A world of empowered communities, governments, and actors networked to rapidly implement equitable and urgently-needed climate solutions from grassroots to global action.
ECOS is a coalition of community builders enhancing climate change education, communication, and outreach endeavors of the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat, its member states, and sub-national entities around the world. It fosters collaboration and exchange of transformative knowledge and practices; broadens civic engagement; builds capacity; and shapes policy through a cohesive infrastructure for climate action.
The ECOS website is undergoing a complete rebuild during August 2021 and so will be this single page. We look forward to the September 2021 launch of our new dynamic website.
The Education, Communication, and Outreach Stakeholder Community (ECOS) was formed in 2016 as a community officially recognized by the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat. ECOS supports effective, innovative efforts to build the capacity of individuals, communities, and organizations (both non-government and government) to make informed climate decisions.
ECOS is a “network of networks” that focuses on civic engagement, capacity building, policy development and climate literacy. We believe that effective, disruptive innovation is imperative to achieve the deep level of transformation required in order to address climate change. ECOS aims to serve the needs of communities and organizations that are involved with climate literacy and information but are outside the United Nations process. Our activities, goals, resources, and services will evolve over time to meet the needs of the ECOS community to build capacity for climate action. We continually seek to identify and lift effective practices and address key opportunities and constraints.
As part of the global effort to reduce the anthropogenic causes of climate change and to support multi-scale actions to minimize the harmful impacts of climate change through resilience and adaptation, the ECOS Community advocates for:
- climate education (lifelong learning and climate literacy),
- climate communication (information sharing and stakeholder interaction for sound decision-making),
- climate outreach (inspiring innovative ideas and actions through meaningful messages,
- climate participation (stakeholder voice as part of collaborative, pluralistic climate governance),
- climate training (improve capacity in any and all relevant areas of climate science and policy, especially in education), and
- climate engagement and empowerment (promoting activities to increase awareness and mobilize action).
ECOS and Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE)
Our community of experts and agents of change actively work towards inclusive and equitable education, access to information, training, public awareness, civic involvement, and international cooperation – key elements of Action for Climate Empowerment(ACE). ACE is the UN program that works to implement the original goals of Article 6 of the UNFCCC, which call for public involvement in developing meaningful and constructive responses to climate change. Implementation of ACE is done through the Doha Work Programme.
The original vision of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was very people-focused. In Article 6 of the Convention, renamed “Action for Climate Empowerment” or ACE in 2015, the parties agreed that education, public access to information, training for relevant professionals, and international collaboration and cooperation would allow the public to be directly involved in developing adequate responses to climate change. However, many parties have been limited to their response to fulfilling their commitments to inform and engage the public and professionals, and efforts to build literacy and the capacity for people to make informed decisions was left largely to motivated individuals and organizations to tackle on their own, often with little support. While there have been some important success stories, they have been the exception rather than the rule.
ECOS aims to support the UNFCCC Secretariat and its ACE efforts and focal points, as well as other stakeholders and enthusiasts working to build capacity for public engagement and informed climate action. A survey conducted in 2018 by ECOS found that the highest priority of the climate education, communication and outreach community is funding, which is an urgent need to nations, communities and individuals seeking to build community capacity to take informed climate action.
ECOS is currently exploring the potential for a Climate Literacy & Engaged Action Response (CLEAR) Fund to help communities around the world develop community-based climate education, communication and outreach engagement and action partnerships and initiatives.
Isatis Cintron is a Puertorrican climate scientist studying the chemistry, transport and impacts of air pollution on glaciers from Antarctica to Greenland at Rutgers University. She has a long track record of community organizing, capacity building and support in Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Region. She has been the Latin America Regional Coordinator for Citizens Climate Education since 2015. Citizens Climate Education focuses on empowering individuals in advancing environmental literacy and civic participation. She also is an acting Latin America liaison for the United Nations Climate Change Education, Communication and Outreach Stakeholders Community (ECOS). She has led numerous initiatives in Puerto Rico including the creation of the Community Guide for the Climate Ready Estuary program of the San Juan Bay Estuary, in an effort to build capacity of Puerto Rico’s vulnerable coastal and estuarine communities to the impacts of climate change. She has developed climate and green science modules aligned with the Puerto Rico Department of Education Science Standards and interned in the Sustainable Management of Materials (SMM) – a partnership of the Environmental Finance Center of the University of Syracuse, the University of Cornell and the Puerto Rico Recycling Partnership. The SMM internship consisted in developing and coordinating a residue management plan in collaboration with schools while instructing students about the biogeochemical cycles, toxicity, analysis of life product, compost micro-habitat ecology and building a compost system. Cintron-Rodriguez leads on strategy and planning across the region to grow a strong, effective and diverse climate advocate society. Her work has been supported by the Union of Concerned Scientist to make citizens’ assembly surrounding the issue in Puerto Rico, a blueprint that has served to coordinate and deploy citizens assemblies globally for broadening spaces for civic engagement at the local and international level. As part of her CCE and ECOS she is responsible for regional advocacy and partnership development. She manages and design of engagement strategies working with civil society, scientists and policymakers across the world. Isatis believes that as scientists one of our greatest duties is to distribute and create information with multiple stakeholders, since the purpose of knowledge is to be shared. She is the founder of Climate Trace an organization that aims to build a grassroots Climate Agenda for Puerto Rico that translates into policy by building bridges between citizens, policymakers and scientists.
