By Carlos Elías Acosta Tapia *
This is how I want to start this writing, with a critical but constructive accent that arises from the felt need to work to transform the traditional education of a technocratic nature (of which I am a product), into an education oriented to the recognition of the interaction of the man - society - nature and the different cultures that have been created around the appropriation of natural territory in order to give rise to human settlements, which are sustained by the use of natural assets (misnamed resources). Understanding this interaction again in our days as our ancestors did, will allow us to give it the value (not economic), meaning and importance that it has for our terrestrial life to keep the natural environment, environment, nature in optimal conditions and why not tell Gaia (the spirit of the Earth).
For more than a decade (2002), in Colombia it has been created in a joint governmental effort between the Ministries of Education and the Environment, supported by the National Environmental System - SINA, the National Environmental Education Policy - PNEA - which promotes by means of your vision the following:
"The construction of an ethical and responsible environmental culture in the management of life, in all its forms and in general in the management of the environment; respectful of national diversity and incorporating a vision of the region, for which the sustainability of natural and social contexts is a challenge and the purposes of sustainable development, have equity as a basic principle and are in accordance with the socio-cultural dynamics of the country.
The above requires as an educational horizon the formation of new citizens with the capacity to understand the natural and socio-cultural dynamics, in which they are immersed and from which they build their world, as well as to recognize themselves as an integral part of the environment and of its problems and as part of its possible solutions. Citizens prepared for critical and responsible participation in decision-making and therefore in environmental management; respectful of themselves, others and their environment; tolerant, supportive and skilled in the search for consensus for the resolution of conflicts, with a high sense of belonging to their region and their country and with clarity about their role in the construction of the new society, in which we are all committed "[ 2] (2002, National Policy on Environmental Education).
For this reason, environmental education must be based on a series of criteria that allow it to define the course and direction with which the proposed objectives are achieved. The main criterion that must be considered as a fundamental pillar is the permanent construction of values that allow the individual to relate adequately with others, with himself and with the natural environment, which leads to developing a much more conscious attitude of the work that It corresponds to us as main actors of environmental deterioration, in the same way, and to a greater degree of importance, the need to seek harmonious solutions that minimize our negative impact on the environment. In this same sense, it is necessary to mention other important criteria that are fundamental for a quality environmental education, it must be comprehensive, inter-institutional and intersectoral, interdisciplinary and intercultural.
This leads to the adoption of a number of strategies aimed at schools, allowing the inclusion of Colombian boys, girls and young people, who want to instill from an early age the importance of caring for, protecting, keeping the school healthy and clean. environment.
In this way, some programs, projects and activities are proposed aimed at the articulation of those playful, educational and environmental processes, aimed at all people (children, youth, adults and the elderly), whose goal is to reduce the gap that unbalances the balance of the ecosystem, the one without which, we would not be able to live.
For the operation, dynamism, creativity and maintenance of environmental education in all corners of the country, it is necessary to strengthen the Interinstitutional Technical Committees for Environmental Education - CIDEA (at the departmental level), so that they are the ones that promote creation at the Municipal Interinstitutional Technical Committees for Municipal Environmental Education - CIDEAM. (Created by decree 1743 of 1994).
In the municipality of Bello, the management for the consolidation of this committee was carried out by the Environmental Table of the same municipality (Mesa environmental Bello - MAB) and that was later supported by the municipal administration from the Ministry of Environment and Rural Development (SMAyDR). Since 2011, the MAB has started the corresponding procedures to establish it, due to the absence of plans, programs and projects aimed at promoting an environmental education and culture in accordance with the needs of the municipality, which aims to solve the problems that arise from the activities of its inhabitants in this territory and to strengthen educational institutions by guiding them in the formulation and development of their School Environmental Projects (PRAE), since they have a very important mission in the construction of social fabric, becoming the first reference for the student in understanding the different interactions we have with nature, both individually and collectively, the acquisition of knowledge, attitudes, responsibility, among others, which will allow them to become aware and develop a new lifestyle that goes in harmony with its own nature.
In the second half of 2012, the CIDEAM Bello conformation assembly is held with the actors who, very responsibly and interested, responded to the call made by the SMAyDR of the municipality, in order to elect the members of the municipality by majority vote. this important committee.
The MAB has great will and interest, in that the Marco Fidel Suarez Polytechnic Corporation be elected as representative of the higher education sector in Bello, since this corporation has had an active and permanent participation in the MAB (since the year 2007) and supported the entire management process to create this committee in the municipality, further clarifying that it is the only higher education institution in Bello that voluntarily participates in this important organized group, defender and protector of the local and regional environment. .
Without further ado, to the fortune and joy of the MAB and the corporation, we are chosen by a broad and unanimous vote of those present to be part of this select group of actors who will be part of the CIDEAM Bello. Having achieved this achievement, the institution entrusts me with this important work as its representative before this committee, where the most difficult thing, in my opinion, will be to find the appropriate environmental education strategy that helps to definitively resolve the way in which we perceive and use natural assets to satisfy our ever-unsatisfied needs.
Taking into account what is stated in the last four lines of the previous paragraph, and with the intention of having a reference that shows the beginning of the path, I return to what is proposed by the National Policy on Environmental Education in the chapter on general aspects, numeral 7, the Environmental education as a proposal for the management and training of new citizens:
Environmental education should be oriented towards training for participation in management processes; because it is through them that individuals and groups become aware, both of their competencies and responsibilities as well as those of others for decision-making, regarding the resolution of environmental problems. This implies, of course, a knowledge of the reality (natural and sociocultural environment), that they have built, that is part of their world and in which they develop their life; For this reason, the idea of management and responsible action are ultimately the only guarantors of an ethical training for the harmonious and sustainable management of the environmental system.
There is no doubt that the participation of all in this process is one of the fundamental pillars to create a collective conscience and at the same time a collective action that allows us to change the dominant paradigms of our time in educational-environmental matters, which do not allow us to visualize the true solutions, or worse, that everything is conspired so that these solutions are never known and uncertainty, dependence, abuse of natural assets and industrial irrationality continue to reign. There is no doubt that this consciousness must be strong at all costs, it is our responsibility to keep alive what life gives us, to enrich nature and let it reign, nature is wise, it regulates itself, controls itself and maintains itself, if she is We also exist and the key is in the pertinent, clear, serious and real that is the Environmental Education, that the governors also assume it, promote it and respect it, our present and future depends on it.
An Environmental Education that fails to truly educate people and communities does not make sense, but this sense also depends on the personal and family training of each individual, therefore, it is important to start this education from an early age, without neglecting parents, keep it over time, give it feedback and improve it more and more.
* Environmental Engineer - Technology Teacher in Territorial Environmental Management - Marco Fidel Suarez Polytechnic Corporation - Bello, Antioquia, Colombia