Closing Ceremony – Global Citizen Scholarship Program 2021

 

On December 15th, the Global Citizen Scholarship Program 2021 held its virtual Closing Ceremony. The Ceremony honored this year’s eight outstanding Global Citizen Scholars from African countries – Cameroon, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe.

The Ceremony was co-moderated by BKMC CEO Monika Froehler and BKMC Program Officer Julia Zimmerman and featured opening remarks from Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer as well as Márcia Balisciano, Chief Sustainability Officer, Global Head of ESG and Corporate Responsibility at RELX Group and BKMC Board Member. Further congratulatory remarks were delivered by Stéphanie Debette, Vice-President for External Relations at the University of Bordeaux, and Joanna Orne-Gliemann, Senior Scientist and Professor from the University of Bordeaux who coordinated the ‘African Cities in 2030’ summer school attended by the scholars and served as a mentor.

 “It makes me proud to see that you choose to be ambassadors for global citizenship and that we can count on you as a valued part of our BKMC family.” – Ban Ki-moon

After the opening and congratulatory remarks, Program Officer Julia Zimmerman presented an overview of the program and its activities. She highlighted the academic training with the University of Bordeaux, the 6 expert workshops, and networking opportunities provided as well as the one-on-one mentoring and the implementation of an SDG Micro-Project by each scholar.  

Following the overview, video pitches of four of the scholars’ SDG Micro-Projects were shared. The project videos screened included:

  • Informal Urban Fabrics Flood Resilience by Scholar Fenosoa Ramiaramanana (Madagascar)
  • Implementing Garden Sachs in Deep Sea Slum Nairobi by Scholar Bessy Thuranira (Kenya)
  • Get the Children off the Streets by Scholar Eedee-Bari Bawoh (Nigeria)
  • Project BLISS by Scholar Gillian Ndlovu (Zimbabwe)

After the project videos, scholars were honored one by one for their achievements and were presented with a professional illustration of their projects as well as a Certificate of Achievement signed by BKMC Co-chairs.

Before concluding the ceremony, Scholar Gillian Ndlovu (Zimbabwe) was asked to take the floor and share her reflection on her time in the program. She shared her deep appreciation for the opportunity and her hopes for the future.

 

“It only takes a little spark to get a fire going. Our SDG Micro-Projects are sparks that have become flames and that will soon become a fire. We are going to keep the fire burning, and we will endeavor from this moment forward to work hard for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.” – Gillian Ndlovu

The BKMC congratulates our eight scholars on their tremendous achievements and thanks their partners – RELX Group and the University of Bordeaux – for making this program possible.

Watch the full recording of the Closing Ceremony HERE.

Learn more about the Scholarship Program HERE.

Mid-Term Reflections on the Online Executive Training “Young Women Leadership on Climate Adaptation”

End of the first term of the Online Executive Training

 

The Ban Ki-moon Centre launched a new Online Executive Training aiming to foster Young Women Leadership on Climate Adaptation in cooperation with the CARE Climate and Resilience Academy and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, supported by the Global Center on Adaptation 

Thirty outstanding young women from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe with diverse professional backgrounds were selected to embark on a unique learning journey togetherDuring 20 weeks of training, the trainees strengthen their leadership skills, broaden their professional networks, and elevate their knowledge on gender-sensitive climate adaptation.  

After a challenging and enriching nine weeks, the first term of the training came to an end. Before kicking off the second and final term, our trainees took some time to reflect on their experience being part of this journey. 

We are delighted to share with you the reflections of Patience Sibanda, a 28-year-old Zimbabwean student and researcher in the field of climate-smart agriculture and resilience building at University of Fort Hare, South Africa.


Guest Blog by Patience Sibanda

Flawless, seamless, exceptional, informative, are the words that describe my experience as a trainee in the Online Executive Training. I gained priceless knowledge on climate crisis management, the nexus of gender, climate vulnerability, adaptation, resilience and advocacy and the pivotal role young women play in bringing attention to climate policy architecture.

Over and above, the structure and organization of the training is unique and didactic for two key reasons. Firstly, through the use of CLANED, a learning tool, I am able to study and visit any training material at my convenience, given that I come from a developing country, where the cost of the internet is exorbitant.

Secondly, the weekly live sessions’ by facilitators make the experience even more engaging through their ability to break down complex concepts that can be understood by beginners, such as the Climate Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis (CVCA) tool. As an aficionado of climate adaptation and resilience, I studied the CVCA tool and the climate adaptation checklist with curiosity. I can safely say that I am ready to adopt the tool in my academic writing and community adaptation actions that I will pioneer.

