Polis is an international network for environmental education whose aim is to promote training, research and information relating to Environmental Education.
It was set up in 1996 and holds NGO non-profit status. The objectives of the organisation’s activities are to promote research, training and action in environmental education, thus, it sets up international networks and partnerships. It produces and publishes educational materials. Polis’ activities are carried out by volunteers from different professional fields and a network of environmental education professionals who collaborate on specific projects.
Between 1996 and 2001 Polis created and coordinated an international network of educators from over 60 countries across all continents (teachers of different levels within formal education, communications professionals and students of educational science).
This work allowed for the publication of the magazine « Dialogues on Environmental Education » for 7 years. The magazine was distributed in over 60 countries in English and French, presenting articles, opinions, research and experience of environmental education from around the globe, as well as publication of text books on education and the environment, aimed at educators.
Polis has taken part in numerous research and training projects on environmental education and training with support from the European Union (e.g. the “SEAM” project, albeit on education and training for the sustainable management of the marine environment in the Mediterranean and Black Sea). In addition, the organisation has taken part in and organised environmental education projects supported by the Green Ministries for Education and the Environment.
Between 2005 and 2010, Polis took part in the « Charter of Human Responsibilities », an international initiative to debate and raise awareness of the notion of responsibility, instituted and supported by the Charles Léopold Mayer Fondation, (a Swiss-registered foundation) in collaboration with a network of NGOs from 16 countries across all continents.
Polis coordinated activities aimed at young people as well as a wider audience to promote the Charter in southern Europe, organising awareness-raising events centred on our responsibilities towards the environment.
In this context, in 2007-2008 Polis organised a series of mobile art exhibitions in Greece and France on the theme: “environment: common good – common responsibility” linked to events including theatre performances, children’s workshops, and a climate change conference.
Between 2008 and 2010 Polis organised and coordinated a project to create educational tools for children, in collaboration with artists and educators in Greece, Georgia and Algeria, and illustrated by children and young people from different countries. This project led to the publication of two bilingual books, which were presented to the audiences involved in the range of public events (art exhibition, theatre performances).
Between 2009 and 2010, Polis was involved in preparing the international young people’s conference on the environment, “Let’s take care of the planet”, an initiative by the Brazilian Education and Environment ministries, which brought together in Brasilia over 500 young people from 50 countries. Following this event, in 2011-2012, Polis took part in preparing the European young people’s conference “Let’s take care of the planet”, held in Brussels and supported by the European Union.
Since 2010 Polis has coordinated thematic network for Environmental Education as part of the international “Forum for Ethics and Responsibilities” project, which aims to introduce the concept of Responsibilities into the international debate. Related to this, Polis collaborated with a network of environmental educators across 10 countries in order to initiate debate on the objectives, methods and challenges of environmental education and of sustainable development, ahead of the United Nations Conference on the environment, “Rio+20” in June, 2012. This work was followed by research into environmental education and sustainable development: identification and propagation of exemplary educational experiences across the world.
Communication : Liaison newsletter «Dialogue on Environmental Education », website : http://www.polis-inee.org/