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Country: Honduras
SDG Region: Latin America and the Caribbean
Sector: Public, formal education
Keywords: Formal education, informal education, public engagement, multi-stakeholder engagement, climate communication, action learning

In Tegucigalpa, the capital city of Honduras, the Honduran Association of Developing Communities (AHCODESS), in association with the Agency for Development and Sustainable Environmental Management (ADEGEA) are learning how to change the hearts and minds of citizens.

The City and Climate Change Management and Adaptation

This case study considers how the government can implement a holistic approach to climate communication and education (CCE) to impact how Tegucigalpa’s citizens, across all walks of life and demographic categories, know, feel, and act about climate change.

Using a survey, interviews, and focus groups collected from people who represented the city’s age, gender, and location mix, the research developed an overview of citizens’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to climate change adaptation. The research findings help illustrate the relationship between public opinions and beliefs around climate change, formal and informal education around the subject, and the impact of high-level stakeholders.

The case study found that there has been minimal mainstreaming of CCE in Tegucigalpa.

The lack of mainstreaming has had broad impacts on citizens’ climate knowledge. The researchers found that on average, citizens were not knowledgeable about the causes, effects and consequences of climate change. For example, citizens lacked awareness of the relationship between climate change and the increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather in Honduras. In turn, low levels of climate awareness correlated with a low level of sustainable practices to fight against the effects of climate change.

Based on the data collected, the researchers argue that CCE in Tegucigalpa needs to be addressed from multiple avenues. They propose the promotion of CCE from a wide range of actors.

“[To promote CCE,] political will is needed both from the educational authorities, integrated by the Ministry of Education, Universities, Professional Technical Education Centers or Non-Formal Alternative, with NGOs, programs and projects of Ministries such as those of Natural Resources, Environment, Forest Conservation, Entrepreneurship, Public Finance.”

Governing bodies and educational institutions have not made use of resources for CCE, particularly in the area of teacher development.

In the public sector, the case study suggests greater action from governments and the state is needed, including through the creation of public policies to help coordinate various actors in the implementation of CCE.

On a local level in formal education, the researchers indicate the importance of dispersing climate education throughout the entire school curriculum, rather than cementing its place in the natural sciences.

Climate change should be discussed across all subjects, including social sciences and technical education, to ensure that sustainability is entrenched in every part of the schooling system.

Overall, this case study emphasizes the necessity for stakeholders across all sectors to cooperate on the implementation of effective CCE. This means that governments, universities, financial institutions, NGOs, conservationists, and more all need to implement CCE in order for substantial change to occur. Educating individual citizens can help achieve collective change. By shaping citizens’ knowledge, opinions, and behaviors, climate education can help move people to climate action.

The MECCE Project is grateful to Asociación Hondureña de Comunidades en Desarrollo for conducting this case study


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