The Nicaraguan government mandates strong environmental protections and the inclusion of environmental education in the national curriculum. While the country lacks official certification for environmental educators, courses and degrees are offered in environmental education at institutions across the country. Government agencies responsible for environmental management include mandates regarding environmental education.
Policy & Practice
The 60th article of the Constitution of Nicaragua establishes that “the Nicaraguan people have the right to live in a healthy environment. It is the responsibility of the State the preservation, conservation and restoration of the environment.” Also the 18th article of the General Act of Environment and Natural Resources states that “the legal declaration and establishment of national protected areas has the fundamental objective of… promoting the environmental education, scientific investigation and the study of the ecosystems”. In the 34th article of the same law, it is established that “the National Educational System and the social media will promote the environmental education that allows the knowledge of ecological equilibrium and its importance… with the final purpose of improving the environmental quality.”
EE in K-12 Education
The government has implemented an environmental axis in the K-12 curriculum through some areas, especially the area of physical and natural sciences in the secondary school. This axis is focused on the exploitation of natural resources in a sustainable way. Natural sciences are taught since the third year of the primary school and continue during secondary school until the 9th grade.
There is not a specific certification program for environmental educators in Nicaragua. However, multiple institutions offer relevant course work and degrees. For example, the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN) offers a bachelor’s degree in Environmental and Natural Resources Management.
The Nicaraguan government is working with several international organizations such as the Organization of American States (OAS), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
EE in the National Government
The Ministry of the Environment and Natural resources (MARENA) has the mission of “regulating and normalize the rational use and conservation of the natural resources and the protection of the Mother Earth through the formation of values."
National EE Campaigns and Funding
The Division of Environmental Education and Community Participation, a department of the MARENA, directs environmental education in the K-12 curriculum and promotes activities related to environmental education. Also, the Human Development Plan seeks to provide economic stability and social cohesion while dealing with climate change through environmental education. 44.7 % of the MARENA budget comes from government financing with the remainder coming from external donations and loans.