Timothy Damon, an ECOS co-focal point, founder and President of the Global Youth Development Institute (GYDI), an internationally-oriented 501(c)(3) with the mission of educating and empowering young people across the world as leaders for action on climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals. He has acquired extensive experience since 2011 working in and around the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), through the varied roles of an academic researcher, youth advocate and trainer, and an adviser for government delegations on youth and Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE). His thought-leadership regarding the empowerment and engagement of youth in climate action was recognized by The Elders in 2014, through a winning proposal in MIT’s Climate Colab global competition. For 2016, he served as the democratically elected Focal Point for YOUNGO (the official youth constituency of the UNFCCC). Prior to this, he was a leader in the youth efforts which succeeded in having the principle of “intergenerational equity” recognized in the Paris Agreement. In 2018, he was a leading organizer for the UNFCCC’s first-ever youth forum on ACE. As a current member of the coordination team for ECOS, he leads on the strategy and implementation of ECOS policy and advocacy engagement. Timothy holds a M.Sc. in Climate Change and International Development from the University of East Anglia and a B.A. in Law and Policy, with Economics minor, from Dickinson College.
Eileen Doohan cut her teeth on appropriate tech as a community developer in Fiji with the Peace Corps, then innovated along the bleeding edge of high tech back when Unix & C were still young, mobile tech and now cleantech projects for over 30 years with NEC (Japan), Alcatel (Germany) and NTT DoCoMo (Japan), plus newly-minted start-ups and public private partnerships int he US, Japan, Jamaica, UK and New Zealand. Eileen founded an interactive literacy gaming NGO for reading enrichment and worked as a Manager of ITU 3G/4G partnerships for high-speed, IP-based telemetric mobile systems. She also serves as EVP for Partnerships at www.RenewableNations.us, an #SDGAction13739, member of the Steering Committee for ClimateECOS.org UNFCCC constituency group,, Director of GloCha.org, COO of VITALcleantech.com, Founder of www.Bioproducts.Center, a non-profit project of LA Cleantech Incubator, and ClimateCelebrations.org, a non-profit project of GloCha.org. Her key interests are accelerating climate action with Pop-up Tech & Music Events for Climate, Global Benchmarks & Dashboards through action research for sustainability education that scales to empower and transform youth of all ages, Triple Bottom Line Accounting, Food Loss and Waste + Healthy Soils, and Sustainable Project Finance. A graduate of Kenneth Boulding’s Conflict & Peace Studies (CU Boulder, BA Econ), Eileen also enjoys skiing, poetry, and Zags college basketball. https://www.linkedin.com/in/eileendoohanprofile/
Berenice Danaé Espinoza H., an ECOs co-focal point, is an Internationalist graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). She is co-coordinator of Movimiento de Jóvenes Latinoamericanos y Caribeños frente al Cambio Climático (CLIC!) and former YOUNGO Global South Focal Point to UNFCCC (2014). She has been part of the Mexican Delegation as a member of CSOs and behalf her country and, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, has led the negotiation process of Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) in the climate change negotiations of UNFCCC. She is the co-author of the book “Young people towards 2030. Innovation for transformation: Contributions for Reflection”, a UNFPA publication and its office in Mexico, in collaboration with the Mexican Institute of Youth (IMJUVE) to make visible the importance of having the participation of young people in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. She currently collaborates as Latin American Representative with the Education, Communication & Outreach Stakeholders Group (ECOS) on climate education and capacity building. She has been part of the development and implementation of capacity building projects in climate change for youth in Mexico and in the Latin American region.
