By Katia Silva Marine Biologist and Guide at
Target groups in the formal and non-formal education sectors help aid environmental awareness, ecological knowledge, attitudes, values, commitments for actions, and ethical responsibilities for the rational use of resources, and for sound and sustainable development. Environmental education emphasizes the teaching of the holistic nature of the environment through interdisciplinary and problem- solving approaches. This has to start as early in education as possible. Primary school is the natural place to introduce children to environmental education, since at this level they instinctively have a holistic view of the environment; they have not yet been trained to compartmentalize their learning into separate subjects as they will have to do in secondary and higher education.
Environmental education connects us to the world and raises awareness of issues impacting the environment upon which we all depend, as well as actions we can take to improve and sustain it. With all of the recent talk about protecting the oceans, there is increasing momentum to learn what we can do to help from our coastal and inland communities. People are rallying together to end practices that are devastating to the environment; despite all of the conservation laws that are on the books, there are still practices that are used which damage the oceans and destroy fisheries.
The four major oceans on the planet are home to diverse and distinctive ocean creatures. These animals are not simply just the usual fish or whales we know, but also cephalopods, crustaceans, plants, and even birds. Some of these creatures are on the brink of extinction and many are endangered due to negative human impacts on the marine environment.
In order for the abundant and extremely valuable resource of the ocean to be around for future generations, it is important we make sure that we are taking actions that are sustainable and do not allow for bad practices that continue to negatively affect the oceans.
Humpback whales are animals that visit the waters of Baja California Sur every year to have their babies. They are a great species to work on environmental education with children. Although giants in size, they are fragile to the impacts we cause on the planet. Thus presentations in schools, followed by a practical class in the field with observation of these animals will continue being realized this season.