By Cristian Frers *
A couple of decades ago, the environment was not part of the main concerns of men. Nowadays, on the other hand, the awareness that the place in which we live is not an invulnerable and inexhaustible option is being installed on the public agenda of States and in the culture of current societies. Despite this, the role of environmental policies is still in its infancy in the face of the urgent challenges of the following years, and it is not difficult to think that we will participate in a profound new environmental view of politics and development that will lead to a new paradigm.
Many times the lack of coordination and planning of governments has resulted in a total ineffectiveness of their policies, and have meant, in environmental and infrastructure issues, the need to return to the beginning, to zero. For example ... the very few times that anti-pollution measures have been established for water courses, actions are taken against various companies, but open dumps are not taken into account, which are always on the banks of rivers, or are they dump sewage liquids without any treatment, or effluents simply leak with the complicity of certain officials who turn a blind eye.
Environmental policies, especially those aimed at curbing the damage caused by pollution, should be all or nothing, that is to say that if a campaign is undertaken, no cracks can be left or started small. It is no use taking kindergartens out to collect slips, while allowing a powerful industry to divert its polluting effluent from the treatment plant. It is not efficient to call for voluntary adherence to a clean production plan, which will be attended by those who always collaborate, since those who are not interested in clean production will continue to contaminate freely.
Emphasis should be placed on the need for a change in the production model that allows putting the economy at the service of people and the environment, for this it is necessary to work from education on an education for sustainable development in an interdisciplinary and transversal way , with the aim that students develop specific intervention projects on biological and natural issues in schools.
Conceptual and methodological tools must be offered to all teachers to address the issue of conservation, care and sustainable use of our resources in the classroom, with the school being a multiplier space for messages on the preservation of the natural environment.
This education must be an interdisciplinary, planned and continuous process destined to the critical construction of environmental knowledge, values and behaviors and that based on social justice and respect for biological and cultural diversity enables sustainable development at the local and regional level; the recognition of environmental complexity and conflict as well as its causes; the formulation of sustainable production and consumption models capable of preserving life and the planet's resources; and the effective exercise of the right to a healthy environment.
Education for sustainable development must be integrated into all compulsory educational levels, both provincial and national, and its implementation must be carried out in a transversal way in the curricular guidelines for each compulsory educational level, through an interdisciplinary and complex perspective that builds a concept of environment from the interactions and mutual influences between nature and society in all its dimensions (cultural, economic, historical, political and territorial) in both formal and non-formal education.
Each society has a different social, economic or political priority. The degree of interest will depend on the reality that each one of them experiences. It is true that the social priority of Argentines today is more related to their basic needs. But is it not a basic question to take into account the care of our own natural resources?
The environment also needs policies, initiatives and programs that cover the challenges facing the country and the world today. But in Argentina it becomes one more issue in a long list of promises. Perhaps then it is time for all the inhabitants of the nation to put the environmental issue on our agenda.
* Senior Technician in Environmental Management and Senior Technician in Social Communication (Journalist)