Challenges of Climate Change
Addressing the Challenges of Climate Change
Climate change is no longer an issue for the distant future. As the United Nations Secretary General has emphasized, climate change is the major, overriding issue of our time, causing crises in economy, health and safety, food production, security, and other dimensions—and its impact is only expected to grow.
Addressing climate change raises such complex issues as policy development, regulatory compliance, and implementation strategies. There is an acute need for widespread and specialized knowledge to address such issues, and for tools and opportunities to enable the involvement of a wider global audience.
GDLN Asia Pacific asked Delhi-based The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) to provide a global perspective in this field by developing a fee-based blended learning program. TERI, an autonomous, not-for-profit research institute that works on sustainable development, joined forces with Japan’s Institute of Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), the Tokyo Development Learning Centre (TDLC), and affiliates in Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam to participate in this effort.
A team of over 25 resource persons from TERI and IGES developed the contents over a period of about 4 months. The result is a mix of integrated distance learning technologies with the following distinctive features:
- Self-paced e-learning modules comprising interactive academic articles, video-recorded lectures, animated illustrations, and simulation models. Quizzes and assignments help ascertain the participants’ learning and evaluate their performance at different stages.
- Six videoconference sessions spread throughout the program allow interaction among the participants and presentations from international experts. The videoconferences are web-cast live and also recorded for subsequent viewing by the participants.
- Moderated discussion forums, regular news updates, and similar interactive tools.
- Broad-based content and structural flexibility cater for a wide range of international participants—policymakers, development practitioners, corporate sector, graduates, and mid-level professionals.
On February 21, 2011, on-line registration opened with the goal of inducting about 100 participants. Within the first two weeks more than 350 participants registered for the course. However, to keep the course manageable, only the first 150 participants could be confirmed to participate.
Feedback from participants has been very encouraging for the organizers. One of them noted:
“I am now in charge of downscaling climate change model in coastal mega-cities including Manila and Jakarta. Your module was very useful for me to think about the climate modeling.”