The dry tropical forest in the Caribbean region is one of the most scarce and threatened ecosystems in Colombia. In the past years, many strategies have attempted its restoration and conservation. Today, TBI Colombia is working on how to approach the threats and the proper management of this ecosystem in the local educational system.
The tropical dry forest of the Caribbean region is very fragmented varying its conservation level from primary forest to highly intervened areas. In order to contribute to the integral management, Fondo Patrimonio Natural is promoting a connectivity strategy including environmental, social and productive perspectives in the frame of its “Conservation Landscapes” project. This initiative takes place in the Caribbean provinces of Bolívar, Guajira, Cesar, Magdalena, Atlántico and Sucre.
Among the activities at a social level, each node (composed by public and civil organizations as well as communities) has prioritized environmental education activities and the formulation of sustainable productive projects related to the following themes: restoration of the dry forest and its main species; the propagation and management of local flora and establishment of nurseries; agroecological proposals and the management of cultivated plants and seeds; silvopastoral management; the recovery and management of soils; and alternative management of water systems. TBI Colombia supports the implementation of these processes by building local capacity and pedagogical assistance to schools, technical education institutions and universities.
TBI Colombia has been developing workshops in active learning approaches directed to formulate school projects about the knowledge, conservation and sustainable use of the dry forest. We have also been promoting the design of pedagogical materials which include local productive experiences, local research, technical and scientific information, and new pedagogical perspectives.
TBI Colombia’s experience with participative methodologies and the formulation of projects in intercultural contexts has served as a base for the action in the Caribbean region. Experiences like the Training in environmental management and sustainable production chains (2012) developed in the agreement with the SENA and the most recent Exploring the páramo ecosystem from schools (2015) give the background to the pedagogical alternatives of the tropical dry forest.