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Regional Secretariat for the Environment and Climate Change promotes 15ᵗʰ Regional Meeting on Environmental Education

Regional Secretariat for the Environment and Climate Change promotes 15ᵗʰ Regional Meeting on Environmental Education

March 1, 2023

The Regional Secretary for the Environment and Climate Change, Alonso Miguel, chaired today the opening session of the 15th Regional Meeting on Environmental Education under the theme “Environmental Education as a pillar of a sustainable future”, which took place at the Escola Secundária Jerónimo Emiliano de Andrade, Terceira island.

The event was attended by the Regional Secretary for Education and Cultural Affairs, Sofia Ribeiro, and the Secretary General of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Action and Director of the Environmental Fund, Alexandra Carvalho, who enriched the panel with an intervention on “The Contribution of the Environmental Fund for the National Strategy in Environmental Education”.

“The climate emergency scenario that we face today forces us, increasingly, to work hard for a development that does not put at risk the health of the planet and the welfare of future generations. A truly sustainable development”, he stressed.

Schools, he also stressed, “are essential to the pursuit of this goal, through the training of young people as conscious and informed citizens, preparing them to exercise an active, responsible and enlightened citizenship in the face of environmental issues”.

“Environmental education is an indispensable component of this preparation, assuming, due to being transverse, a privileged position in the promotion of attitudes and values, as well as in the development of skills needed to respond to the challenges of today's reality”, he continued.

“The Regional Secretariat for the Environment and Climate Change assumes this commitment as one of its strategic priorities for action, having promoted, in collaboration with other entities, public institutions and civil society partners, the design and implementation of various programmes and awareness-raising actions, while remaining at the forefront of environmental education,” added the governor.

Alonso Miguel said that “the extraordinary natural and environmental heritage of the Azores, recognized internationally, has a strategic dimension for the sustainable development of the Region, so we must preserve it and bequeath it to future generations. It is indeed an extraordinary heritage, but it is also very fragile. Caring for it, valuing and protecting it, is a continuous process that requires reflection and constant adaptation to new challenges currently dominated by climate action”.

The Regional Secretary also said that “it is crucial to proceed with the development of environmental literacy” to change habits and attitudes, thus contributing to the adoption of sustainable models of conduct in all dimensions of human activity.

“This meeting represents an important tool for the promotion of Environmental Education in the Azores, which results from the collaboration between the Environment and Education Departments, aimed at all professionals who are somehow involved in formal and non-formal environmental education in the Region, students and the community in general,” he stressed.

Alonso Miguel pointed out that the initiative “has as main objectives to disseminate and strengthen the development and continuity of Environmental Education in Azorean schools, contribute to updating and deepening the knowledge of education agents in different areas and motivate educators to new ways of approaching environmental issues, methodologies and teaching practices, creating a space for reflection, information and sharing of ideas and experiences”.

The Regional Secretary concluded by stating that “environmental education is one of the fundamental pillars of the mission of the Regional Secretariat for the Environment and Climate Change and a priority of the Regional Government of the Azores”.

In the ceremony, the Regional Secretary for the Environment and Climate Change also had the opportunity to deliver the Eco-Schools Award to 53 schools in the Region for the 2021/2022 school year.

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