Skills for Climate Change study visit

A technical symposium of environmental training in 2005 identified a specific need to train public servants, co-ordinate skills development policies with industrial, technological, economic and environmental policies.  The public sector response in Navarre and the Basque region were particularly interesting with both governments taking a proactive approach.

The heavily industrialised Basque Country has developed vocational training courses for renewables whilst the Navarran Government was in its second phase of their Environmental Training Plan.

With support from CENEAM – the national Environmental Skills Agency MADE contacted a number of key agencies in these regions including CRANA, IHOBE and CENIFER.  

In October 2012 7 delegates flew to Spain.  The programme started with a visit to CRANA, The Environmental Resource Centre of Navarre, a non-profit foundation sponsored by the Government of Navarra with the aim of delivering elements of their environmental training plan and the Navarra Strategy for Environmental Education (ENEA). Delegates visited their centre in northern Pamplona to hear how they disseminate environmental information, encourage the inclusion of environmental factors in public and private policies and work with other organisations to promote sustainability and responsible consumption.

Later that day we were guided around a district in Tudela by the regional manager for NASUVINSA, The Government of Navarra’s division of Land and Housing.  100’s of homes had been retrofitted and a new district heating system installed as part of a European ECO-CITY project.(44 cites, 18 countries) There was interest in how retrofit activities could influence new design as well as policy and practice.

Finally delegates visited CENIFER, the national training centre for renewable energies to hear abut the different type of training they offered including Vocational training for young people to join the work market; Job training for the unemployed willing to be retrained to work in a growing sector, training for companies and professionals already working in renewables, need to be updated, Teacher training for technical improvement and collaboration in training programmes for other countries’ teachers.

The second day started with a talk by the mayor of Noain, who had embraced Agenda 21 and developed a green town hall, community park and exemplar systems in a heavily industrial district to the south of the city. 

The final visit was to IHOBE, the public company that aims to support the Department of Environment, Planning, Agriculture and Fisheries of the Basque Government in the development of environmental policy and the extension of the culture of environmental sustainability in the Basque Autonomous Community. We visited their head office in Bilbao to talk to Inaki Suseta, Head of Climate Change and Biodiversity to hear about the Basque governments approach to skills provision.  Delegates heard that training is considered central to their approach to tackling climate change.