Viktor Josa’s involvement in education and outreach roots from his youth engagement in the UN climate policy lobby. As a youth stakeholder in the WHO and UNFCCC processes he has developed an interest for climate empowerment, which he strives to foster by bridging the gap between civil society and international policy processes through innovative educational tools with a youth-led group called, CliMates. Previously, Viktor worked as a junior consultant for WHO’s European Centre for Environment and Health on European health adaptation to climate change and currently works in a Brussels based NGO that focuses on raising the ambition of healthcare towards climate-smart solutions. As a former intern of the UNFCCC’s Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) team, Viktor is convinced about the integrity needed of education, awareness-raising and public information in climate change planning. To realize this, he joined ECOS in 2017 and volunteered to run ECOS meetings at UNFCCC sessions, which soon started to attract attention, but yet not enough according to him. He strives to be a dynamic link between the ever growing ECOS community and the UNFCCC secretariat and enjoys hiking and freestyle skiing.
Mark S. McCaffery is founder of ECOS and is based in Central Europe. Having helped establish a local watershed focused network two decades ago (BASIN, the Boulder Area Sustainability Information Network), and a national digital library and online community (CLEAN, the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network), Mark assisted in initiating the climate and energy literacy frameworks and authored Climate Smart & Energy Wise, published in 2014 by Pruitt Press. Relocating from North America to Central Europe to pursue international collaboration and engagement opportunities, he assisted in the launch of the Institute for Sustainable Development in Budapest and has consulted with Climate-KIC, the largest EU public-private partnership on climate solutions, and various United Nations organizations, such as FAO and UN CC: Learn. In 2016, the UNFCCC Secretariat recognized ECOS (originally called ECONGO) as a community supporting Action for Climate Empowerment and the original Article 6 of the Convention. ECOS is also aligned with capacity-building goals of Article 12 of the Paris Agreement as well as other efforts to reduce climate risks and maximize societal and ecosystem resilience through effective, localized climate education and engagement.
Henry McGhie is the Founder of Curating Tomorrow, a UK-based global consultancy for museums, the heritage sector and their partners, helping them draw on their unique resources to enhance their contributions to society and the natural environment, the Sustainable Development Goals (see link for a guide Henry published recently), climate action and nature conservation. Henry has had a lifelong passion for nature and worked as a field ecologist prior to working in museums. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology (Animal Ecology) and a Master of Arts in Art Gallery and Museum Studies. He was part of the first cohort of Creative Climate Leadership in 2017, and participated in the UN Summer Academy in 2019 (with a scholarship from North Rhine-Westphalia State). He worked at Manchester Museum (University of Manchester, UK) as Head of Collections and Curator of Zoology from 2000-19, where he oversaw the museum’s award-winning sustainability work, developing exhibitions, partnerships, academic teaching, and use of collections for a broad range of purposes. He has helped broker partnerships between researchers, museums and policy workers, and has contributed at three Action for Climate Empowerment Dialogues at the United Nations (UN Climate Change) in 2017-19. Henry was involved in getting museums recognised as key sites for climate change education and action in the Workplan for the Paris Climate Change Agreement in 2018. He is also a member of the Sustainability Working Group established by the International Council of Museums in 2018 to help mainstream sustainability and climate action across the global museum sector, and co-organised the sustainability strand at the ICOM Triennial Conference in Kyoto in September 2019. He is a Commissioner with the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication, and is an IPBES Stakeholder. Henry is the author and editor of four books on climate change communication, and another on the history of ornithology.
Deb L. Morrison, PhD, is a collaborative design based educator-researcher engaged in disrupting racism and other forms of intersectional oppression, specifically in the area of climate literacy and action. Her work in ECOS connects across all three areas of education (teaching and learning climate change, justice and action in K-12 and community based education settings), communication (around climate literacy and justice), and outreach (collaborations with scientists in education and community based settings). She is a learning scientist at the Institute of Science and Math Education within the College of Education at the University of Washington. Deb’s research interests are in environmental justice, literacy, and action, particularly in the area of climate change. In her positionality as a white science educator and researcher, Deb believes that praxis is a personal responsibility and seeks to engage in ethical research and its translation into practice. In terms of place, Deb is located in the Salish Sea region of North America, working across both British Columbia, Canada and Washington state, U.S. More about Deb can be found at www.debmorrison.me; @educatordeb
Sarah-Mae Nelson is Academic Coordinator for University of California, California Naturalist Program, Climate Stewards Initiative. She is developing a statewide volunteer program to foster community resilience in the face of climate impacts, calnat.ucanr.edu/cs. She has a M.A.S. in Climate Science and Policy from the University of California San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and, for her degree, created an interdisciplinary undergraduate Climate Change Studies Minor for UC San Diego. In 2018, she attended COP24 in Katowice, Poland and joined the ECOS community. She now serves as a ECOS Digital Communications Lead. In addition, Sarah-Mae works in climate change communication with the National Association for Interpretation (NAI), National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) among other national and international networks. In 2016, Sarah-Mae was selected as a Young Woman Leader in Civic Engagement by the White House Council on Women and Girls. In 2015, she was one of eight people recognized by the Obama White House Office of Science and Technology as a Champion of Change in Climate Education and Literacy. She is particularly interested in the interactions of ocean, carbon dioxide, global warming, and climate change as she also holds a B.S. in Marine Biology from University of California, Santa Cruz.
