After the declaration of the territory as a Biosphere Reserve, in 2013, there was a concern within the Reserve about how to approach environmental education in this territory in a comprehensive way, about how to make visible @dito declaration by UNESCO and its opportunities among the population, as well as transferring the values of the Biosphere Reserves to the population and making it known, with the aim of ensuring the construction of a participatory Biosphere Reserve in which society, and especially young people, are the basic pillar on which to settle.
This program of activities to be developed with the school community, is presented as a non-formal learning initiative in different fields, closely connected with the objectives of the Biosphere Reserve, in order to stimulate creativity and youth potential in the processes of analysis and practical application of the knowledge acquired, to get involved in a sustainable space in terms of innovation and social welfare.
Evolution of the Program
In 2015 they began to develop, from “Mariñas Coruñesas and Terras del Mandeo”, various activities with schoolchildren to publicize the figure of the Biosphere Reserve, and it would be in 2016 when the Sada City Council decided to develop a stable program, dynamic and practical, which would bring the figure of the Biosphere Reserves closer to the educational community.
Throughout these 5 years, the “Educating in the Biosphere” Program expanded to other municipalities such as Abegondo, Bergondo, Betanzos, Culleredo, Curtis and strengthened in Sada, due in large part to its flexibility and high degree of adaptation to meet the specific needs of each educational center.
In this year 2020, the Program was able to adapt to the Covid-19 crisis by structuring the topics and contents electronically, so that the schoolchildren had been able to continue in contact from their homes through the Virtual classroom of the Program “Educando en la Biosphere”.
The Biosphere Reserve and the Sustainable Development Goals (ODS) as the guiding thread of the Program
The Biosphere Reserve, its philosophy and vision are the pillars of a Program that has been consolidated and strengthened more and more over the years. There are several strengths of the “Educating in the Biosphere” Program:
The Biosphere Reserve and the philosophy of the Biosphere Reserves, for which knowledge is a basic pillar, are the common thread of this Program, which is recognized by UNESCO as a differentiating element with respect to other environmental education programs.
In this way, the Program is strengthened and it is key for it to connect with the teaching staff, gain confidence with the educational community, and above all, other projects in which the seed is said Training Program end up being known and working.
It is based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and allows interconnecting education with another series of values that are reflected in these SDGs.
It is a dynamic and transversal Program, incorporating and offering thematic news every year related not only to the environment and nature, but also to the social sciences, equality, the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, graphic arts, culture, history and traditions, enhancement of the territory, etc.
It is a practical and clearly participatory Program that tries to be a complement to the training that students receive in educational centers, bringing them closer to professionals and experts who work daily in the fields of the topics that are offered.
It serves as a link and strengthens other projects developed by the Biosphere Reserve and the Mariñas Rural Development Association – Betanzos (managing entity) as a Local Action Group, such as the declaration and works / proposals to improve spaces that ended with declare itself as a Natural Area of Local Interest; help in the implementation of the Eco-Canteens Program; strengthens our local producers and the Quality Mark of the Biosphere Reserve; sensitizes and works with the newest ones in an Ecotourism model for the territory (it is essential that it comes from the bottom-up); It is about encouraging entrepreneurship among youth, creativity, our historical, cultural, natural and ethnographic heritage, as well as strengthening the vision and uniqueness of our rural environment.
Visibility of the actions and activities carried out within the “Educating in the Biosphere” Program.
All activities are duly informed through the website of the Rural Development Association “Mariñas-Betanzos” (www.marinasbetanzos.gal) and the social networks of the Biosphere Reserve (Facebook; Twitter; Instagram).
Throughout these 5 years the “Educating in the Biosphere” Program was consolidated among the educational community of the territory of the Mariñas Coruñesas and Terras del Mandeo Biosphere Reserve, largely due to its flexibility and the high degree of adaptation to meet the specific needs of each school or institute.
Proof of this is the number of students who participated in it over the years:
School course 2016 – 2017:
Nº Attached municipalities:1
Nº Participating centers:2
Nº students: 420
School course 2017 – 2018:
Nº Attached municipalities:2
Nº Partcipating centers:9
Nº students: 2000
School course 2018 – 2019:
NºAttached municipalities: 4
Nº Partcipating centers:10
Nº students: 2350
Curso escolar 2019 – 2020:
Nº Attached municipalities:5
Nº Partcipating centers:11
Nº students: 2.038*
*At the beginning of the 2019-2020 academic year, the number of students who were going to participate in the Program was 2,778 (this number was altered by the Pandemic caused by Covid-19). It includes students participating in the activities carried out in person and students who acceded to the online content
The Program increased its thematic offer, incorporating new activities related to social sciences, healthy eating or equality; adapting to the needs and suggestions of the teaching staff, incorporating the participation of experts and professionals related to different topics into its offer of activities (talks, workshops, outings).
This made the Program stop being a mere Environmental Education Program and cover more areas, becoming more transversal, helping to strengthen the teacher’s curriculum since it is in line with regulated training, hence their initial willingness to participate in it. .
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