Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC): Understanding the climate urgency

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At UC, activities related to the climate are of great relevance, since what is sought is to raise awareness of the need to commit ourselves to our environment, and in this sense, fluid communication with young people is vital. “Climate change is a complex problem to address; however, to the extent that young people learn to relate differently to the elements that make up our common home, we will be able to make a change”, points out the rector Ignacio Sánchez in a column in El Mostrador.

“We have continued developing the great cycle of talks organized jointly for years by the UC Faculty of Education and the Paris School of Higher Studies in Social Sciences , whose base is the international project Global Youth Pact for Climate. In these activities the presence and participation of secondary students is vital. Thus, at the beginning of this year, an experience of conversations called Green Workshops was carried out in Puerto Natales, an instance that was very learning for young people, who in a dialogue with researchers were able to discover a friendlier way of relating to the planet, our common home. These types of conversations have a methodology that is based on the thought of the outstanding French philosopher Edgar Morin , in which the contents are defined according to the problems to be faced, under the guidance of researchers who put the situation in context.

At the Catholic University, these activities are highly relevant, since what we seek is to raise awareness of the need to commit ourselves to our environment, and in this sense, fluid communication with young people is vital. Climate change is a complex problem to tackle; however, to the extent that young people learn to relate differently to the elements that make up our common home, we will be able to make a change. Thus, since 2015 we have been committed to this project of generating interdisciplinary knowledge from all areas of knowledge. This is how we accompany this process not only from the Faculty of Education , but also from the Faculty of Biological Sciences , the Center for Global Change and theUC Sustainability Institute .

“Since 2015 we have been committed to this project of generating interdisciplinary knowledge from all areas of knowledge. This is how we accompany this process not only from the Faculty of Education, but also from the Faculty of Biological Sciences, the Center for Global Change and the UC Sustainability Institute”- rector Ignacio Sánchez.

Progressively, other universities have been incorporated into this project, and from the last discussion held in April of this year, the idea of ​​consolidating collaborative work with other institutions, the Future Congress , the Ministry of Education, Sciences and the Ministry of the Environment. It is necessary to highlight the pedagogical and citizen impact of this project, since young people usually work in an intergenerational environment and, based on science and an experiential pedagogy, they learn and understand the effects of climate change and, in this way, how to face it.

There is no doubt that education is the way to reach young people, they will be the future leaders who will be in charge of making decisions to improve our relationship with the planet. We know that it is possible to change and for this, we must all unite in this great challenge of protecting our common home. Due to what has been described, the accumulated experience of this project leads us to think now of a new national education program that allows us to seek comprehensive solutions to what has been called a socio-environmental crisis, and for which a comprehensive approach is required from where we can take care of nature, combat poverty and restore dignity to those excluded from our society.

“The accumulated experience of this project leads us to think now of a new national education program that allows us to seek comprehensive solutions to what has been called a socio-environmental crisis, and for which a comprehensive approach is required from where we can take care of the nature, combat poverty and restore dignity to those excluded from our society” – rector Ignacio Sánchez.

In this new Global Pact for Climate , it is very important to congratulate the commitment of the students, who with great dedication have developed this initiative that has allowed them to reach the different parts of our country to incorporate young people in a job committed to improving of our common home. The future of Chile requires it”.

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