Child-Friendly Educatio- Transforming the lives of children affected by climate change
On any given day, more than a billion children are in primary or secondary
school. Far too many of them fail to complete their education, however,
dropping out because of fees, distant location and poor quality of schools;
because of discrimination based on gender, HIV and AIDS, and disabilities;
or because their education is disrupted by emergencies, conﬂict and chronic
Scientiﬁc ﬁndings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
clearly indicate that a changing climate has had and will continue to have a
signiﬁcant impact on human life and natural systems. The evidence suggests
that developing countries will be most affected by changes in rainfall patterns,
greater weather extremes and the increasing incidence of droughts and
ﬂoods, especially where resilience to shocks is low and livelihoods depend
on such natural resources as water and land. Disasters strike hardest in
poor communities, where people often live in substandard housing, unsafe
settlements and dangerous areas such as earthquake zones, ﬂood plains or
steep slopes at risk of erosion.
Nearly 90 per cent of the world’s children live in developing countries.
Although the impact of climate change and natural disasters on children
has not been fully researched, the available evidence shows that children
constitute one of the most at-risk groups, given their speciﬁc vulnerabilities.
Children’s physiology and cognitive immaturity make them more susceptible
to the effects of environmental degradation than adults, and they are therefore
more vulnerable to adverse environmental conditions such as poor air quality,
contaminated water and extreme heat. The effects are more severe for
children in developing countries with weak governance and poor education
systems, for children in small island states, for children living in poverty,
for girls, for children from ethnic minorities and indigenous groups, and for
children living with disabilities.