Colombia Colombian Ecosystems Awareness Project

Delivering environmental education to remote, rural schools in Colombia with Fundación TierrAmar

Despite being considered the second most biodiverse country in the world, Colombia’s ecosystems are facing many threats, including mining, deforestation, illegal hunting, socioeconomic instability and lack of environmental education and knowledge of sustainable management of the country’s natural resources.

Rainforest Concern's partner, Fundación TierrAmar, aims to restore and protect marine and terrestrial ecosystems, while integrating local human communities in its conservation efforts and strengthening local environmental education. This project focuses on addressing the lack of environmental education within remote schools close to forests and other fragile and vital ecosystems in Colombia.

Tierr Amar Manuelaoutdoor classroom
Environmental education in rural Colombia

Educators travel to remote, rural schools to teach children about the ecosystems in which they live

Manuela Peláez and a small team from Fundación TierrAmar work closely with schools in the Tairona, Los Nevados, Cocuy, Cauca, Huila, Putumayo and Nariño regions. The schools were chosen for their proximity to important and threatened ecosystems, including the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Natural Park, which was declared an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1979, and in 2013 was named the most irreplaceable site on earth for threatened species by the IUCN.

After obtaining permission from the schools and the communities, the project makes multiple visits to each school, delivering a combination of lectures and activities, including the creation of medicinal plant gardens and seedbeds. The programme was designed to create awareness among the youth and teachers at each school about the function, importance, and threats of different vital and fragile ecosystems.

Monitoring and evaluation phase is also carried out at each school to determine the success of the project. This phase includes an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for each school - including issues such as sociopolitical instability. The team at TierrAmar also keep in contact with a selected teacher ambassador at each school to promote the continuation of the project.

Environmental education is vital, and this important project aims to not only inspire and educate the young people, but also influence the wider community, fostering greater environmental care and protection of vital ecosystems in the future.

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Educational resources

An example of the resources created for this project.