Costa Rica prioritizes environmental education and incorporates it into interdisciplinary studies across its education system. In addition to a deep commitment to environmental preservation and eco-tourism, Costa Rica partners with the international community to foster national engagement with natural resources. The government of Costa Rica both protects wide areas of the country and ensures environmental education reaches all its citizens.
Policy & Practice
The laws, regulations, and treaties governing Costa Rica established that the government authorities are responsible for the promotion and development of programs of environmental education. The Environmental Education Act states that “the education for the protection of the environment is of public interest.”
EE in K-12 Education
The Ministry of Public Education of Costa Rica has included environmental education in the K-12 curriculum all over the country. Costa Rica aims to create an effective space that “motivates students and teachers to make a reflection about the sustainable human development”.
There are no certification programs for environmental educators in Costa Rica, but there are some courses for people who want to engage in the professional development of environmental education. Courses such as the Diploma in Education for Sustainable Development, offered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) “strengthen the knowledge, capacities, and abilities of educators in order to implement the education for the sustainable development of their programs”.
The National Institute of Biodiversity (INBio) specializes in the “diffusion of knowledge about the biological diversity of the country and the promotion of its sustainable use”. The main aim of the INBio is the bio-literacy, a process in which people learn to respect living beings and ecosystems.
EE in National Government
The Ministry of Environment and Energy supervises all actions regarding environmental education in Costa Rica.
National EE Campaigns and Funding
Costa Rica participates in regional and international efforts to promote environmental education, such as the activities sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the World Bank (WB). The funding of environmental education in Costa Rica comes mostly from non-government organizations and from the international community. Costa Rica enjoys many contributors including the Association for the cooperation of Costa Rica and the USA (CRUSA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Technical Cooperation Office of the Spanish Embassy in Costa Rica, German Agency for Technical Cooperation, the World Bank, and the Global Environment Facility.