Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Meeting and Training Workshop
The Fourth Meeting of GLOBE Coordinators of Latin American and the Caribbean took place on 2-3 February 2007, in Panama City, Panama. Country Coordinators and representatives attended from Argentina, the Bahamas, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay. Representatives from Brazil also participated.
The main objectives of this meeting were twofold: to further define the operational structure of the Latin America and Caribbean Consortium (CLAC) of the GLOBE Program, and to gather input on implementing an Action Plan that would strengthen the program in the region.
The event started with words of welcome by the GLOBE Panama Coordination Committee. Dr. Teresa Kennedy, Deputy Director of the GLOBE Program, followed with a presentation on the current status of the Program. Each Coordination Committee of the CLAC provided progress reports about their work. Professor María del Carmen Galloni, coordinator of Political and Resource Management Strategies and GIAC representative for LAC, highlighted the progress made in adapting the Master Trainer Program to the needs of the Region and gave updates about the GLOBE International Advisory Committee.
The Fourth Meeting of GLOBE Coordinators from Latin America and the Caribbean was critical to further define the goals of the Consortium, particularly those addressing the challenges of ensuring the sustainability of the GLOBE Program in this region. Each Working Committee, previously referred to as the Coordination Committee, focused on one objective and is now composed of more than two GLOBE countries and one coordinator. It was agreed that the revised coordination structure would allow the region to successfully achieve their GLOBE objectives.
The structure of the GLOBE Latin America and the Caribbean Consortium was defined as follows:
- Political and Resource Management Strategies Committee: Under the coordination of Argentina, this committee also includes Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay.
- Inter Institutional Linkages Committee: Under the coordination of Peru, it also includes Peru, Panama, and Brazil.
- Communication Committee: Under the coordination of Panama, it also includes Costa Rica and Peru.
- Educational Development Committee: Under the coordination of Colombia, this committee also includes Mexico, Panama, Brazil (support), and Chile (whose participation remains to be confirmed).
- Projects Committee: This committee is coordinated by the Dominican Republic. It also includes Trinidad and Tobago, Bahamas, Uruguay, and Chile (whose participation remains to be confirmed).
- Training Committee: Under the coordination of Mexico, this committee also includes Colombia, Peru, and Guatemala.
The Consortium decided that each Committee is linked to objectives, which are presented below:
- Seek financial resources for the implementation of the GLOBE Program and strengthening of the presence of the Latin American and Caribbean Region in GLOBE at the international level.
- Strengthen the presence of GLOBE in the Region and the exchange among countries in order to integrate GLOBE in the regional environmental education processes.
- Maintain communication among countries.
- Strengthen the incorporation of GLOBE in the teaching and learning processes.
- Develop joint projects.
- Strengthen the capacities of GLOBE Trainers from the Region.
To achieve those goals, the coordinators identified several important products that must be obtained within the Committees. Some of those products are the following:
- Evaluation of the funding needs of the Region based on the GLOBE Survey.
- Mechanism to reinforce the presence of the Region into the overall GLOBE Program worldwide.
- Guidelines to establish GLOBE coordination committees in all countries, as an approach to strengthen the GLOBE organization (e.g. Panama).
- Schedule of environmental education and sciences activities to promote GLOBE participation in regionally identified activities.
- Proposal to incorporate GLOBE in environmental education conferences.
- Evaluation of the existing communication platforms.
- Proposal of a Consortium logo.
- Development of a communication strategy for the Region.
- Incorporation of the educational framework into the atmosphere protocols, taking into account the optimization of the utilization of the protocol in the development of teaching and learning processes by matching them with the surroundings so the teacher may benefit with data recording and analysis and determine when the right time to get involved is (pilot program in Colombia).
- Encourage the publication of research results and topics of common interest in the region's section of GLOBE's Web page.
- Redesign lesson plans to incorporate learning activities and related questions that may help teachers to incorporate GLOBE in their teaching activities, thus familiarizing the teacher with the approach of Earth as a system and incorporating research and concrete interventions on the environment.
- Identify quality criteria for organization of training and trainers.
The Latin American and the Caribbean GLOBE coordinators accepted the challenge to continue working together toward achieving regional sustainability in order to strengthen the environmental and scientific education processes in each country. It was finally decided that the next coordinators meeting will be held in conjunction with the Annual GLOBE Conference in San Antonio, Texas from 29 July - 3 August 2007.
GLOBE Program International Training Workshop Seminar
For Latin America and the Caribbean
A GLOBE Program International Training Workshop Seminar for Latin America and the Caribbean was held at the High Technology Intelligence Center, City of Knowledge, Panama, on 3-9 February 2007. Participants included facilitators from 11 countries: Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, and Brazil.
The event brought together almost 40 teachers from schools located in areas neighboring natural protected areas of Panama. They were specifically selected by the National Environment Authority of Panama (ANAM) and by the Ministry of Education to generate knowledge of their region, which will be used by ANAM to monitor protected areas. Additional objectives of this process were for the students to become acquainted with their surroundings, to understand the processes that take place there, and to further develop their science and mathematical skills, resulting in improved environmental awareness and contributing to solutions for the problems in their local environment.
The Panamanian teachers were trained to carry out the atmosphere, soils, hydrology, biology, and land cover research protocols with an emphasis on the implementation of atmosphere protocols, since this will be the first research area to be carried out by schools, with support from both ANAM and the Ministry of Education.
Upon conclusion of the event, teachers were enthusiastic about starting GLOBE work in their schools. They look forward to increasing students' environmental awareness by teaching them about their local ecosystems and how to collect and report environmental data that will be used for scientific research.
Facilitators gathered to discuss the lessons learned by leading the training events and agreed to do the following:
- Develop a GLOBE Program Training Committee project to hold a specialized training workshop for Master Trainers, with participation of GLOBE Program scientists.
- Improve the Master Trainer evaluation form.
- Share the lessons plans of the various research areas with the purpose of developing a suitable lesson plan model, by protocol, taking into account the basic, intermediate, and advanced training levels.
- Prepare an evaluation form for participants in the Master Trainer program, based on the achievement of skills by level (basic, intermediate, and advanced) and research areas.
Latin America and Caribbean commitment to further improve each training workshop and produce important documents that can be used by future trainers, remains a priority for the Region.
26 June 2007