Environmental Education & Community Outreach
The Environmental Education programs target three publics: the IU members and staff, the community and the visitors to the SBR. Internally, we train our staff and improve the knowledge and vision of IU members. With the community, we nurture quality relationships by realizing educational events and assisting the Municipal Administration in matters regarding the environment. This includes taking part in meetings of local, regional, State and national levels on environment protection and science.
1. Educating IU staff and members
It is important to keep ourselves sharp, updated and motivated in order to reach our goals and improve our work. We meet as often as possible, apart from the formal IU meetings foreseen in our By-Laws. We hold a monthly meeting with the Park Rangers, and with our inner circle Team, and guest participants, to share information, experiences, news, etc., assess our work and plan for the next short period. We recycle our knowledge about different topics: environmental laws, first aid techniques, biology and ecology, education and so on. This helps renew our strength and bonds, and is important to keep us going.
2. Community Outreach & Events
In the community of Camacan, apart from random visits and participation in community events as a guest organization, IU promotes three annual one-week events: the Week of the Water, the Week of the Environment and the Week of Science and Technology. These events are realized in partnership with the Municipal Administration, schools and community organizations, groups and associations and Councils, with the participation of many volunteers from the community and nearby Universities. The goal is to raise the awareness of the local community and promote the population´s active participation in the conservation of Serra Bonita. The events´ activities include courses, workshops, campaigns, events and field trips to the SBR trails.
The main IU Environmental Education project is still to be implemented: the Science Park, a place of information, investigation and dialogue about Science and Nature, directed mainly to the local community.
3. Participation in local, regional and national fora
In Camacan, IU chairs the Municipal Council for the Environment, and is a member of the Municipal Council for Environmental Education, in the person of Clemira O. Souza, currently the IU´s President. She also is IU´s representative at the regional level, for the Atlantic Forest Biosphere Reserve, the Pardo River Basin Committee, and the Private Reserve Owners´ Association. At the national level, she represents IU in the Atlantic Forest Non-Profit Organizations´ Network.