The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Environmental Information and Education Centre (EIEC) of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, in partnership with the Georgian Public Broadcaster, are launching a TV series to educate young people about climate change. Shaped around UNDP’s mobile game Mission 1.5, released earlier this year, the TV series offers Georgian schoolchildren an entertaining way to learn about climate change and make decisions to keep global warming below the crucial threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“Educating young people is our chance to make sure that future decision-makers will opt for greener and more sustainable solutions,” said UNDP Head Louisa Vinton. “Mission 1.5 is a game, but climate change is not. If young people learn to understand both the threats and the solutions in a virtual setting, maybe we stand a chance of thwarting climate disaster in the real world.”
“Mission 1.5 is a good way to understand the challenges we are facing,” said EIEC Director Tamar Aladashvili. “Play-based learning is one of the best methods to turn knowledge into action and fulfil our mission to respond to the climate change challenge.”
The weekend TV show Break Time is aired as part of Channel-1’s TV School, an educational project launched by the Georgian Public Broadcaster to support school education during the COVID-19 pandemic when all schools in Georgia moved classes online. The TV School did not cease classes even after the academic year officially ended in June and continues offering schoolchildren extracurricular learning opportunities, including language classes and educational programmes, such as Break Time.
Seeking to help young people understand the threats and opportunities associated with climate change, Break Time is focusing on the key areas of climate action – renewable energy, green economy, sustainable transport, climate-induced disasters, sustainable agriculture and nature protection. Six programmes of the series will be aired on TV School and its YouTube channel in June and July. The programmes are produced jointly by UNDP and EIEC together with the creative group DemLab.
Mission 1.5 is a UNDP global campaign that aims to bridge the gap between people and governments on ambitious climate action and give millions worldwide a chance to inform their governments what measures to limit climate change they want.
It is built around a video game in which players take on the role of climate policymakers. After playing the game, players can vote on key climate actions they want to see adopted. This data will be analyzed and delivered to governments, which often lack access to reliable information on public opinion on climate action.
UNDP Georgia was among the first UNDP offices to sign on to the global campaign to enable citizens to cast their votes on how they want the Georgian Government to address climate change. A Georgian language version of the game became available to the public in May 2020.
Georgia and climate change
Georgia is also among the countries most engaged in climate action. In addition to emission-reduction commitments undertaken under the Paris Agreement, the Government has launched a USD 72 million programme centred around risk reduction, prevention and preparedness through improved monitoring, nationwide early warning systems and new infrastructure. The seven-year initiative, implemented by UNDP with support from the Green Climate Fund, Sweden and Switzerland, covers 11 river basins and will protect 1.7 million, or 40% of the population, from climate-induced hazards.
As part of this programme, UNDP is partnering with EIEC to spread the message on climate change, inform people about threats and solutions, and promote public engagement in climate action.