LPN has been promoting training courses for teachers - Participatory Educational Forums which aim to create a space for sharing projects, activities or initiatives showing how schools can contribute to Nature Conservation. These forums have been a demonstration of innovative projects that involve not only schools but also the rest of the educational community, showing the practices and synergies made by teachers with various national bodies and local communities.
In this context, on April 27th the third Participatory Forum was held under the title - Educating for Natural Heritage - Nature as a Non-Renewable Good.
The online training action derived from the Covid 19 pandemic counted in a first panel with the participation of the trainer António Almeida, coordinating professor of the Escola Superior de Educação de Lisboa, who stressed the need to approach the issues related to Geodiversity and Geoconservation within the scope of Nature Conservation. Being Geodiversity the support of biodiversity, beyond the value aspects it brings together. There are many and varied, among us, the geological occurrences that, for some three decades, have been identified as non-renewable cultural geo-resources, which means that, once destroyed, are lost forever, so it is essential to increase education and culture in the defense and preservation of geological heritage.
In this sense Geoparks were created within the UNESCO Network, which are unique and unified areas where sites and landscapes of international geological importance are managed in a holistic conception of protection, education and sustainable development.
After the presentation on Geodiversity, we headed north to Viana do Castelo to meet the award-winning projects and initiatives of CMIA - Center for Environmental Monitoring and Interpretation disclosed by the coordinator Leonor Cruz, who presented us with the excellent initiatives developed in the county's schools and Citizen Science. Then we went down to the South, where teachers Raquel Sarmento, and students from the Gil Eanes de Lagos School Grouping presented us with the interdisciplinary and cross-cutting project of "Biodiversity of the Deep Algarve" which is part of the "Network of Live Science Clubs at School" implemented in 2019 by the Directorate General for Education and Ciência Viva.
The Algarve is a world hotspot of underground biodiversity and it is very important that new generations know about it and contribute to its preservation. With this project we propose to make the local community and the country aware of this underground world, its aquifers, its cave life, its archaeology, its legends and much more.
And from the exploration of this underground world "unfurled the sails and embarked" to the island of Madeira for the knowledge of its wonderful geodiversity and projects. The teacher Ângela Morais and students from the Primary and Secondary School made a short approach on the objectives of the GEA Mother Earth Regional Contest and "toasted" us with the Geopalages project and the 3 projects that will participate in this year's contest: one on the importance of microalgae in climate change, particularly in terms of its use as biofertilizer, another on BioGeo paper (a unique paper at the national level, which is produced from the reuse of banana stalk and stem, sugar cane bagasse and clay) and finally the project that gives knowledge of the Santana Biosphere Reserve and the possible consequences resulting from climate change. At the end of each project, the students gave their testimony regarding their participation in the contest and projects.
After the presentation of these relevant projects and initiatives and the dissemination of new pedagogical approaches for the conservation of geodiversity and biodiversity, we think that future challenges are launched with a view to improving and building capacity for the implementation of projects as a strategy for Territorial Enhancement, a strategic axis of the National Strategy for Environmental Education, the plan for Adaptation to Climate Change, and for the fulfillment of the objectives of the 2030 agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 13 and 15.
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