Another interesting aspect of Term 1 was the career coaching module by Hesed Consulting CEO Vumile Msweli, which was life-changing for me. The key takeaways from this session were the 4Bs in career building: Bona (see), Buza (ask), uBuntu (humanness), Bhadalwa (get paid).

I learned a lot from other experienced professionals such as Seychelles’ Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust CEO Angelique Pouponneau, University of Pretoria Prof. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, African Development Bank Group Senior Regional Climate Change and Green Growth Expert for Central Africa Monique Motty and CIAT Senior Scientist & Global Leader Policies and Institutions Dr. Caroline Mwongera. The training is not just about having continuous lectures, but testing your knowledge and comprehension through assignments and quizzes.

I am overly grateful to the organizers’ continued support and BKMC Program Officer Viola Christian and her team. Thank you for making this training worthwhile. Looking forward to Term 2.

 

Why Is Agriculture Key to Ending Unemployment in Kenya

Guest Blog

By Joe McCarthy

Kenya’s economy revolves around farming. More than 40% of the population, including 70% of rural adults, work in the agricultural sector, which generates a third of the country’s gross domestic product, according to USAID.

Harvesting crops, preparing and processing foods, and then selling goods locally or abroad is central to day-to-day life. 

Yet Loureen Akinyi Awuor, a programmes officer at the Kenya National Farmers’ Federation and “Young Women in Climate Adaptation” Trainee, still thinks agriculture is a “gold mine” of untapped opportunity. 

As part of Global Citizen’s partnership with the Ban Ki-moon Centre, Awuor recently spoke to Global Citizen about the state of youth employment in Kenya, how agriculture can be improved, and what structural investments need to be made to unlock the country’s potential.  Read our new content piece with Global Citizen HERE and find out why funding farmers is key to ending unemployment, poverty and hunger around the world. 

You can Take Action Now and Speak Up for Farmers on the Frontline of the Climate Crisis! Leave a personal message and tell your leader why smallholder farmers need our help.

Beyond COP26 – Moving Towards a Green Economy

First Virtual Climate Symposium hosted by the Ban Ki-moon Centre & the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the International Organizations in Vienna

“Beyond COP26 – Moving Towards a Green Economy” hosted by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the International Organizations in Vienna and the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens took place on November 30, 10 AM CET. We showcased achievements and challenges on climate action in the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Austria. 

The Virtual Climate Symposium featured leaders and experts across sectors to discuss key outcomes of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), best practice examples and opportunities to increase efforts in transitioning to a greener and hydrogen-based economy in the Republic of Korea and Republic of Austria, and how to accelerate the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement.

H.E. Shin Chae-hyun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations in Vienna, H.E. Ban Ki-moon, 8th United Nations Secretary-General and Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens (Video Statement), and Dr. Heinz Fischer,11th Federal President of Austria and Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens gave opening remarks.

Katrin Harvey, COO of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens delivered a COP26 recap, highlighting main results in Glasgow, such as countries committing to ending deforestation by 2030, phasing out fossil fuels, doubling climate finance for mitigation and adaptation, first steps of recognizing loss and damage vulnerable countries, and a rising commitment by the private sector to net-zero. 

Our distinguished panelists Dr. Renate Christ, Former Director of the IPCC Secretariat, Dr. Jonghee Han, Director of Institute of Hydrogen Energy of Korea Institute of Energy Technology, Marie-Theres Thöni, Director for Renewable Energy and Electricity, Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation & Technology in Austria discussed the results of COP26, the importance of scientific facts to fight the climate crisis, the technological pathways Austria is currently envisioning to tackle the climate emergency, and the role of hydrogen economy in Korea to achieve carbon neutrality and green economy. The panel was moderated by Monika Froehler, CEO of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens.

“We see some progress. The NDCs submitted after Paris would have led to a global temperature increase of 3.2 degrees. The revised ones in July 2021 estimated an increase of 2.7 degreees. We can have the best agreement, the best pledges but they have to be put in action.” – Dr. Renate Christ

 

“It’s important to put the emphasis on RENEWABLE Hydrogen. We need to elevate the current renewable electricity production by 50 percent within the next ten years. Thus, there is not only a technological pathway, but we must also raise acceptance for the renewables in the population, especially for the instalation of solar and wind power by establishing an energy community.”  – Marie Theres-Thöni

 

Hydrogen could be one of the primary items to  decarbonize import and transportation. We need to collaborate internationallyto build the hydrogen transport structure and we have to share the technology to build the international connection/ transportation.”  Dr. Han Jong-Hee

 

We thank our speakers and the Korean Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Vienna for their insights on transitioning to a greener and hydrogen-based economy in South Korea and Austria.