Frank Niepold is the Climate Education Coordinator at NOAA’s Climate Program Office in Silver Spring Maryland, Climate.gov Education section lead, a co-chair of the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s Education Interagency Working Group, the U.S. Climate Action Report Education, Training, and Outreach chapter lead for the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Education and Youth delegate for the United States at the 2015 Conference of Parties (COP21), and a member of the Federal Steering Committee for the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4). At NOAA, he develops and implements NOAA’s Climate goal education and outreach efforts that specifically relate to NOAA’s Climate goal and literacy objective. Frank is the “Teaching Climate” lead for NOAA’s Climate.gov web portal that offers learning activities and curriculum materials, multi-media resources, and professional development opportunities for formal and informal educators who want to incorporate climate science into their work. Additionally, he is the managing lead of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP) document, Climate Literacy: The Essential Principles of Climate Science. NOAA, NSF, NASA, AAAS Project 2061, CIRES, American Meteorological Society, and various members from both the science and education community worked to define climate literacy in the United States. He received a MSEd in Earth Space Science Education (2006) from John’s Hopkins University with areas of concentration in Earth Observing Systems, Scientist/Teacher/Student Collaboration and Earth Systems science education focused on climate.
Miroslav Polzer is founder and CEO of International Association for the Advancement of Innovative Approaches to Global Challenges www.glocha.info, a United Nations (ECOSOC, UNFCCC, GCF) accredited civil society organization based in Klagenfurt am Wörthersee (Austria) which has as its main aim to set up the multistakeholder partnership GloCha as the world’s leading multistakeholder engagement ecosystem for sustainable development goals implementation and climate action (some kind of next generation of the United Nations for non-state actors with a particular focus on youth and local communities).IAAI GloCha flagship initiatives: Global Challenges Youth Music Contest/Earth Music Awards, #ActionNow Mass mobilization for climate action, #GiveYouthAChance Resource Mobilization for Youth Climate Action, Youth Entrepreneurship 2030, Blockchain for Youth Climate Action). Miroslav Polzer also works as an independent management consultant, advising companies and public authorities on implementation of sustainable development goals on local level through multistakeholder partnerships and social entrepreneurship business models. Miroslav Polzer has a Masters degree in Business Economics and a PhD in Environmental economics earned at Karl Franzens University in Graz (Austria). Before joining IAAI, Miroslav was head of Austrian Science and Research Liaison Office (ASO) Ljubljana, promoting international scientific cooperation on behalf of Austrian federal ministry of science and research from 1996-2011.
Abby Ruskey possess deep experience and training in education and learning, sustainability and systems, cultural responsiveness, planning, research and policy. She has worked in executive positions for over 25 years to develop and integrate capacities, programs and tools for helping individuals and collectives catalyze and life-affirming systems change. She has degrees in planning and environmental education, certifications in transformative leadership and has served on a variety of related boards and commissions from the local to international levels. Recently, Abby researched and wrote strategic documents and articles, and pursued policies and projects to prepare and empower people for climate change and related social, health, infrastructure, food-agriculture and other disruptions. She worked to spur and secure Washington State’s new climate literacy program for K-12 students and in Olympia, Washington, U.S., created a local Youth-Education-Communications-Outreach network (YECO). She led the development of Project Drawdown’s curriculum prototype and education strategy and worked with scientists at the Stockholm Resilience Institute, Future Earth and elsewhere to research and model where the greatest level of greenhouse gas reduction and carbon sequestration can happen the soonest. She serves on the steering committee of ECOS and participated at the UN Climate Summit SB50 in Bonn in summer 2019.
Pasang Dolma Sherpa, Executive Director of the Center for Indigenous Peoples’ Research (CIPRED) has been working in the area of Climate Change, natural resources management with indigenous and local communities both at national and international levels for more than a decade. Ms. Sherpa did her PhD on Climate Change Education and its interface with indigenous knowledge in Nepal. She has been following the climate change negotiation of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) since 2009 and be part of team of Education, Communication, and Outreach Stakeholder community (ECOS) now. Teaching has always been her passion and has been working as a faculty member of Kathmandu University. She is also the current Co-Chair of Facilitative Working Group (FWG) of Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples’(LCIP) Platform of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Chair of the Specialist Group on Indigenous Peoples’ Customary and Environmental Laws and Human Rights (SPICEH), Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Steering Committee Member of the International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on World Heritage (IIPFWH), UNESCO.
