Sustainability School

During these years we have worked on the axes of Political Ecology training environmental activists from a political and social point of view.

School of Sustainability is a pedagogical commitment that accompanies the mission of Friends of the Earth International (Friends of the Earth International). It has its origins in the regional learning event first organized by Friends of the Earth Latin America and the Caribbean, Atalc, in 2007. Inspired by popular education, it brings together Friends of the Earth groups and their allies in the region to share and develop a critical awareness of the agents of social injustice and environmental destruction.

The term ‘school’ is not used to refer literally to an institution, but to a learning process that takes place in various places and in a didactic, non-traditional and non-hierarchical way.

Friends of the Earth International works in four main regions, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia Pacific, Africa and Europe. Each region organizes at least one annual sustainability school in a different Friends of the Earth group each year. Friends of the Earth member groups and allies in the region are invited. The themes and objectives of each school change to accommodate the needs of the groups and the region. The main theme of each school is to share and deepen our collective and political understanding of the underlying causes of social and environmental injustice.

The program includes learning action skills, inspirational stories of solutions and successes, as well as creative, artistic, spiritual and musical expressions to make space for the spirit, the hands and also the mind. Popular education principles and methodologies are an important part of the programs.

Throughout these years, work and struggle methodologies have been built based on exchange and dialogue based on the experiences of those who have participated in the School. Thus, a critical view of the capitalist system and the neoliberal model as the cause of the destruction of nature and the ills facing society has been strengthened. In Colombia, at least a decade ago, we started building Sustainability Schools in the territories from the perspective of Popular Environmental Education. In this section we present some of the main reflections and pedagogical products constructed in them.

Friends of the Earth Latin America and the Caribbean School of Sustainability, Atalc

Friends of the Earth International works in four regions of the world: Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia Pacific, Africa and Europe. Each region organizes at least one annual sustainability school in a different group each year.

Water school

This School was the result of a learning process with communities, organizations and social and environmental movements that fight for water as a common good.

Sustainability School of Southwestern Antioquia

This School was born in 2010 as a space for dialogue and exchange of knowledge and experiences among members of different organizational processes in this area of the department of Antioquia.

Interethnic and Intergenerational School of Southwestern Colombia

This process was developed in southwestern Colombia with the participation of Afro-descendant, peasant and indigenous communities. It took place between 2010 and 2014 and was carried out in conjunction with the Lands and Rigths project.

Women and Mining School

The Itinerant School Women and Mining is focused on learning, understanding and transforming a reality (in this case, the relationship between women and mining in Colombia), by a group of women linked to social processes in the territories where mining and energy megaprojects are being developed.

School of Pollinators of the Territory

Children are a historically invisible population, their voice is rarely heard and their participation is usually non-existent. For this reason, Censat Agua Viva has been striving for years to advance in pedagogical paths where girls and boys are also at the center of environmental issues.

School of sustainability for research and peace building in the territories.

This school was carried out between 2017 and 2019 in the southwest of Antioquia and Cauca and its objective was to deepen the thematic issues worked on in previous years’ schools and to collaboratively build community research.

Community Environmental Monitoring School

The School of Community Environmental Monitoring, MAC, is a political-pedagogical bet through which we meet in community, walk the territory, critically read the context and collectively create proposals to transform our realities.

School learning to fly with our birds!

In this school we have learned that the voices of birds and people also tell us something about the place they inhabit and that the names we give them are similar to the sound of their songs.

School of sustainability compadre Bototo

The Compadre Bototo Sustainability School arises as a training scenario framed in the Popular Environmental Education (EPA) between Censat Agua Viva and the inhabitants of the department of Meta.

School of community technicians and techniques in alternative energies

This school was initially created with the objective of creating new skills in people who lost their livelihoods due to the flooding of their territories by hydroelectric projects.