GREEN-Pal FunDoo | Climate Action Now
By 2030, it is estimated that up to 175 million young people will be exposed to severe droughts and up to 1.2 billion will be at risk of flooding due to climate change1. As the inheritors of a planet already experiencing the impacts of climate change, young people are uniquely positioned to advocate for urgent action and push for transformative change. With their energy, passion, and creativity, they can help shape a more sustainable future. To catalyse this change, UNICEF’s Office of Innovation, Association for Learning Design and Education for Sustainable Development (ALDESD), and The American are collaborating in the development of the GREEN-Pal Chatbot within the FunDoo ecosystem.
GREEN-Pal employs an activity-based learning approach through UNICEF’s innovation FunDoo, a digital life coach for adolescents and youth. Currently active in thirteen countries with over 770,000 users, Fundoo can provide young people with information on the impact of climate change and the ways in which they can reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to environmental sustainability simply through mobile phones using mediums such as SMS, Whatsapp, Facebook, Viber and Telegram. Content on funDoo follows the experiential learning principle where young people learn by doing real-world tasks to reduce energy consumption, conserve water, and adopt eco-friendly practices in daily life.
Additionally, Fundoo can help young people to develop essential skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making that are necessary for effective climate action. By empowering young people with these skills, Fundoo can help them to identify and address environmental issues in their communities and take action to create positive change.
GREEN-Pal and FunDoo are developing a tool for youth climate action skills, focusing on advocacy as a key instrument to build a better, stronger future for children and young people. GREEN-Pal and FunDoo provide bite-sized learning journeys that focus on i) ecological literacy; ii) systems thinking and iii) action competence. The learning journeys will follow the CoDesingS ESD Framework embedding tasks focused on the specific learning objectives for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Head: targeting activities focusing on cognitive engagement; Heart: introducing activities targeting socio-emotional engagement, and Hand: introducing action-oriented activities targeting behaviour (UNESCO, 2017; CoDesignS ESD, 2021; Sipos et al., 2008; Cotton & Winter, 2010).
GREEN-Pal is aligned with the Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) elements adopted by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to denote work under Article 6 of the Convention and Article 12 of the Paris Agreement.
“Implementation of all six ACE elements is crucial to the global response to climate change. Everyone, including and perhaps especially the young, must understand and participate in the transition to a low-emission, climate-resilient world.” (UNFCCC, 2023)
The over-arching goal of ACE is to empower all members of society to engage in climate action, through the six ACE elements – climate change education and public awareness, training, public participation, public access to information, and international cooperation on these issues.
The Association for Learning Design and Education for Sustainable Development (ALDESD), UNICEF Office of Innovation and The America University of Sharjah (AUS) are collaborating in the development of the GREEN-Pal Chatbot within the FunDoo ecosystem. GREEN-Pal will be launched during the 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in November 2023 at Expo City Dubai. By launching Green-Pal in the UAE, we can harness this unique moment to unite the world in working towards a sustainable future.
Click on the phases below to learn more:
Phase I: Prototype Test – May 2023 – June 2023
- Introduce the prototype in English and conduct a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) with a group of young learners during the Best Practice in Teaching and Learning Conference at the American University of Sharjah in May 2023.
- Introduce the prototype in English and Spanish during the Learning Design and ESD Bootcamp 2023.
- Quantitative and qualitative feedback from the tests will be analysed. A report will be produced with key findings and recommendations.
Phase II: Content creation & FunDoo Prototype- July-September 2023
- The learning paths and tasks are finalised.
- The first FunDoo prototype is developed in Rapid Pro.
- The prototype is tested. A Focus Group Discussion (FGD) is conducted with a group of young learners from the American University of Sharjah
- Global youth partners are identified to mobilise youth to access the chatbot.
- The data is analysed, and a report is produced with key findings and recommendations.
- Final tests are carried out.
Phase III: Launch of FunDoo to adolescents and youth globally- September 2023 and beyond
Green Pal FunDoo chatbot is available to be scaled globally for adolescents and youth to start the engagement, actions and learning.
Phase IV: GREEN-Pal/FunDoo Launch at COP28- November 2023
GREEN-Pal is launched at COP28. Having been named as a member of the COP28 University Taskforce by the UAE Special Climate Envoy to COP28, AUS is preparing for a series of exciting events showcasing breakthrough climate-related research initiatives of its faculty leading to COP28: https://www.aus.edu/media/news/american-university-of-sharjah-to-showcase-climate-credentials-in-lead-up-to-cop28. GREEN-Pal would be showcased and promoted globally during the event.
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