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Reverse environmental education: when it is the people who educate their authorities environmentally

Reverse environmental education: when it is the people who educate their authorities environmentally

By Rodrigo Arce Rojas

For its part, the National Environmental Policy (DS. 012 - 2009 - MINAM) has the specific objective of achieving a high degree of environmental awareness and culture in the country, with active citizen participation in an informed and conscious manner in the processes of decision-making. decisions for sustainable development. Likewise, it is the objective of the National Environmental Education Policy "To develop environmental education and culture aimed at the formation of an environmentally responsible citizenry and a sustainable, competitive, inclusive Peruvian society with identity."

From the public policy framework, the existence of two central actors can be inferred: the authorities and the citizenry, the latter understood as all men and women belonging to an organized community who do not exercise authority functions. These people in turn can belong to different organizations of different nature. In turn, it is assumed that it is the authorities who have been commissioned by the people to govern and the citizens are commissioned to comply with the policies and laws, although we must not forget that the sovereign is the people.

But what happens when it is the authorities themselves who, with their actions and measures, show an underestimation of environmental care in the name of economic growth, when they weaken environmental considerations in the name of efficiency or fluidity of investments, when they do not show a commitment decided to fight against environmental corruption that results in deforestation and forest degradation, pollution of seas, rivers and lagoons, when in the name of administrative simplification they reduce the safeguards that guarantee the ecological functions and processes of ecosystems. It is then when we need to appeal to reverse environmental education, which is when the people, civil society must educate their authorities environmentally so that they understand that the environment is not accessory or disposable, it is an inherent part of sustainable development.

It is not about being anti-progressive or retarding the development of the country, what it is about is that development takes into account all dimensions, and not only economic considerations are privileged. It is simply to recognize that a development model that openly or surreptitiously allows contamination and deterioration of ecosystems is unsustainable. The illegality that destroys the natural resource base cannot be supported by arguments of entrepreneurship or labor heroism if it is not accompanied by respect for environmental considerations (and of course also social considerations). True entrepreneurship is one that is accompanied by values ​​and respect for the environment. That simple

Therefore, reverse environmental education invites us to paraphrase the objective of the National Environmental Education Policy directed at our authorities. In that case, the text would be: "To develop education and environmental culture aimed at the training of ethical, transparent, inclusive, collaborative, environmentally responsible public officials at the service of citizens and with a vision of sustainable development"

Under the framework of reverse environmental education, the authorities would be more likely to recognize the good practices of management and conservation of existing resources, to revalue and revitalize local knowledge and knowledge, to collect the experiences, innovations and appropriate local technologies, the stories of success, among other achievements. Of course, there are also many things that are done badly in the town in environmental terms (knowing that there are several reasons), that is why the traditional way of how environmental education has been done is justified. But it is also undeniable that much of the governmental action leaves much to be desired in environmental terms and hence the need to advance towards a proposal for inter-learning, mutual intercultural education, a social construction of intersubjectivities favorable to sustainable development and not only to maintain power structure that only favors certain economic groups to the detriment of society and the environment.


Video: Environment Education (May 2021).