26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) – There is No Time to Waste

First Pledge for Smallholder Farmers, Agricultural Innovation and Research reaches $575M!

Between October 31st and November 12th, the United Kingdom (UK) hosted the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland. After one year of delay, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 25.000 delegates from all over the world gathered to exchange, partner, negotiate, and significantly accelerate climate action towards achieving the Paris Climate Agreement.

In Glasgow, the BKMC was present throughout the conference and met with with high-level stakeholders and decision-makers of countries and institutions including the European Commission, Germany, NetherlandsUKQatar, and Zambia to advocate for higher attention to climate change adaptation in agriculture, especially towards the most vulnerable group – smallholder farmers. 

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered several calls for action during COP26. At the Agri-Food Transition Summit Climate Spotlight, he reinforced the key role of Agricultural Adaptation for building resilient food systems.

Monika Froehler, CEO of the BKMC, and Katrin Harvey, COO of the BKMC spoke at the COP26 side events: Sustainable Innovation Forum  “Climate Action Dialogue – Future Foods: Creating a Sustainable Food System for All” and the Agri-Food Transition Summit Panel Discussion “Meeting the Net Zero: Promoting Technological Innovation to Adapt Supply Chains Towards Efficiency, Resilience and Sustainabilty”, organized by Climate Action.

   

At COP26, a coalition of funders pledged $575 million to deliver climate-smart solutions to farmers in low-income countries via CGIAR. Several launches of initiatives and partnerships to draw further financing and commitment towards agricultural adaption were made.

In contrast to previous UN Climate Change Conferences, conversations and pledges at COP26 had a greater focus on adaptation measures, with agriculture playing a vital role. As of today, only roughly one-quarter of global climate change finance is directed towards adaptation measures. With the Elevating Agricultural Adaptation Program, the BKMC calls on leaders to increase commitments towards climate-smart agriculture, channeling resources to the CGIAR.

“It was encouraging to see the dynamics on many layers that increase the attention towards adaptation efforts in the agricultural sector,” says Angela Reithuber, Program Manager of Elevating Agricultural Adaptation at the BKMC. “However, it became very clear that there are still huge gaps in quantitative and qualitative commitments of countries to accelerate action in climate-smart agriculture. We need farmer-centred solutions with a high level of transparency to accelerate innovation and knowledge-sharing.”

There were loud calls that next year’s COP27 in Egypt, Africa must focus even more on adaptation measures, as agriculture is both a driver and a solution to solving the climate crisis.  

Read the COP26 Op-Ed by Co-chair Ban Ki-moon here.

Watch the Sustainable Innovation Forum recording here.

Watch the Agri-Food Transition Summit recording here.

New Report: Europe and North America Regional GCED Network

We are very excited to share our new research report titled “Mapping the GCED sector in Europe and North America” together with our partner APCEIU. 

The report is based on a research project led by Lynette Shultz (Centre for Global Citizenship Education and Research, University of Alberta) and Massimiliano Tarozzi (International Research Centre on Global Citizenship Education, University of Bologna) as Principal Investigators.

This study addresses an important gap in GCED research by exploring how GCED is constructed and moves across networks of actors, including governments, NGOs, researchers, and educational institutions, among others.

While in recent years some research has explored the role of both offline and digital networks (Twitter in particular) in shaping educational policy, this is the first study to apply social network analysis to GCED educational policy and practice.

If you are interested in how offline and digital networks shape educational policy read the report below:

Stage at Global Citizen Live Paris Copyright - Katre Olmez

World Leaders Pledge to Save the Planet at Global Citizen

$100B Climate Pledge, $6B for Famine Relief, and Vaccine Justice at Global Citizen Live!

Official partner of Global Citizen through a joint program Elevating Agricultural Adaptation the BKMC attended Global Citizen Live in Paris. The 24-hour broadcasted festival spanning seven continents and bringing together over 70 artists, activists, and leaders raised more than US$1.1B, 157M trees, and over 60M COVID-19 vaccines.

