With the start of the new school year, the Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal (IPS) once again distinguished itself for its work in education and environmental management for sustainability, with the renewal of the Eco-Schools Award, for the third consecutive school year, to its five Higher Schools.
The Associação Bandeira Azul da Europa, manager of this international program in Portugal, proposed “External Spaces” as one of the themes of the year for 2020/2021. In line with the IPS sustainability policy, actions were developed in this context with an impact not only on the landscape redevelopment of its campuses, but also on the identification and characterization of biodiversity, thus viewing the entire environment as privileged contexts for learning and approaching the community to nature.
As an example, the identification and characterization of fauna and flora species, the collection of images of the natural heritage, the placement of nest boxes for birds, the enrichment of the territory with the planting of native species and the creation of the citizen science project on the Biodiversity4All platform.
At the same time, other activities were carried out, such as making more ecopoints available inside buildings and in outdoor spaces, water dispensers, and carrying out works/projects on the goals of sustainable development.
In this way, IPS once again consolidates its position as a Higher Education Institution that values its natural heritage, which explores it as a source of experiences for and with its academic and surrounding community, recognizing that the importance of biodiversity must be lived. The experiences and learning carried out have a potential multiplier effect in the future, in the different professional contexts where they will work and from a perspective of promoting active citizenship.