RCE Guatemala - 2018

New approaches to biocultural diversity and ESD. Training courses: learning from nature and indigenous peoples for sustainability.
Basic Information
Title of project : 
New approaches to biocultural diversity and ESD. Training courses: learning from nature and indigenous peoples for sustainability.
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Guatemala
Contributing organization(s) : 
Community library network. email: redcomunitariabibliotecas@gmail.com
Asociación Maya Uk’ux B’e email: naqxitleopoldo_4mm@yahoo.es
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
School of Training Middle School Teachers EFPEM
Organizational Affiliation: 
San Carlos University
Format of project: 
Power Point
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Thursday, July 12, 2018
USAC 2022 (2003). University Strategic Plan
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Ciudad Universitaria, zona 12, Edificio EFPEM. Guatemala, Guatemala, Central America.
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
The cultural and natural heritages that are studied are located in territories with the highest density of indigenous population and higher incidence of poverty and extreme poverty. The inhabitants are mostly engaged in agricultural activities. They are mostly illiterate, their schooling rates are below the national average, without access to basic services, suffer from marginalization, social exclusion and discrimination. This is a consequence of the abandonment in which are the natural and cultural heritage of the country and the risk of loss of their wealth.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
The main challenge is to overcome the profecentrico model which dominates the university education. An memoristic education, passive and based on reading books and theories alien to the reality of the country. The project seeks to promote quality education, student-centered education. With active teaching methods that bring students to the natural and cultural reality of the country. By this way the project promote a better education and help to the conservation of Cultural and Natural heritage which constitutes a transcendental contribution to the development of my country and its environment.
November, 2017 to December, 2018
The natural and cultural heritages of the country are not studied in the educational system. Although, norms and policies exist that require its study and research. There's even content related to these assets within the curriculum. However, in practice, teachers do not find appropriate methods and techniques to teach about the significance and value of these heritages. The main teaching method used is based on outdoor education and other methods that allow to know the meaning of natural and cultural heritages. Three educational approaches are used for that. The dialogue of knowledges, education for sustainable development and the biomimicry. It is that students learn from nature, its principles, engineering designs for sustainability and can apply them to solve problems of today's society. Also to learn the knowledge of indigenous peoples in their relationship with nature.
Facilitate the creation of university teacher groups and youth interested in interpreting the meaning of the cultural and natural heritage as a source of educational resources in their teaching and learning programs.
To know and apply new teaching methods for the interpretation of the bio-cultural heritage, as the dialogue of knowledge’s, the principles of education for sustainable development and the biomimicry.
Learn from economic enterprises that indigenous peoples are being developed, using their wisdom and knowledge of nature to protect the environment, improve the quality of life, promoting new sustainable production and consumption habits.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
With the project we carry out educational tours to cultural and natural heritage to integrate the profound respect and exploration of the values of biocultural diversity. Between these tours, university teacher, students and youth visit mayan archaeological sites, museums, productive companies run for indigenous cooperatives related to the production of cocoa, weaving mayan workshops, honey and medicinal plants; as well as mangroves, forests, volcanoes, waterfalls, rivers, lakes and lagoons. The intention is that the participants recognize the importance of these natural assets and knowledge of indigenous peoples for the sustainability of the planet, reducing the impact on climate change, the preservation of natural and cultural resources.
Size of academic audience: 
150 university teachers, students and youth annually
The activities have enabled the creation of learning communities, composed of university professors, students and youth, who are interested in exchanging knowledge and experiences for new methods of education closer to the bio-cultural heritages. With a growing interest to meet new biocultural heritage, learn more about the nature of education for sustainable development and to attract other teachers to these learning experiences.
Lessons learned: 
Education for sustainable development is an option to transform traditional methods of education. The bio-cultural heritages are a source of learning. The use of new teaching methods, more active and applied in the territories occupied by this biocultural heritage facilitates the learning of its meaning and its value. Nature teaches, forests, rivers, mountains, wetlands, lakes and lagoons are ecosystems where you learn cooperation, recycling, energy saving, and can serve as a model to solve problems of today's society.
Key messages: 
For the pleasure of learning by traveling, constitutes one of the main key messages of our educational walks. The knowledge of indigenous peoples is associated with nature and to the conservation of the natural and cultural resources. From nature we have much to learn, so we have to appreciate it and keep it. Education for sustainable development ensures a quality education and the transformation of the educational system.
Financial support from participants, and the German cooperation, GIZ, in Guatemala
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
Traditional Knowledge  
Curriculum Development 
Plants & Animals 
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Building capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Empowering and mobilizing youth