Effective environmental protection requires that all citizens knowingly involve in actions geared toward the environment. The ‘Creating the knowledge and competence base on climate change and adaptation to climate change’, Project largely integrates educative considerations and is intended to raise environmental awareness among Poles. Educational tasks planned under the Project are to deliver the necessary knowledge on climate change and on the needs and options for adaptation to the consequences of these changes. These actions address a wide group of recipients and their intended results are to improve the effectiveness of implementing adaptation measures.
Employees of various governance levels and the public may still see climate change and adaptation to its consequences as a new issue, although humans have always adapted to environmental conditions. The poor understanding of adaptation to climate change continues to be a barrier that hinders the proper land and natural resource management.
Surveys on the environmental awareness of Poles, conducted by the Ministry of the Environment, have demonstrated that ’the issue of climate change is not widely known to the respondents, and information on the subject is needed and desirable’. Not enough human and financial resources as well as lack of knowledge and information were identified by the European Environment Agency (EEA), as basic obstacles to the implementation of adaptation measures. Furthermore, the lack of ‘know how’ in how to cope with the impacts of climate change and to enforce adaptive measures (expert knowledge) among the local governance employees, was identified as one of the key obstacles that prevent successful implementation of climate change adaptation processes at the local level.
Similar conclusions can be drawn from studies made in Poland. According to surveys conducted in 50 selected Polish metropolises and towns, the respondents associated climate changes primarily with the atmosphere and relevant phenomena, rarely with soils and water, and even more rarely with changes in the biosphere.
Moreover, understanding of climate change varied among the respondents, who often confused climate change consequences and causes, which testifies to a poor comprehension or organization of the knowledge about climate change mechanisms. The latter was also confirmed by comparative studies carried out at the county level. Based on the surveys conducted in 2011, as well as at the turn of 2014 and 2015, it can be concluded that both the low public awareness of threats and the lack of ‘know how’ (poor professional knowledge) in climate protection constitute significant barriers that prevent effective implementation of measures to mitigate the impacts of climate changes and adapt to these changes.
The results of wide surveys of the local self-governments, published in 2017, also demonstrate that it is the awareness of climate change consequences and the civil servants’ competencies that are decisive to the implementation of adaptation measures.
Educational activities under the Project address the employees representing different governance levels as well as the public. In addition to a web portal, which delivers the updated knowledge about climate changes and adaptation to these changes, there have been implemented an educational program tailored to the needs of primary school teachers and students as well as a public campaign.
E-learning training courses are being designed to provide the civil servants of local and regional level with the knowledge about spatial planning which takes into account climate changes and adaption. Workshops focusing on the integration of climate changes and adaptation measures into the Environmental Impact Assessment procedures have also been planned.
A number of informative and promotional materials will be developed within the scope of the Project, including films, spots, and leaflets. Conferences and press releases have been scheduled as well. The above materials will be successively available at the web portal. Please, subscribe to our newsletter!