Environment and climate – how IFLA is engaging
29 June 2023
In line with the theme of our June newsletter – environment and climate – we’re happy to share just a glimpse of what IFLA is doing in these areas, and why!
Caring for our planet, facing the challenges of the climate crisis, and protecting the earth’s precious biodiversity requires action at all levels. While governments, cities, regions, and industry must lead on reducing emissions and limiting the rise of global average temperatures, the total economic and social transformation required to achieve climate goals must include everyone.
Library and information professionals can help their communities of users to engage with climate action. They raise awareness of the issues, combat misinformation through the provision of evidence-based information and climate data, support research and monitoring efforts, and contribute to adaptation and resilience-building that include all members of society.
Over the past years, IFLA has seen how libraries around the world are making a difference. Highlights can be found in the IFLA Green Library Awards and SDG Stories, but member libraries, library associations, and our own different committees have all made great strides in highlighting how libraries contribute to sustainable development.
Hand in hand with this, IFLA is advocating at the international level for greater awareness of the role libraries play, and finding opportunities for library and information professionals to share their perspectives. Through our work with Climate Heritage Network, we were able to bring library professionals to the 27th UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt in 2022. Read their stories here.
IFLA has been raising awareness among the library community on Action for Climate Empowerment – the element of international climate change agreements that concerns international commitments to climate education, public awareness, training, public participation, and public access to information. Find out more here.
We are excited to see how enthusiastically our community has responded!
IFLA’s Advisory Committee on Cultural Heritage has been exploring the role that library collections can play in informing climate action in their current action plan. In addition, multiple Professional Units are investigating how their areas of the profession can contribute. From IFLA HQ, we continue to build relationships with the UN Bodies responsible for international climate agreements, as well as national-level policymakers. Learn more at IFLA HQ’s upcoming WLIC 2023 Open Session: How Can Libraries Accelerate Climate Empowerment?
We will soon launch a research project to better understand the ways libraries and library associations help empower climate education and access to climate information. This is the time to share what you are doing to make a difference! More information coming soon!