While calling for leaders to make financial and political commitments to agricultural adaptation, the BKMC calls to direct such resources to CGIAR. At Global Citizen Live, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced a €140 million pledge while Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, announced a €75 million pledge, and Meryame Kitir, Belgian Minister of Development Cooperation and Major Cities Policy, announced a €6 million pledge to CGIAR.

The BKMC is strongly advocating for more attention to the most vulnerable in the world, supporting smallholder farmers and climate change adaptation. Thanks to all joint efforts, several world leaders made pledges to commit to vaccine distribution, fighting hunger, education for all as well as battling the impacts of climate change.

Under the leadership of Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, the BKMC thanks Ursula Von Der Leyen, President of the European Commission, Prime Minister Mark Rutte of Netherlands, Minister of International Development Dag Inge Ulstein of Norway and Meryame Kitir Minister of Development Cooperation of Belgium and so many more for their commitments to the most vulnerable in our world.

Check out Global Citizen’s impact report here to find out about the details. 

     

Coldplay Supports the Ban Ki-moon Centre’s Call for Climate Action

Coldplay’s call to action echoed the urging of Indonesian climate advocates, who co-signed a letter to President Joko Widodo, widely known throughout the country as Jokowi, to reaffirm Indonesia’s commitments to protecting rainforests from deforestation, investing in renewable energy, and achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre is an official partner of Global Citizen through a joint program Elevating Agricultural Adaptation and will be attending Global Citizen Live in Paris, where we will see a massive call to action, spanning seven continents and bringing together over 70 artists, activists, and leaders in our push for an equitable end to the COVID-19 pandemic, relief for the hunger crisis, protecting the environment, and more. 

Join us to advocate for the climate resilience of smallholder farmers around the world by championing them and calling on world leaders to strengthen food security. Check out this link for actions you can take! 

Watch the livestream here:

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon Visits Vienna

On September 7 – 9, 2021 – Vienna, Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens (BKMC), Ban Ki-moon and his wife Madam Yoo Soon-taek along with Former South Korean Ambassador to the United Nations Kim Sook arrived in Vienna, Austria. During the two-day visit former UN Secretary-General Ban attended many bilateral meetings, visited the UN Headquarters in Vienna as well as the BKMC office. BKMC board member H.E. Ambassador Sadiq Marafi of Kuwait hosted an amazing welcome dinner inviting several high-level guests including H.E. Marzouq Al Ghanim, Speaker of Kuwait’s Parliament, BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi. The dinner provided the Co-chairs and H.E. Ambassador Marafi an opportunity to discuss the collaboration between the Embassy of Kuwait and the BKMC.

The second day started with the former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon revisiting the United Nations Headquarters in Vienna. At the Vienna International Centre, he met with UNODC Director General Ghada Fathi Waly, International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, UNIDO Director General Li Yong as well as Martin Nesirky Director of the United Nations Information Service. The discussions focused on the current and future collaborations between the agencies and the BKMC regarding the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, Rule of Law, climate change and empowering young people.

 
BK Kurz trifft Ban Ki Moon im BKA. 08.09.2021, Foto: Dragan Tatic

In the afternoon, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had bilateral meetings with the Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and the Mayor of Vienna, Michael Ludwig taking the opportunity to talk about, the situation in Afghanistan, the pandemic, and climate change. BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon also presented the government leaders with signed copies of his new memoir “Resolved” underlining the importance of multilateralism in a divided world.

On his final day Co-chair Ban visited the offices of the BKMC in Vienna and took the chance to catch up with the team and the BKMC’s activities. Following the visit, Co-chair Ban’s final stop was a farewell lunch hosted by H.E. Ambassador Shin of Korea to discuss the UN’s history and anti-corruption efforts with IACA Dean Thomas Stelzer.

   

Access the photo album below:

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon Visit Vienna 2021  

How Funding for Farmers Can Help End Hunger and Poverty

Guest Blog

By Joe McCarthy

Globally, there are over 500 million smallholder farms, working on which are over a billion people who cultivate fruits and vegetables and raise animals to create the food that ends up providing half of the world’s calories.

By preventing hunger and generating economic activity, these farmers create the conditions for communities to thrive. But farming is an arduous profession made even more challenging by the worsening effects of climate change.

The world is at a crossroads — now is the time to put the full weight of global development behind the people who put food on all of our tables.  Read our new content piece with Global Citizen HERE and find out why funding farmers is the biggest step in fighting poverty and hunger around the world.