A project to educate on the environment

We meet Alessandra Casali and Céline Ndong , tutors of the PCTO, Transversal Skills and Orientation Pathways “A lesson in environmental governance: discovering actions for the Mediterranean Sea and its coasts” promoted by INFO/RAC in close cooperation with ISPRA, which involved some students from Tasso High School in Rome from 7 February to 20 April 2023. 
The training course was subsequently supplemented by further lectures including the students' participation in the 23rd Conference of the Parties "COP23" of the Barcelona Convention organised in Portorož, Slovenia, from 5 December to 8 December 2023.

Alessandra, how did this environmental education course come about?

The promotion of the PCTO came about as part of the activities of the INFO/RAC Centre, whose tasks also include raising awareness among Mediterranean citizens on the role of UNEP/MAP, the Barcelona Convention and its environmental policies aimed at sustainable development.
The idea of an itinerary on these issues, aimed at a school-age audience, stems from the awareness that young people want to be heard and participate in global discussions on environmental and sustainability issues, as demonstrated by the recent mobilisations in defence of the environment.
The course design started from the question: how well do young people know the national and international institutions responsible for environmental protection?

Céline, what is the goal of this PCTO?

The training course focuses on the role and tasks of the main national and international institutions in charge of environmental protection, with particular reference to the United Nations Environment Programme's Mediterranean Action Plan.
 The main focus is the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean, i.e. the Barcelona Convention, its governance mechanisms and decision-making processes, as well as the role of the Convention's RegionalActivity  Centres, in particular the Information and Communication Centre hosted by ISPRA.

Alessandra, how important is it to make young people aware of the Barcelona Convention and what kind of response have you received?

Finding out how 21 countries and European Union work together to protect the Mediterranean Sea and its coasts and for sustainable development, with particular reference to the current historical period characterised by a strong climate crisis, is useful and fundamental for the new generations, generally very sensitive to environmental issues but with little trust in institutions.
Spreading the knowledge of governance mechanisms, the implementation of the Barcelona Convention and its protocols can contribute to the strengthening of the Mediterranean identity and foster true citizenship.

Céline, do we need more projects of this type? Are there plans for a repeat?

Absolutely! The PCTO initiative is also a way to raise awareness among young people on different issues. A repeat is planned for next year, but it would be nice to replicate this initiative in the countries of the Mediterranean region.

Alessandra why is student participation at COP23 important?

The training course ends with the students' participation in COP 23. But it is not meant to be an end point, but rather an important training opportunity through which the students experience active participation in the sessions of the Conference of the Parties as they are the protagonists of two distinct moments of the programme: the first, during the Ministerial session,  in which they transmit their message drafted during their participation in the training pathway, the second, during the side event "Education and youth" where they confront the audience present and recount their experience in order to stimulate the representatives of the other Mediterranean countries to promote similar training courses. They will be also auditors at all the COP23 sessions.

To both of you. This experience was not only "didactic": what did it leave each of you with?

Céline: The satisfaction being able to pass on their knowledge but first of all the interest of young people in topics that are not part of the school curriculum.

Alessandra: The confrontation with the new generations on environmental issues, bringing into a school context the working reality in which we are involved on a daily basis, and in particular the interest shown by the pupils, as my colleague has already said, I think is the real added value of this experience.


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published on 2023/11/24 07:47:00 GMT+0 last modified 2023-11-29T18:45:40+00:00