacktivators is a platform that allows companies to co-construct bold, innovative, authentic and eco-compatible solutions with the youth climate movement. They bring the untapped human potential of engaged youth through open innovation, creative formats and positive and constructive dialogue, while also making inclusive environmental action happen.

Their work is supported by a business ecosystem as well as by a fearless community of 40+ Hacktivators from different fields who are ready to take action and reshape business models/products/services into sustainable ones.

They are now at the start of the project but are looking to map the whole ecosystem and raise youth voices to all companies ready to listen. Join them if you have something to say for the climate.

Check out the website for more info:

One Nature, One Future:
IUCN Global Youth Summit

In light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and in order to increase inclusivity and reach as many global youth as possible, the @IUCN One Nature, One Future Global Youth Summit is going fully virtual, a first for the IUCN.

Young people are the engine of change, and to realize the world we want, it is critical to engage and empower them. By going virtual, IUCN can strengthen connections among young environmentalist leaders and their existing global networks, infuse their voices in decision-making processes, amplify their stories, and add further momentum to the growing youth-led movements for nature and climate.

Taking place 5-16 April 2021, a few months before the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseille, the Global Youth Summit will enable youth ages 18 to 35 from around the world to connect, exchange ideas and experiences, and work together on the Summit Outcome statement to be delivered to the IUCN Members’ Assembly in Marseille. In order to allow for meaningful intergenerational collaboration and exchanges, people of all ages are welcome to participate.

Participation in the Global Youth Summit is entirely free of charge. Join youth from around the globe to help shape a healthier, more resilient post-pandemic world from the city center, to rural communities, to the most remote protected areas.
To learn more click here and register here!


MOOC on Nature-based Solutions for Disaster and Climate Resilience 

Two months after its launch, 12,000 participants from 183 countries have registered for the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC): Nature-based Solutions for Disaster and Climate Resilience, developed by UNEP and the Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR). 

Since then, five short-to-the-point dialogue webinars, “Virtual Coffee for Changemakers” have been organized with high level speakers including Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Colombia University, the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, private sector leaders and women leaders of the greening Africa movement.  Recordings of these events are available exclusively to MOOC participants. 

Find out what everybody is talking about and earn your own UNEP certificate. The course is offered in seven languages (Arabic, English, French, Hindi, Indonesian, Mandarin/Chinese, Spanish)

The MOOC can also be an excellent supplement to higher education courses as an introduction to the topic for environmental science, geography, climate adaptation, or disaster risk reduction studies.

Register here: 

Conservation, Sustainability & Equity in 2021: 
YEAH Youth Conference

 The Beginning of Life: An Inspiring Movie to Reconnect Children to Nature

Genuine connections between children and nature can revolutionize our future. But is this discovery still possible in the world’s major urban centers?

Scientific evidence indicates that a lack of contact with nature can contribute to physical and mental problems. In the new chapter of “The Beginning of Life,” leading experts on the subject show how this connection can be part of the cure for the biggest challenges facing humanity today and the construction of a happier life with a greater level of well-being.

The film reveals that this concept has been transformative in several cities around the world that value and promote a greater connection with the natural world. The combination of science and action means a unique opportunity for a healthier future for humans and the planet.

Learn more here!

Get In Touch With Us
We would love to hear from you – What would you like to hear more about in these newsletters? Let us know and we’ll do our best to share content to your liking. And if you have any interesting calls to action, research asks or helpful information to share with others around the environment / sustainability / higher education theme, please don’t hesitate to send them to  and we will select a few to include in our next newsletter. 

Stay Safe Everyone!


The Youth, Education and Advocacy Team

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