Evans Tembo is a WASH and Environmental Engineer as well as Public Health Specialist with eleven years of working experience in water security, environmental sanitation, climate resilience, environmental and public health. He is an Executive Director for ENVAROS Innovative R&D Hub, promoting healthy and resilient communities through innovative research and capacity building in water security, low-cost water treatment technologies, environmental sanitation and climate resilience in Zambia. Further, Evans is a WASH and Climate Change Lecturer at Levy Mwanawasa Medical University Department of Public Health and Environmental Health in Lusaka. Additionally, He has been engaged in a number of short term consultancies including; Team Leader on Centre for Environment Justice-GIZ Community Engagement and Empowerment program supporting Lusaka City Council (2019); Team Leader on two ENVAROS waste-to-energy feasibility studies (2018 and 2019); Short-term Onsite Sanitation/FSM Consultant for GFA on a GIZ Lusaka sanitation program (2018 and 2019). He has been involved in climate change discourse as an educator/facilitator at community level as well as a climate change negotiator at UNFCCC COP since 2009. As such, he have been part of YOUNGO and Africa Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC) which have been promoting a global and consolidated youth voice towards climate actions. Additionally, Evans was Chairperson for the Zambia Youth Climate Forum from 2012 to 2015. Being part of ECOS community will enable him to share experiences/lessons between the global north and south, as well as enhancing collaborations for a stronger voice. Through this platform, he is hopeful that the less represented and marginilised communities will have space to have their voices head thereby “Living No One Behind”. ECOS can achieve this by supporting the rolling-out community-based climate literacy programmes especially in Developing Counties. Evans holds an MSc in Environmental Sanitation with distinction (Belgium), MSc in Public Health Promotion (UK), Bachelors’ in Environmental Engineering with merit (Zambia), Postgraduate Diploma in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) (Zambia), Certificate in Teaching Methodology (Zambia) and Certificate in Climate Change Diplomacy (Switzerland). www.facebook.com/envaros https://youtu.be/BVdv4KWEm4E https://www.linkedin.com/in/evans-tembo-50313628/
Gregg Walker is a professor of Communication and an adjunct professor in the environmental sciences, forestry, geosciences, marine resource management, and public policy programs at Oregon State University. On campus, Gregg teaches courses in conflict management, negotiation, mediation, international negotiation, environmental conflict resolution, science communication, sustainable development, and argumentation. Off campus, Gregg conducts training programs on conflict management, designs collaborative public participation processes, facilitates collaborative learning community workshops about natural resource and environmental policy issues, and researches community-level collaboration efforts. He has authored a numerous articles and papers on environmental communication and conflict resolution, and is co-author (with Steve Daniels) of Working Through Environmental Conflict: The Collaborative Learning Approach (2001, Praeger) and co-editor of the forthcoming book, Breaking Boundaries: Innovative Practices in Environmental Communication and Public Participation (2019, SUNY Press). Gregg has served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in the fields of Peace and Conflict Resolution. He is an advisor to the National Collaboration Cadre of the USDA-Forest Service and on the roster of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution. Gregg is co-director of the Climate Change Project for Mediators Beyond Borders International and Chair of the Climate Change Negotiations Working Group for the International Environmental Communication Association. In these roles he attends most of the United Nations climate change negotiation meetings and conducts related research on those negotiations. Gregg holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in Communication Studies from the University of Kansas and B.A. and B.S. degrees in Speech Communication, Sociology, and History from the University of Minnesota.
Laura Weiland has lived, studied, and worked across several countries and United States over the past two decades, starting as a student in an agricultural high school in Ambato, Ecuador. She has been imagining, designing, and creating nontraditional educational experiences for herself and others since the age of 15, with studies and experience from biology, farming, permaculture, and regenerative frameworks, to eco-social design, community organizing, and climate education. She holds a master’s degree in sustainable development with a focus in community development. In 2018, she and her team organized the first Drawdown Learn Conference, in partnership with the Project Drawdown organization, to explore how we could more deeply activate a solutions-oriented approach to climate education and engagement through schools and community participation. Through her work with the UNFCCC Education, Communication, and Outreach Stakeholder community (ECOS), Laura enjoys strong involvement in regional, national, and global network coordination, collaboration, and relationship building to ensure the health of our ecosystems and the possibility for all communities to thrive.