Published on 29 November 2007
Translations available in: Português do Brasil . français . Español .

What is the Children’s Conference on the Environment? - The Brazilian Experience

Associated Central Topics: Education and responsibility . Environment and responsibility .
Associated General Topics: Children . Education . Environmental education . Schools . Teachers . Youth .

What is the Children’s Conference on the Environment?

It is an educational campaign that brings about the political dimension of the environment to schools and other instances children and youth organizations.
It mobilizes and engages children in science research and their communities in the debate about contemporary challenges on social and environmental issues.
The Conference is a process in which people congregate, deliberate on common themes and choose representatives who take over to higher instances their consensus and ideas.
The methodology of the Conference for the Environment in the Schools transforms each school into an active space for the construction of knowledge, which simultaneously brings about democratic participation and the debate of the global and the local issues at the same time.
The school is thus seen as a republican place for life long education, that reminds us of a Greek Agora, or still, it becomes a so-called Circle of Culture, according to the concept of Brazilian known educator Paulo Freire.
Its simplicity awakens and fortifies community participation of the community in the debate of urgent questions, usually restricted to universities, research centers or politicians.
This action, in which the opinion of the youth is respected and valued, promotes the recognition that each one of us can assume individual and collective responsibilities to improve the quality of life in the Planet.

The Brazilian experience

Brazil has organized, during the years 2003 and 2005, the 1st. and the 2nd. National Children’s Conferences for the Environment, involving the direct participation of 21,000 schools and about 8 million people.
This initiative, created by Minister Marina Silva is now consolidated as an important event in the scenario of educational public policies in the country.
Each school with 5th to 8th grades debated in 2005 global themes through the diffusion of International Agreements that Brazil is signatory :
- Climatic changes - Kyoto Protocol ;
- Biodiversity - Convention on Biological Diversity ;
- Food and Nutrition Security - Declaration of Rome on World Alimentary Security ;
- Ethnic and racial diversity - Declaration of Durban against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Intolerance.

The Conference event makes it possible to assemble a diversity of educational programs and actions that contribute for the dissemination of environmental education, answering to social demands, especially concerning the children.
Its organizational and management methods are shared with different governmental actors, universities civil society movements, which strengthens environmental education within the schools systems.

For more information on the 2nd National Children’s Conferences for the Environment, click here


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