Polis - International Network for Environmental Education (POLIS)

Member of the Alliance

GR, polis-inee.org/

“Polis – International Network in Environmental Education” (www.polis-inee.org/) is a non-profit, non-governmental-organization, created in 1996 and registered under the Greek law. Its activities aim at promoting research, training and action for Environmental Education, through networking, international collaboration, production and editing of educational material.

Polis’ activities are run by a team of volunteers from various professional sectors, and a network of Environmental Education professionals collaborating with Polis for specific actions and projects, joined by a permanent secretariat.

Polis has created and coordinated, between 1996 and 2001, an international network of educators coming from about 60 countries in all continents (teachers at various levels of the formal educational system, communication professionals, and students in education sciences). This work led to the editing during these 7 years, of the magazine “Dialogues for Environmental Education”, distributed in all these 60 countries in English and in French, presenting articles, points of view and experiences of Environmental Education projects from around the world, as well as to the editing of books on Environmental Education addressed to educators.

Polis has participated in various research and training Environmental Education projects supported by the European Union:

  • In 1997, Polis co-ordinated the Greek chapter of the project Eurosymbioses - Internet and Environmental Education in Europe, funded through the SOCRATES programme.

  • In 1998, Polis participated in the European project “Sustainability Environmental Education in European Primary Schools” (SEEPS), supported by the COMENIUS programme.

  • During 1999, Polis co-ordinated in Greece the activities of the URBANET project funded by the CONNECT programme.

  • During 2000-2001, Polis was in charge of the pedagogical co-ordination in Greece of the SEAM project (Sistema di Educazione Ambientale Marina, or Marine Environmental Education System), funded through the ECOS-OUVERTURE programme.

In addition, Polis has organized and participated in Environmental Education projects supported by the Greek Youth Secretariat of the Ministry of Education (1997) and by the Greek Ministry of Environment (2003-2004).

Between 2005 and 2010, Polis participated in the programme of the “Charter of Human Responsibilities”, an international process for debate and sensibilization on the value of responsibility, initiated by the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation (a Swiss Foundation), in collaboration with a network of non-governmental organisations from 16 countries, in every continent. Polis co-ordinated the actions for the promotion of the Charter in Southern Europe, participating and organising awareness raising events focused on “our responsibility towards the environment”, addressed to the youth and to the general public. In this framework, Polis organised in 2007-2008 a series of travelling art exhibitions in Greece and in France on the theme: “environment: common good – common responsibility”, associated to parallel events (theatrical representations, art workshops for children, a congress on climate change). Between 2008 and 2010, Polis organised a project for the creation of educational material for children, in collaboration with artists and educators from Greece, Georgia and Algeria and illustrated by children and youth from various countries, a project that led to the editing of two books, in two languages, accompanied by the organisation of parallel events (art exhibitions, theatrical representations). During 2009-2010, Polis participated in the preparatory process of the International Youth Conference for the Environment, an initiative of the Brazilian Education and Environment Ministers, that gathered together 350 young delegates from 47 countries in Brasilia, in June 2010.

Since 2010, Polis has been facilitating the thematic network on Environmental Education of the “Ethics and Responsibilities Forum”, an international project made up of individuals, professional and thematic networks, and organizations aiming to introduce the concept of Responsibility into international debate. The project was initiated and supported for the most part by the Swiss ‘Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation’. Within this framework, Polis set up a network of environmental educators, in about ten countries, in all the continents, initiating a debate on the current aims, methods and trends of Environmental Education and Sustainability Education. This work led to the drafting of a first working paper focused on the debate around the “Rio+20” United Nations Conference in June 2012, and is currently continuing with a research on Environmental Education and Sustainability Education exemplary experiences from around the world. In parallel, during 2011-2012, Polis participated in the preparatory process of the European Youth Conference “Let’s take care of the Planet”, a project coordinated by “Monde Pluriel” in France, that gathered 80 young people from 14 European countries, at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels, in May 2012.

During 2013 and 2014, Polis participated as a partner in three international projects supported by the EU, under the “Youth in Action” program: two “Youth Meetings for the ‘Printemps de Bourges’ on cultural youth exchanges (in collaboration with the French organisation CEMEA-Centre) and a meeting of European Environmental Education stakeholders (in collaboration with the French organisation GRAINE-Rhône Alpes).

Since November 2014, Polis participates, as a founding member, in the ‘Alliance for Responsible and Sustainable Societies’ international network, a follow up of the “Ethics and Responsibilities Forum”, organizing educational projects and actions on environment and sustainability.

Polis is also an active member:

  • of the ‘FICEMEA’ federation (‘Fédération Internationale des Centres d’Entraînement dans les Méthodes d’Education Active’), an organization in operational terms with the UNESCO and the Council of Europe;

  • of the ‘World Environmental Education Congress’ (WEEC) network and its European branch, an informal network gathering educators, academics, NGOs and University establishments from around the world.

Contact: polis at otenet.gr

web: www.polis-inee.org/