In Brazil, environmental education is a state policy. The Brazilian Government sees environmental education as the “processes by which the individual and try of environment, a common good of the people, and essential to a healthy quality of life Art 1 – National Environmental Education). The ProNEA - National Environmental Education Program seeks to meet the following components with respect to the lines of action and strategies for the formulation of public policies for environmental education: management and planning of environmental education in the country; capacity-building of environmental educators; communication for environmental education; inclusion of environmental education in educational institutions; and monitoring and evaluation of programs and projects in environmental education. Beyond national policy, Brazil is also seeking to increase citizen engagement in environmental education and community action through a range of programs that support states and territories in increasing access to quality education materials and opportunities for civic engagement.
Policy & Practice
In Brazil, environmental education is established and regulated by Law No. 9,795/99 and Decree No. 4,281/02. In 1999 Brazil developed a National Policy for Environmental Education (PNEA), which is coordinated by the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Education. Article 2 states that environmental education must be present in both formal and nonformal education. Article 3 states that everyone is entitled to environmental education. Future work for the Brazilian government includes creating an online tool for resource sharing, networking for EE professionals, public policies, actions and projects, and distance education courses. Additionally, they are looking to begin a National Program Implementation Managers Training program.
EE in K-12 Education
The Sustainable Schools National Program of the Ministry of Education supports Brazilian schools in their transition process toward socio-environmental sustainability, turning into sustainable education settings and contributing to better life quality within the communities. This program consists of a set of actions focused on the implementation of National Curriculum Directives on Formal Environmental Education, in order that educational institutions be incubators of a culture founded in the participation and permanent dialogue with students. Program actions are articulated within four components – curriculum, management, facility, and school-community relationship – and are developed through five lines: I – Learning processes and pedagogic practices; II – Diagnoses and research; III – Communication; IV – Management and Infrastructure; V – Articulation and interface with other national policies. The Sustainable Schools National Program also offers environmental education seminars for teachers and students observing the ‘youth educates youth’ principle and distributes the publications “Passo a passo para a conferência de meio ambiente na escola” [Guide to Environmental Conference at School] and “Formando Com-Vida e construindo a Agenda 21 na escola” [Establishing Com-Vidas and Building Agenda 21 at School].
Brazil is continuing efforts to provide online tools for resource sharing, distance education courses, and networking and is in the process of developing a national environmental education system to improve the scope and impact of its national EE policy.
The Brazilian Network for Environmental Education (REBEA) connects approximately 45 state, municipal, regional and thematic EE networks across Brazil.
EE in the National Government
The construction of environmental education as a public policy implemented by the Ministry for Education and by the Ministry for the Environment includes processes of articulation of various social actors and their ability to carry out sustainable and educative territorial management, training of environmental educators, socio-environmental edu-communication, and other strategies that promote a critical and emancipatory environmental education.