The Senate unanimously approved the Environmental Education law
14 May 2021
The law guarantees the incorporation of environmental content in educational curricula at all school levels.
In a historic session, the Chamber of Senators of the Nation unanimously approved the Law of Minimum Budgets for the Implementation of Environmental Education in the Argentine Republic. It establishes the incorporation of environmental content at the various educational levels.
The bill -presented by the Executive Branch in 2020- had already been approved by the Chamber of Deputies since March. Its objective is to establish minimum budgets for the implementation of a national public policy on environmental education based on the National Strategy for Environmental Education. Its general purpose is the promotion of environmental awareness and responsibility in the citizens of the entire national territory, in accordance with the provisions of article 41 of the National Constitution and in accordance with the provisions of article 8 of the General Environmental Law No. 25,675, Article 89 of the National Education Law No. 26,206 and its amendments, and in the International Treaties and Agreements on the matter.
“Building a Sustainable Argentina requires a huge cultural change, the most effective way to achieve it is through education. I hope that after the enactment of this law, the Executive Branch will make a broad and honest call where not only the academy, but also the productive sector and civil society organizations, especially young people, will be seated at the same table preparing the contents and strategies ”, expressed Gladys González, senator for the province of Buenos Aires and president of the Environment Commission.
In the last twenty years, several Environmental Education Law projects have been presented. However, none achieved the necessary consensus or political priority to become law.
“The law opens a new path in the learning that the world requires to take care of life, it institutionalizes the opportunity to change our way of approaching nature, in values, actions and models of thought”, commented Juan Cruz Zorzoli, director of Amartya , foundation specialized in environmental education.
Main definitions of the Law.
The project approved in Congress proposes among its main points:
- Promote the development of the National Strategy for Environmental Education (ENEA) and the Jurisdictional Strategies for Environmental Education (EJEAx), guaranteeing the creation and existence of a specific area for environmental education within the respective environmental portfolios of the National Government, of the provincial jurisdictions and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, made up of human and technological resources, and work programs and budget, depending on each jurisdiction.
- Strengthen the capacities of the environmental and education portfolios in the implementation of the strategy, through the professionalization of the human resources involved in the task.
- Develop perception studies of different regions to adjust the ENEA and the corresponding EJEAs to the reality of each territory.
- Create a national virtual bank of experiences in environmental education.
- Generate and manage mechanisms that facilitate the systematic compliance of the 2030 Agenda with its Sustainable Development Goals, and / or those that are agreed in the future.
- Promote community actions that promote the “Intergenerational Environmental Commitment”.
The National Environmental Education Strategy will be made operational through permanent inter-ministerial, inter-jurisdictional and intersectoral articulation, through the creation of an Executive Coordination of the National Environmental Education Strategy (CENEA), which will be assisted by a Council at the same time. Advisory.
The CENEA, which will be convened within a period not exceeding 90 days from the entry into force of the law, will be made up of representatives of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Nation, the Ministry of Education of the Nation, COFEMA and the Federal Council of Education (CFE), and its composition must attend to gender parity. In addition, the Advisory Council will have representatives of indigenous peoples, educational unions of public, private and technical education with national recognition, the student and youth sector, representatives of the national, provincial and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires scientific sector, representatives of national, provincial and private universities, representatives of park rangers from the public and private sector, and civil society organizations with an interest in education and environmental commitment, among others.
Regarding the enforcement authority, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Nation, the provincial jurisdictions, the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires and COFEMA will have the power to implement the National EE Strategy and the Jurisdictional EE Strategies in the areas informal and non-formal environmental education; The Ministry of Education of the Nation, of the provincial jurisdictions and of C.A.B.A, in coordination with the Federal Council of Education, may do so in the fields of formal and non-formal environmental education.