19 de Julio de 2018
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La Educación
Número: (115) II
Año: 1993

Nonformal Education

The World Commission on Environment and Development in its historic report “Our Common Future” noted:
Most people base their understanding of environmental processes and development on traditional beliefs or on information provided by a conventional education. Many thus remain ignorant about ways in which they could improve traditional production practices and better protect the natural resource base. Education should therefore provide comprehensive knowledge, encompassing and cutting across the social and natural sciences and the humanities, thus providing insights on the interaction between natural and human resources, between development and environment.... Environmental education should be included in and should run throughout the other disciplines of the formal education curriculum at all levels to foster a sense of responsibility for the state of the environment and to teach students how to monitor, protect and improve it. Adult education, on-the-job training, television and other less formal methods must be used to reach out to as wide a group of individuals as possible, as environmental issues and knowledge systems now change radically in the space of a lifetime.
Nontraditional approaches to education about the environment are beginning to yield significant results for the region. Some successful strategies being applied across the region include use of popular theatre; introduction of a “Best Environment Song” in local calypso competitions, carnival celebrations and festivals; waste art competitions; campaigns for clean-up of gullies, beaches, neighborhoods; and youth environment projects. The participation of a large contingent of Caribbean youth in the UNEP-sponsored Global Youth Forum in New York (May 1992) was a significant step forward for Caribbean youth, as it exposed them to a wide variety of youth organizations and individuals working on environment and conservation projects.

An increasing number of regional organizations carry out programs of one kind or another which attempt to engender environmental awareness and foster improved resource management. Programs carried out over the past ten years or so by the Caribbean Conservation Association, for example, have assisted in the establishment of environmental awareness committees and programs in a number of countries of the region. These groups continue to be catalysts for positive attitudinal and behavioral change.

Some national agencies carrying out nonformal environmental education activities in the region include, but are not limited to: St. Lucia: Folk Research Centre and the St. Lucia National Trust; Trinidad and Tobago: Institute of Marine Affairs, The Asa Wright Nature Centre, The Pointe-a-Pierre Wild Fowl Trust, and the Trinidad & Tobago Solid Waste Management Co.; Jamaica: The Natural History Society, The Geographical Society, and The Junior Naturalists; Turks and Caicos Islands: The Foundation for PRIDE (Protection of Reefs and Islands from Degradation and Exploitation); Barbados: the Barbados Environmental Association; Antigua: The Environmental Awareness Group. Similarly, national trusts, historical and conservation societies, museums, environment commissions, commissions for parks and beaches, naturalist societies, and environmental awareness committees also contribute. Other agencies, such as the Panos Institute and the Caribbean Institute of Mass Commuications, collaborate with regional bodies to offer programs to increase public awareness. Activities include media seminars, workshops, radio and television programs, and publications. These organizations collaborate when necessary to share information and to promote sound management of the region’s natural and cultural resources.