Environmental education in Mozambique is still in its early stages of development in both formal and non-formal education systems. Civil society organizations play a crucial role in incorporating environmental education into society and communities. Securing funding and financing, however, remains a major challenge for the sector, hindering its ability to maintain and plan long-term environmental education programs.
Mozambique is a tropical climate country located in Southeast Africa that is known for its diverse natural resources, including forests, wetlands, and coastal ecosystems. However, these resources are under threat due to a variety of environmental issues, such as deforestation, overfishing, and land degradation. About two-thirds of its estimated 32 million (2021) people live and work in rural areas. In addition, the country is also vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, including sea level rise, increased frequency of extreme weather events, and increased risk of flooding and droughts. Despite these challenges, there are ongoing efforts to promote sustainable development and conservation in Mozambique, including through the implementation of protected areas and community-based natural resource management programs.
Policy & Practice
Mozambique has national legislation and a national mandate related to environmental education. The country's Environmental Law, enacted in 1997 (Law 20/97), establishes an environmental regulatory framework, sets environmental goals and priorities, and establishes a system of environmental management, including provisions on environmental education and public awareness. Additionally, the National Environmental Management Plan (PNMA) of Mozambique includes environmental education as one of its priority areas and has also established the Ministry's Environmental Education, Communication and Dissemination Program (PECODA) to support the implementation of environmental education policies and activities. PECODA aims to integrate environmental education into the country's formal and non-formal education systems and promote sustainable development and conservation through awareness-raising and capacity-building initiatives.
EE in National Government
The Mozambique government has an office that supports environmental education, the Ministry of Land and Environment, which is responsible for implementing environmental education policies and activities in the country. The Ministry's Environmental Education, Communication and Dissemination Program (PECODA, 2009-2025) aims to promote common understanding of environmental problems and mechanisms through the formation of Environmental Educators, improving environmental sanitation including the capture and deposition of rainwater, restoring degraded areas, and the following Presidential initiatives:
- One Student, One Plant
- One Leader, One Forest
- One Family, One Basket
The program aims to integrate environmental education into the country's formal and non-formal education systems, and to promote sustainable development and conservation through awareness-raising and capacity-building initiatives.
The PECODA works closely with other government agencies, such as the Ministry of Education, as well as with NGOs and other organizations, to develop and implement environmental education programs and activities. The PECODA also provides technical assistance and resources to schools and communities to promote environmental education and conservation. Despite the challenges, such as lack of funding and resources, the program is working to improve the quality and availability of environmental education in the country, with the goal of promoting sustainable development and conservation among the population
EE in K-12 Education
Mozambique has integrated environmental education within the K-12 curriculum. Environmental education is included as a cross-cutting theme in the national curriculum, and is incorporated into subjects such as science, geography, and history. The Ministry of Education has developed separate environmental education curriculums for primary and secondary schools, which includes modules on topics such as biodiversity, climate change, and sustainable development.
The implementation of environmental education in schools is still a challenge due to lack of resources, such as trained teachers and materials. There is a need to provide more support to schools for them to be able to effectively integrate environmental education into their curriculum. Poverty and limited access to education are further challenges to implementing environmental education into schools. Despite these challenges, there are ongoing efforts to improve the quality and availability of environmental education across the country, with the goal of promoting sustainable development and conservation among the population.
Professional development opportunities for educators in Mozambique are generally limited, with the country facing a shortage of trained teachers and a lack of resources for teacher training.
There are some opportunities for teachers to engage in professional development activities, such as workshops, training programs, and conferences (annual conference “Growing Blue,” which are organized by different organizations such as NGOs (Environmental Association), universities (Technical University of Mozambique, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane [additional UEM link], and the government. These activities can provide teachers with the necessary skills, knowledge, and resources to integrate environmental education into their curriculum and to promote sustainable development and conservation in their communities.
In Mozambique, there is a growing association movement of environmental professionals and activists who have been working on mobilizing the general community in environmental education matters. These professionals and activists represent environmental educators that work to promote environmental education and sustainable development in Mozambique by providing training, resources, and technical assistance to educators and also working closely with the government, NGOs, and other organizations to develop and implement environmental education programs and activities.
Despite the lack of an Environmental Educators Association, the activist movement has engaged in advocating for a national environmental education strategy for children and adolescents, a tool that will guide these age groups on good environmental practices. Complementing this gap, the Mozambican Association for Environmental Impact Assessment (AMAIA) has complemented efforts in promoting environmental education and assessing its impacts on society, playing a catalytic role in promoting environmental education among public-private organizations. AMAIA also serves as a platform for environmental educators to exchange ideas, collaborate, and network with each other, and with other organizations and agencies working in the field of environmental education.
Mozambique, as a member of the African Union, has been participating in environmental education initiatives and programs organized by regional organizations such as the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) and the African Environmental Education Network. These organizations work to promote environmental education and sustainable development in Africa and they provide a platform for African countries to exchange ideas, collaborate, and network on environmental education initiatives.
In Mozambique, there are Environmental Clubs, which are groups of schools trained by the Ministry of Land and Environment and work in their surrounding communities. Environmental Clubs are a space where systematic and methodological learning and activities are developed to create environmental awareness and skills in individuals to solve their environmental problems. The goal of the environmental clubs is to create future leaders for biodiversity conservation and environmental protection. In turn, these leaders can be facilitators of environmental education programs in schools and communities.
Mozambique is a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), a regional economic community of 15 countries in southern Africa that works to promote cooperation and integration among its member states, including on issues related to the environment and education.
National EE Campaigns and Funding
In Mozambique, environmental education is funded through a combination of government and international sources. The government, through the Ministry of Land and Environment, is responsible for allocating funds for environmental education activities. However, due to the country's limited resources and competing priorities, funding for environmental education can be limited.
International organizations such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and other bilateral and multilateral organizations, also provide funding and support for environmental education initiatives in Mozambique. These organizations support the government in implementing environmental education policies and activities, as well as in building capacity among educators and communities.
Additionally, NGOs and other organizations working in the field of environmental education also play a role in funding and sustaining environmental education in the country, by providing resources, training, and technical assistance to schools and communities. They also raise awareness on environmental issues and promote sustainable development.
Environmental education campaigns are also an important way to sustain environmental education in the country. These campaigns are usually organized by different organizations such as the government, NGOs, and other organizations, and they aim to raise awareness and educate the public about environmental issues and to promote sustainable development and conservation