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By Edgard R. Orozco Campos
The only substantial and inherent element to the whole system, which can achieve the articulation of all its elements, is for now at this specific historical moment: THE CIVIC ENVIRONMENTAL CONSCIENCE and within it, is ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
Civic Environmental Awareness, Environmental Education
"Environmental education is conceived as a permanent process in which individuals and the community become aware of their environment and acquire the knowledge, values, skills, experience and will capable of making them act individually and collectively, to solve the problems. current and future environmental problems ". (Nations International Congress on Environmental Education and Training, Tbilisi, USSR, 1987)
Nicaragua's environmental problem goes through the analysis of several components - all of them part of the Environmental system - such as: the Social and Economic component, that is, men and women in community, seen as fundamental actors of a sub-system. of relations of production of goods and services fundamental for their own existence and for the existence and reproduction of the community from all its aspects, social, cultural, human, psychological, and those of an ideo-spiritual order.
But men and women live and work within a specific historical territorial physical space, environmentally determined where the component of the natural or ecosystem physical environment interacts with them.
All these components interact with each other, forming the holistic and systemic concept of the Environment, determining each other, complementing each other and in the way in which this human being - the center of the entire system - develops in and with respect to its physical environment. Natural, economic, social, cultural, that is to say, integrally environmental, will be decisive to cause negative impacts, threats and disasters that make the environment in which you live and work collapse at a certain moment. Or, in the same way, the human being can develop in harmony, in balance and cause positive impacts on the concrete historical environmental environment.
So, the first thing to observe is that when we talk about environmental problems in Nicaragua, we are talking about, fundamentally, anthropism, that is, human action.
But of all these components of the Environment, there is one that essentially becomes the vital link in the chain, which if properly drawn, will pull the entire chain as a whole.
This element is CONSCIOUSNESS and specifically what I call CIVIC ENVIRONMENTAL CONSCIENCE, a question to which I will have to refer on another occasion with greater depth and rigor.
For now I want to establish the place that this consciousness occupies within the entire environmental system that we are addressing, for which I must refer to the fact that this is a reflection of social reality, which incorporates in itself a set of valuations, concepts and attitudes capable of transforming their own environment in one way or another, said consciousness will not be a mechanical mirror of reality, but an evaluative and dialectical reflection of it and that as such, this consciousness can and should be enriched, formed, strengthened.
Hence, it is the systematic, progressive, transversally assumed and promoted by the Actors and decision makers of the Nation, which plays a decisive role in shaping that Civic Environmental Awareness and making human groups, subjects of their own reality capable of transforming it, in a sustainable and sustainable way in harmony and environmental balance.
In Nicaragua, in this regard, our General Environmental Law or Law 217 says that Environmental Education is a "permanent process of citizen training, formal and informal, for raising awareness and developing values, concepts and attitudes towards the protection and the sustainable use of natural resources and the environment ". (Article 5, March 26, 1996)
But in addition, the Legal Framework that guides Law 217, has a very clear extension and manifestation in the Policy on Environmental Education contained in the document: "Conceptualization of Environmental Education" prepared by MARENA.
In said document Environmental Education is defined as "a comprehensive, systematic and permanent process of information, training and formal, non-formal and informal training, based on respect for all forms of life, by which people, individually and collectively, become aware of and take responsibility for the environment and its resources, through the acquisition of knowledge, skills, attitudes, values and motivations that help them understand the complex interrelationships of the ecological, economic, social, political, cultural, ethical and aesthetic aspects that intervene in the environment, as well as participating and mobilizing in order to solve and prevent their present and future problems, within a process of sustainable development, oriented towards coexistence in harmony and balance with nature, for the benefit of current and future generations ... "(ibid," Definition of Environmental Education "page 4)
Finally, the document is very extensive as well as concise about the Principles, purpose, Objectives, strategies, guidelines, etc. that they should govern EE in Nicaragua, an issue that, as I said, rejoices me because it signifies a degree of progress and an important step in recognizing in writing, the role that EE plays within the entire Environmental System in the Nation.
Therefore, I allow myself for now to conclude that the CIVIC ENVIRONMENTAL CONSCIENCE of human groups in Nicaragua is the element capable of making a difference and therefore occupies a fundamental place in the System. But not only to make a difference in a sense of mitigating the negative impacts on the MA or of preserving or conserving said Environment, but of putting it at the service of the development itself as a Nation and doing so in a sustainable and sustainable way.
The only substantial and consubstantial element to the entire system, which can achieve the articulation of all its elements, is for now at this specific historical moment: THE CIVIC ENVIRONMENTAL CONSCIENCE and within it, as a dynamic element that forms it, is ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION, which we have been talking about.
It will remain for another occasion to refer to the fact that, if we have a consistent Environmental Legal Framework, if we have with us clear and manifest concepts about what to do and how to do things, if we have the urgent historical need to develop in a harmonious and environmentally balanced way, if we can agree on the fundamental place that it occupies in the entire System, the CONSCIENCE for changes and transformations, the problem question that
could fit here it would be ... Why is Environmental Education not done as a State policy, crosswise endorsed by the existing Legal Framework?
The answer deserves an investigative scientific explanation that is currently on the table and… I cannot stop saying it, in my own Consciousness.
* Consultant in Social and Environmental Sciences