Environmental Education Dialogue at the Metropolitan National Park

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The dialogue about Environmental Education, part of the conversation cycle entitled: Panama on the Road to Sustainable Development, was held with great success, at the Oropéndolas Salon of the Metropolitan National Park.

The discussion group began with welcoming remarks from Lourdes Lozano, a member of the Board of the Metropolitan National Park, who made special mention of the late Professor Klever De Lora for his important work in support of environmental education, urging that this is a tool that encourages action.

Then, Dr. Guillermo Castro, Academic Director of the City of Knowledge Foundation (FCDS), referred to an environmental culture that permeates the consciousness of the human species, which shapes, or not, a culture of solidarity that guards natural resources, being man the guardian of man and of all the resource base of nature.

The Ministry of Education (MEDUCA), on behalf of Engineer Adilia de Pérez, shared a report of what has been done on environmental education, referring to the 20 years since the creation of the Environmental Education Act. In addition, she outlined the main programs that MEDUCA executes with the participation of institutions in the country as diverse as the Metropolitan Natural Park, STRI, Promar, ANAM, and international organizations like UNESCO and UNICEF, among others.

Dr. Raisa Ruiz, of UNICEF, took the opportunity to talk about "Education for Sustainable Development", which involves environmental education and the formation of ethical values by building capacity through the promotion of values. She also elaborated on key concepts such as learning to know, learning to be, learning to live together and learning to do.

Meanwhile, the ACP, through Dr. Rolando Checa, recounted the story of the construction and maintenance of the Canal Basin. He said that initially the professionals were engineers, biologists and zoologists, among others, but there was no presence of the social sciences or humanities. Today, the mission of the ACP has changed their professional team, requiring the inclusion of educational management.

Finally, Adriana Sautú, Education Program Coordinator of the BioMuseo, developed the theme "Environmental Education for teaching how to thinking and do." She presented the experience of transmitting a false image of Earth as negative, cruel and destructive, and focused on the need to encourage new type of activities that stimulate positive learning.

To conclude, the moderator of the activity, Mr. Martín Testa, made a short analysis on the conferences offered, the exchange of ideas generated in the discussion group and critical discussions about the issue, which arose through the intervention of professionals and students present in the room.