A new initiative, presented to Mexico’s Congress, hopes to insert climate change education into the national curriculum for schools.
Mexican non-profit organisation Sin Planeta B has been working with Mexican Senator Clemente Castañeda Hoeflich on an initiative that proposes strengthening the curricula on environmental protection and climate change in schools, encouraging students to change their attitude and behaviour in order to protect natural resources.
The initiative aims to amend Mexico’s General Education Law in the following ways: using all its scope, education must contribute and extend its benefits to sustainable development and environmental protection; for the integral human development of students, education should include raising awareness of the climate emergency and modifying their attitudes and behaviours around caring for the environment; one of the purposes of education should be to encourage the adoption of practices and lifestyles that contribute to mitigating climate change and protecting the environment; and the curriculum should help students to acquire the knowledge necessary to assess environmental dilemmas and problems, with the aim of preparing them to face the challenges of climate change and to adopt sustainable lifestyles.
According to the UN, the impacts of climate change in Mexico could lead to an increase in rain and tropical cyclones and intensify droughts across the nation – and could consequently aggravate inequalities in health, employment and access to food. Research has also found that Mexico is the world’s 13th-largest emitter of greenhouse gases.
Luis Ramirez, Director of Sin Planeta B, said: “Basic education programmes in Mexico do promote caring for the environment, but this is only a general approach to the problem. These programmes don’t cover raising awareness about environmental problems and the effects of climate change, or promoting changes in attitudes and behaviours while protecting natural resources. Those elements, it has been argued, must be an essential part of developing educational programmes about climate change.
“The work that both I and Sin Planeta B have been doing has already impacted more than 6,000 children, and – it is estimated – more than 15,000 people more widely.”
If the initiative is approved by the government, Mexico will become the first country in Latin America to ensure its children receive a proper and official education in climate change.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living.