The Government of Spain is actively involved in promoting environmental education, particularly through the National Center for Environmental Education (CENEAM) which serves as a valuable network and resources for educators and the public. A wide variety of non-governmental organizations further promote and implement environmental education efforts, including Ecoschools and Ecoembes' efforts to incorporate sustainability principles into national curricula. such as the Ministry of Government and Ministry for Ecological Transition strongly encourage environmental education programs.
Policy & Practice
EE in K-12 Education
Naturaliza is a program implemented by Ecoembes to bring effective environmental practice and awareness to the classroom. The program works with teachers and students to bring environmental issues into the curriculum, and uses online resources to train teachers and promote experiential learning, especially among young students.
The School Agenda 21 is a set of actions aimed at integrating sustainability principles into schools’ education programs and it stimulates a participatory learning-process. The Agenda is designed to allow the integration and implementation of EE projects based on the individual needs and conditions of each school. The integration of this in Spain has been led by the Basque region (by Ingurugela), Madrid, and Barcelona. The School Agenda 21 works to:
- Encourage students to participate as engaged citizens and shape individual attitudes related to the environment and conservation
- Develop environmental education programming in accordance with the objectives established in the primary education curriculum
- Train people in critical analysis of environmental information
Furthermore, Friends of the Earth Spain developed the School of Sustainability, which aims to take action for environmental and social justice using innovative people-centered and transformative educational approaches, including popular education, theatre, arts, and learning-by-doing. They have run numerous training sessions and webinars on training for trainers, mobilizing and organizing, and many environmental and social justice topics.
EducaEnEco School Network through Ecoembes provides training for environmental educators from primary and secondary schools. The network selects the educators that participate, and they are trained through the Ecoembes Education Center on sustainability topics geared for primary, secondary, and special education levels.
EE in National Government
The National Center for Environmental Education (CENEAM) is a reference center for environmental education to promote an environmentally responsible citizenry. CENEAM collects and distributes EE information, implements awareness and civic engagement programs, develops EE materials, delivers training, and cooperates with public and private EE efforts. Of note, CENEAM hosts a directory of environmental education programs. Among these are stellar examples such as the environmental education program of the City of Terrassa, and the statewide Project of Ecoembes that aims to achieve a greater presence of environmental education in the Spanish education system.
CENEAM coordinates the Marine Education Network and Resources (REEDUCAMAR), a network and inventory of marine education resources in Spain. Their mission is to unite the community of marine educators, promote the dissemination of marine knowledge to the general public, and raise public awareness and sense of accountability for marine conservation.
Furthermore, the Ministry of the Environment published the White Book on Environmental Education in Spain (Libro Blanco de la Educacion Ambiental en Espana) which highlights pro-environmental actions that can be carried out in a variety of settings such as at home, work, and school, and through both leisure and community activities. The Social Education Magazine (Revista de Educacion Social - RES), a digital publication as a part of the EDUSO project, also published an edition (number 28) focused on social, environmental, and sustainability education, which discusses the status of EE in Spain and shares other articles about Spain’s EE efforts.
National EE Campaigns and Funding
The Association of Environmental and Consumer Education (ADEAC) is the Spanish branch of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), and implements a number of FEE programs within Spain. This includes implementing Ecoescuelas at the national level, which engages students to take part in developing and implementing sustainable practices in their school and community. Furthermore, ADEAC’s Llave Verde (Green Key) program rewards lodging sites and hotels to meet a number of strict environmental and social criteria. Llave Verde aims to sensitize the tourism sector towards the values of sustainable tourism.
Friends of the Earth Spain promotes local awareness on a local and international level about environmental problems, and provides opportunities for communities to take direct action. Their campaigns in Spain tackle issues including climate change, agriculture and livestock, food sovereignty, waste management, consumption, and economic justice. Environmental education plays an important role in Friends of the Earth Spain's activities, and they also work closely with the Spanish Youth Council (CJE).
#EA26 (Environmental Education 26) is an online and face-to-face network of environmental educators who host discussions on a new topic each month, which all relate to EE. The organization was established to bring together some of the most passionate minds in EE to share their discussions, debates, and references online as resources that would prove helpful to educators.