Sunday 20 June 2021

Costa Rica’s INBio Teaches U.S. How To Teach

Randall Tolpinrud (izq.) y Robert Newman, miembros de la Fundación Pax Natura, visitaron el INBio junto a Natalia Zamora. | RAFAEL PACHECO
Randall Tolpinrud (left) and Robert Newman, members of th Fundación Pax Natura, visiting INBio along with Natalia Zamora. | Photo: Rafael Pacecho, La Nacion

QCOSTARICA ( It appears that  Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio) – National Institute of Biodiversit,  is not only good at teaching the general populace about the importance of creating an ecologically sane environment but is also teaching some highly respected U.S. institutions how to teach.

The Fundación Pax Natura and the Jane Goodal Institute are patterning environmental education and public awareness of ecological issues (called here, bioalfabetizacion) to create biodiverse and sustainable public policies. Few countries in the world have populations and politicians as aware as in Costa Rica.

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Not only politicians but news organizations here such as the leading newspaper La Nacion, and this blog as examples, have been taught import lessons by the organization. In fact, INBio created the word “bioalfabetizacion” to underscore the philosophy that “the only protect what you know about.”

For 25 years, INBio has promoted biodiversity and its connection with the well being of the average person in the fields of health, tourism and agriculture. It has turned conservation from a mere word out there somewhere into a meaningful concept.

For Robert Newman, academic at the University of Utah and the next head of the National Institute of the Humanities in the U.S., education is the key to support environmental policies. “We’re forming future environmental leaders,” he points out.

Key INBio leaders are meeting with personnel of the Smithsonian Institution, National Geographic Society and other non-governmental groups to share their experiences. At the same time, says INBio’s Natalia Zamora, these meeting forge alliances and possible sharing of funding for various projects.

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Of course this country already had a start in the field due to its inherently wide diversity that has become world famous. By its constant sharing of knowledge with the average person and not restricting it to an academic minority, INBio has reached out beyond the ivory tower.

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