Once mostly tropical dry forest, Panama's Azuero peninsula is now a degraded agricultural landscape that is less than 7% forested. Climate change imperils local wildlife and hurts the wellbeing of local communities. In its 6th year, AEP's Education Initiative is partnering with 6 rural elementary schools closest to remaining forest to learn about climate change & its local impacts, reforest, and share the urgent need to ACT on climate change through ACTING in plays for their larger communities.
Panama's Azuero peninsula is a degraded agricultural landscape that is only 7% forested. Globally, less than 2% of dry forest remains. Extreme forest fragmentation endangers our endemic wildlife through habitat loss & reduces the productivity of local farmland. Climate change already affects Azuero's wildlife & communities through intensifying sporadic weather patterns & producing increasingly harsh dry seasons. Increasing tree cover will help local communities mitigate & adapt to these changes.
AEP's Education Initiative is partnering with 6 local elementary schools to learn about climate change & its local impacts. Over the past 6 years, we have worked with local teachers & students to learn about local wildlife, forest, deforestation, & why forests are important to humans. This year's culminating theme on how climate change will impact our forests & communities will help students communicate the importance of climate change action to their friends & families.
Over the long term, these rural students will become local landowners that understand the benefits of their local forest & its ecosystem services, & the actions they must take to adapt to climate change. School reforestation projects plant native trees & share technical skills to continue reforesting surrounding areas. Student plays about climate change will share an entertaining & memorable message from the heart to emphasize the importance & urgency of climate action & adaptation.