Paraguay ensures the rights of all its citizens to live in a healthy environment and understands the importance of environmental education in achieving that goal. Paraguay partners with local educators and international organizations like the United Nations to broaden its environmental education capacities. While there is not a formal certification process for environmental educators, there are many courses and experiences available in Paraguay to develop environmental education skills.
Policy & Practice
The 7th article of the Constitution of Paraguay states “[a]ll the people ha[ve] the right to live in a healthy and ecological equilibrated environment.” The 1561/00 Act created the National System of Environment, The National Council of Environment and the Environmental Secretariat (SEAM). The 12th article of this act established that SEAM is to “support and coordinate educational and investigation programmes related to the natural resources and the environment.” In the 22nd article, the law defines that the General Environmental Management Directorate has to “formulate, coordinate and supervise policies, programmes and projects about [...] environmental education and awareness.”
EE in K-12 Education
One of the objectives of the basic education curriculum is to “develop values that promote the conservation, defense, and recuperation of the environment and culture.” The environmental elements of the curriculum are taught in conjunction with the natural and health sciences.
As in the majority of the countries of Latin America, there is not a specific certification program for environmental educators. However, some universities and associations offer opportunities to train in environmental education. The Environmental Secretariat (SEAM), offers short courses for educators on water and education, and the National University of Asunción (UNA), offers a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering. In addition, the Environmental Educators Network of the city of Encarnación works with alumni from the National University of Asunción and government agencies to develop and implement local courses.
EE in National Government
The office of the General Environmental Management Directorate is responsible for creating environmental education projects and programs as well as for administering a national system for environmental information and education.
National EE Campaigns and Funding
Paraguay works with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on several environmental projects including the Little Donations Programme (PPD) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Environmental Secretariat to promote international forums on environmental education. The Environmental Secretariat has a budget determined by the Ministry of Finance, but it also receives funding from international organizations and programs such as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Environment Facility.
Voces de la Naturaleza (Voices of Nature) is a Paraguayan environmental education movement supporting a network of more than 30 eco-clubs across the country that connect over 600 children ages 7-14 to local biodiversity issues every week.