Projects in Peru

Environmental Education in Peru 2021

Pisco, Peru, Landau, Germany February 19, 2022

Since 2010, the NGO Acorema has been organizing and designing environmental education in the region of Ica, southern Peru, under the motto "Queremos vivir" (We want to live) on behalf of SPHENISCO. At the end of January, project manager Señora Milagros reported on measures and activities from December 2020 to December 2021. 

The goal of "Queremos vivir" is to improve the perception of this penguin species and its habitat as well as to sensitize citizens for a careful treatment of endangered species and the environment. Target groups in 2021 were preschools and elementary schools, preschool and elementary school teachers, and various public administrations.

1. Preschools and elementary schools 

As the pandemic continued, virtual workshops were again organized and designed. This involved adapting the 2020 experience and coordinating modifications with school leaders and teachers. It was important for the schools to conduct virtual workshops on the occasion of dates in the ecological calendar, such as Environmental Protection Day, Ocean Day, Penguin Day, Beach Cleanup Day, Plastic Bag Free Day, Wildlife Week, or on curriculum topics such as "endangered species."

In the Ica region, a total of 10 schools in the municipalities of Nazca, Tambo de Mora, Pisco, San Andrés and Paracas participated. There were also activities outside the Ica region, such as in Lima and Pucusana (Lima Metropolitan Region), the main fishing port on the Peruvian coast. 

The workshops led to very different actions and activities. Plays, stories, drawings, posters, banners and videos were created. In all these activities, the children showed what they had learned about endangered species and thought about what message they wanted to pass on. This also led, among other things, to some schools or children going to the beach with their parents to identify small animals and detect environmental damage on site. The abundance of litter motivated children to express their concerns in their own videos and draw attention to how litter affects marine fauna. Other children created posters and displayed them outside their homes to alert people to the problem. (For pictures see photo gallery "Environmental Education Peru 2021") 

2. Preschool and primary school teachers 

Last year, Acorema also conducted 3 in-service trainings for preschool and elementary school teachers in coordination with the Directorate of Education in Pisco (UGEL Pisco) (1). The workshops lasted 2 hours each. Topics were production and playing of hand puppets, in order to present with this educational, didactic tool, contents of environmental education. As examples served of course the protection of the Humboldt penguin, other endangered species and their habitats. 

The aim of the training was to improve the competences of the teachers and to introduce them to a dynamic method with which school lessons can be improved in a playful way, so to speak. This (alternative) method "working with hand puppets" not only informs, but at the same time challenges and activates cognitions. Activation seems particularly important and valuable in these times of "pandemic virtuality". 

In the region of Ica, in Lima and other cities, the workshops reached an average of 300 teachers via "Zoom" and "Facebook". (For pictures see photo gallery "Environmental Education Peru 2021"). 
(1) The UGEL, Pisco (Education Directorate) is responsible for dissemination, guidance and monitoring of the national education policy and its regulations.

3. Activities with administrations

Municipal Administrations 
As in the past, Acorema provided posters and giant posters to the municipalities of San Andrés, Paracas (Pisco), Tambo de Mora (Chincha) and San Juan de Marcona (Nazca). The municipalities placed the posters on the threat and current situation of the Humboldt Penguin in central public places. Thus, with authorities in San Andrés and Paracas, four murals were created about the threat to marine life:

- In Paracas Elementary School on marine pollution, "Don't pollute the sea ... protect it!" on an area of 7.5 m x 3 m,

- In San Andres in the Cultural Park in front of the sports field with the statements "No to dynamite fishing", "They don't need them (note: masks, disposable gloves)." and "We want to live, a message from the ocean" The murals occupy an area of 3.40 m high and 10.4 m long and were placed on the side wall of the San Andres Sports Field in the Park of Arts and Culture. The park is very busy and is located in the neighborhood of the local fishing associations of San Andres. 

(For pictures see photo gallery "Environmental Education Peru 2021"). 

Forestry and Wildlife Administration and National Service for Nature Reserves. Professionals from these agencies (2) also received training in workshops. For example, all park rangers of the "Reserva Nacional Sistemas de Islas, Islotes y Puntas Guaneras" (Nat. Protected Area of Islands and Islets) participated in the training sessions. The focus was on strategies to raise awareness of the threats to marine life and the protection of marine ecosystems. Joint actions were also developed and coordinated with the professionals. 
(2) ATFFS - Forestry and Wildlife Administration of the Ica Region and SERNANP - National Service for State Protected Natural Areas.

"Barrio Seguro" Program.
In Pisco, Acorema joined the "Barrio Seguro" (Safe Neighborhood) Program, led by the Ministry of the Interior (in charge of National Police, Environmental Police and Tourism Police) and involving other ministries. The goal of the Safe Neighborhood program is to improve safety and peaceful coexistence in dangerous districts and neighborhoods. The initiative also creates places of learning and intact communication spaces.   Acorema took the opportunity to bring in environmental issues and offered virtual workshops to children of low-income families from Pisco and San Clemente during the summer vacations. The sessions covered topics such as "Humboldt penguins," "endangered species and their habitats." (For pictures see photo gallery "Environmental Education Peru 2021"). 

Cooperation with the Commission for Environmental Management 

With the Commission for Environmental Management, Environmental Education Group, contributions for several measures were elaborated. The Commission reports to the Ministry of Environment and is responsible for coordinating and monitoring environmental management in coastal areas. 

Videos were produced for "Ocean Day" based on previous experiences with schools. The scripts were proposed and conceived by children, teachers and the director of Miguel Grau School Pucusana. The protagonists also came from the school community. The school had already been actively involved in actions to protect the Humboldt penguin and other endangered species for the past 3 years. 

In addition, the problem of "waste" was presented in web seminars for associations of fishermen and tour operators. The aspects of waste generation and impact on marine fauna were problematized in detail.

4. Production of materials 

During the last year, the following media were prepared and distributed: 

- 1000 primers on initial training for preschool teachers. 

- 1000 posters on the capture of the Humboldt penguin. 

- 1000 infographics "Ica, protects the Humboldt penguin". 

- 5 layouts for the "¡Queremos Vivir!>" (We want to live!) initiative. 

- 4 puzzles. 

- 1 memory game

For pictures see photo gallery "Environmental Education Peru 2021 

Acorema is also in the process of updating the virtual resources on its website and developing new ones. The content will improve the information about Humboldt penguins and their habitat. 

Milagros Ormeno, Acorema 

Revised for the website G.K. & W.K.

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