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3 September 2019, UNESCO Paris, France

ISTIC held the above event on 3 September 2019 at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The event, which is held biennially, began since 2010; during which ISTIC reports to UNESCO and to the heads of the Permanent Delegations of Member Countries of developing nations on its activities, as well as to seek their advice and guidance on ISTIC action plans. The ISTIC “Return Home to UNESCO” has been co-organised with the office of the Permanent Delegation of Malaysia to UNESCO.

An associated ISTIC forum with the theme “Responding to the Unique Challenges on Climate Change through Climate Change Education“ was  also organised during the event bringing together different stakeholders for interaction. The theme on climate change education was chosen in view of its importance to the global world and which has been given focus by UNESCO, all other UN agencies and the InterAcademy Partnership of national academies of sciences and medicine.  ISTIC has been an active part in this international agenda.  The ISTIC “International Conference on Climate Change Education” was held in Kuala Lumpur in May 2018 as the main event of ISTIC’s 10th Anniversary Celebration. This was followed by a Training Workshop on Climate Change Education for Developing Countries in August in Kuala Lumpur and a brainstorming session in UNESCO Paris in November 2018 attended by three UNESCO Assistant Directors General and in which ISTIC participated.

The event was co-officiated by Datuk Dr. Amin Senin, the Director General of Education Malaysia who is also a member of ISTIC Governing Board and Mr. Ernesto Fernandez Polcuch, Chief of Section Science Policy and Partnership representing the Director-General of UNESCO. Datuk Amin’s speech touched on the inclusion of climate change education across the curriculum practised in Malaysia. Mr. Polcuch stressed on the importance of South-South Cooperation played as a significant component to increase exchange and experiences especially in the light of new competence and new technology and the need to develop capacity. His Excellency Dr. Mohd. Anesee Ibrahim, Permanent Delegate of Malaysia to UNESCO and Prof. Datuk Dr. Halimaton Hamdan, Chairman of ISTIC Governing Board gave the welcome addresses. The latter’s speech also included an overview and update of ISTIC’s activities and achievements. A special address by Prof. Pierre Lena, President of the Office for Climate Education set the scene for the forum and highlighted the important role of youth and need for action in combating climate change through climate change education. 

The associated forum was moderated by Dato’ Ir. Lee Yee Cheong, ISTIC Honorary Chairman and speakers were:

  • Dr. Peter Dogsé – Co- Chair Executive Secretariat, UNESCO Task Team on Climate Change
  • Dr. David Wilgenbus  –  CEO of Office for Climate Education
  • Dr. Peter McGrath  –  Coordinator, Inter Academy Partnership 
  • Dr. Lucilla Spini – Senior Science and Policy Officer, International Science Council
  • Dr. Abdoul Wahab Coulibaly – Programme Specialist, Section of Education for Sustainable Development.

Each speaker gave an introduction of their respective organisations and highlighted the activities being carried out on climate change education. Dr. Peter Dogsé emphasised the need for all sectors to work together. Among the activities presented include the training of journalists. Dr. David Wilgenbus stressed the need to focus on teachers and mentioned the resources available on climate change education prepared by OCE and La main à la Pâte Foundation. Dr. Peter McGrath referred to the IAP Statement on Climate Change Education and the various events taken as follow-up to the statement including that by ISTIC in 2018 and the October event to be hosted by the Network of African Science Academies. Dr. Lucilla Spini presented Tropicsu which are educational resources for teachers on topics related to climate change education while Dr. Abdoul Wahab Coulilably presented some resources under the activities of UNESCO’s unit for education for sustainable development. The presentations were followed by discussions which included the lack of interest in science among students and the need for action to allay the challenges particularly for those most vulnerable to changes in climate. It was emphasised that addressing climate change requires not only science but also the social sciences since it involves developing ethics, values and attitudes.

The event and forum was attended by more than 60 people comprising of permanent delegates/representatives of member countries of UNESCO, UNESCO officials and other interested parties as well as the officials of the Malaysian Embassy to France.


Buntings showing the general information on ISTIC and activities undertaken in relation to climate change education

H.E. Dr. Mohd. Anesee Ibrahim, Permanent Delegate of Malaysia to UNESCO welcoming delegates.    Prof. Datuk Dr. Halimaton Hamdan giving her welcome address.



Mr. Ernesto Fernandez Polcuch, Chief of Section Science Policy and Partnership, Natural Sciences delivering the keynote address on behalf of the Director-General of UNESCO.

  Datuk Dr. Amin Senin giving his keynote address.


Datuk Dr. Amin Senin and Mr. Ernesto Fernandez Polcuch during the launch of the event.


Dr. Peter Dogse, Co-Chair Executive Secretariat, UNESCO Task Team on Climate Change.

  Dr. David Wilgenbus, CEO of Office for Climate Education.

Dr. Peter McGrath, Coordinator, InterAcademy Partnership

  Dr. Lucilla Spini, Senior Science and Policy Officer, International Science Council.



Dr. Abdoul Wahab Programme Specialist Section of Education for Sustainable Development UNESCO 

  Dato’ Ir. Lee Yee Cheong, ISTIC Honorary Chairman.  


A section of the delegates attending the event.

Group photo of VIPs and Forum speakers.