Applying a Framework for Climate Change Educational Needs Assessment in Large Ocean States

By Shireen Fahey, Luke Verstraten and Noel Meyers.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: December 31, 2014 $US5.00

Climate change adaptation education is most urgently needed for those nations most at risk for the impacts of human induced climate change. The most in need include those peoples who have the least amount of resources including financial, knowledge and time to cope. In this paper, we report on using a methodology designed to evaluate human resource capacity to implement climate change adaptation strategies in three Large Ocean States in the Western Indian Ocean nations. The methodology builds on the framework described by Fahey and Meyers (2014). We used qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluate perceptions of human resource capacity building needs among government, non-government, private sector, and higher education professionals. We conducted three working groups, one in each of Zanzibar, the Seychelles, and Comoros. The needs analysis for climate change education reflected common needs, similar challenges and shared interests. As would be expected, each nation would begin from a different starting point based on existing expertise and capacity. Analysis of stakeholder’s perceptions from each of the three work groups demonstrates the robustness of our chosen methods for data collection: on-line survey, handwritten survey, and working groups of stakeholders. The use of working groups, comprising stakeholders from multiple sectors provides a valuable format for determining the needs of organisations to build capacity to deliver outcomes aligned with the Mauritius Strategy (2005) and National Climate Change self-assessment aspirational targets. Recommendations from the pilot assessment include: collaborative selection (between facilitators and national stakeholders) of workshop and focus group participants, well in advance of the activities; electronic distribution of surveys and questionnaires as a priority; and repeated communication with stakeholders regarding project activities and the purpose for the pilot and larger context.

Keywords: Climate Change Adaptation, Education, SIDS, Large Ocean States, Least Developed Countries, Qualitative Methods

International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp.31-52. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: December 31, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 985.329KB)).

Dr Shireen Fahey

Associate Professor of Coastal Zone Environments, School of Science and Engineering, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, Queensland, Australia

Luke Verstraten

Research associate and Honours program, School of Science and Engineering, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, Queensland, Australia

Luke focuses on environmental aspects of climate change adaptation. His collaborative research projects include establishing propagation methods for endangered flora, economic assessment of climate change impacts; education needs analyses to build capacity to respond to environmental and climate change issues and evaluation of land use on soil carbon stocks.

Dr. Noel Meyers

Professor and Head of the School of Education, Outdoor & Environmental Studies, School of Education, La Trobe University, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia


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