Argentina has a history of strong environmental protections and concern that translates into the active pursuit of environmental education initiatives. Home to many valuable natural resources, the environment has always played a strong part in Argentinian culture. As a result, environmental issues are included in the study of other topics such as history and economics. Increasingly, environmental issues are pursued as an independent subject in many educational settings.
Policy & Practice
The importance of environmental education is broadly represented in Argentinian legislation. Article 41 of the Argentinian constitution establishes that “[t]he authorities will provide for the protection of this right [healthy environment], the rational use of natural resources, the preservation of natural and cultural heritage and biological diversity, and environmental information and education. The National Education Act states in its 89th article that “[t]he Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology, in agreement with the Federal Council of Education, will arrange the necessary measures to provide environmental education at all the levels and modalities of the National Educational System.” The General Environmental Act asserts the importance of the environmental education for the success of the environmental policy that the government is implementing.
EE in K-12 Education
Currently, environmental education in Argentinian schools is included as a cross-disciplinary theme in subjects such as Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Technology, and Ethics. However, it is still on the agenda to change this approach to one in which environmental education is a specific area of study. (Check the document of the Technical Meeting of Education on Sustainable Development of the OAS for further information).
While there is no government certification of environmental educators in Argentina, some programs are dedicated to the capacity building of environmental educators and professionals who can seek further training through participation in events such as the Environmental Training and Education Program by the Government of Córdoba or the courses offered by Fundación Vida Silvestre.
The Network of Environmental Educators (EAR) is one of the most important associations in Argentina regarding environmental education. This association connects environmental educators and teachers to share their experiences and improve the status of environmental education throughout the country.
EE in National Government
The Argentinian government supports environmental education through the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development. One of the objectives of this government office is to encourage people to know more about the environment in order to deal with issues such as climate change and waste management.
National EE Campaigns and Funding
Argentina is part of the efforts of regional and international organizations such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Organization of American States (OAS). Through these organizations, Argentina tries to improve its own environmental education programs, and shares experiences with other countries, particularly in the Latin American region.
The funding of environmental education in Argentina comes mostly from government offices and non-governmental organizations that support specific projects. For example, the Ministry of Environment and Fundación Espacios Verdes fund activities regarding the preservation of wildlife. Other sources of funding come from other countries, such as the program Fondo para Las Américas, funded by the United States of America.