Last weekend, in the Hotel Kristal Palace in Prilep, USAID’s Municipal Climate Change Strategies Project (MCCSP), implemented by Milieukontakt Macedonia, realized a training for primary school teachers focused on climate change practical education.  On this training, primary school teachers from the ten partner municipalities where the MCCSP is being implemented: Prilep, Krivogastani, Pehcevo, Delcevo, Vinica, Bogdanci, Bogovinje, Mavrovo Rostushe, Tearce and Studenicani acquired theoretical and practical knowledge about climate change. Experts from Milieukontakt Macedonia trained teachers to conduct practical classes on climate change using the laboratory equipment in the green truck – the environmental classroom on wheels.

Unique element of this workshop was the game “Accelerating adaptation” through which teachers learned about vulnerability and adaptation measures for tackling climate change. In this game, participants are divided in two teams, coming from two neighboring countries that lie on the opposite banks of a great river.  Throughout the game, teams compete (or collaborate as neighboring cities) so that, the team that will be the least affected by climate change will win.  In a simulated period of 15 years during which climate conditions continuously change, each player makes individual decisions, but, at the same time, coordination between the two teams (towns), that lie on the opposite river banks, is encouraged. Cities, factories, abandoned canals which require regular maintenance, water reservoirs for flood prеvention, are part of the segments that affect our cities’/countries’ vulnerability to climate change in every round of the game (one round simulates one calendar year).  Resources allocation, investments, humanitarian crises are part of the simulated reality. Therefore, we – as conscious players and stakeholders who have the chance to reduce the negative effects of climate change – must be prepared. To do so, countries have to think fast and make the right decisions. This is a game of fast, but wise decisions and actions, through which, we become aware of the climate reality, in each round of the game. Through the “Accelerating adaptation” game we become aware that climate change combat requires fast and timely action. There is no room for improvisation or hope that our city or country will be bypassed by climate change. If we miss the opportunity to act now, there might be no second chance for adaptation to climate change.