Issue of November, 10, 2002
HOME PAGE ABOUT US ARCHIVE
 
  Current
  Edition
  Report
  Accents
  Analysis
  Dialogues
  Notable
  Writings
  Eco-Briefs
  Gallery
  Video
  Contacts
  Permisos
  de uso


Credit:
Accents
Mesoamerica Fails in Environmental Education
By Néfer Muñoz

More than 80 percent of the population does not know the meaning of the expression "sustainable development", according to a survey conducted in rural areas of Central America and southern Mexico. And only a minority understands the significance of problems like climate change or species extinction. More than 80 percent of the population does not know the meaning of the expression "sustainable development", according to a survey conducted in rural areas of Central America and southern Mexico. And only a minority understands the significance of problems like climate change or species extinction.

SAN JOSE, (Tierramérica).- - A study conducted by the Bimsa polling firm at the behest of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor (MBC) found that the public in this Central American and southern Mexican region are unaware of the importance of the concept "sustainable development" -- economic growth that maintains social equality and environmental preservation.

In a sample of 4,000 people, 82.8 percent had never heard of sustainable development. Mexico and Guatemala earned the lowest marks on this question: 92.4 and 87.8 percent, respectively, said they did not know about the idea.

Costa Rica had the highest grade as it had the most survey respondents (29.2 percent) who said they indeed knew what sustainable development was.

The Bimsa study covered the respondents' use of the communications media, perception of environmental problems, knowledge of the environment in general, and particular, of protected areas. The participants were also asked if they were aware of the MBC, an inter-governmental initiative to restore the chain of biodiversity extending through the region.

Bimsa conducted the survey in late 2001 and early 2002 in Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and the Mexican states of Quintana Roo and Yucatán. It covered men and women ages 18 to 55, with 60 percent from rural areas.

Among those who said they were aware of the sustainable development concept, 12.8 percent said it means "coexisting with nature without damaging it", 11.3 percent said it means "national development without harming the environment", 7.3 percent interpreted it as "overcoming hardship through community action" and 6.9 percent as "taking care of the environment".

"Although environmental education has improved in the last 10 years, only a minority of the population understands concepts like climate change or species extinction," Lorenzo Cardenal, director of the Regional Project for MBC Consolidation, told Tierramérica.

In regards to the meaning of the word "environment", 47 percent of those surveyed told Bimsa it means "everything that surrounds us", 7.3 percent "where we live", 6.4 percent mentioned "fresh air", and six percent said it is "nature".

* Néfer Muñoz is an IPS correspondent.

Sign up for Tierramerica's free weekly newsletter!
Report
The Kyoto Protocol and Its Deserters
Dialogues
A Crusade in Favor of Whales and Elephants
Connect Yourself
Volcanic Impacts
Eco-briefs
BRAZIL: Lightning Alert...
VENEZUELA: Effects of Vanadium Studied...
GUATEMALA: Inadequate Calories in Average Diet...

New York Wants your Potato Peels

Civil Society Pushes for More Active Participation in Green Climate Fund

Effective Monitoring Urgently Needed to Fight Air Pollution in Mexican Cities

 

Copyright © 2014 Tierramérica. All Rights reserved