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Elos da Diversidade, une politique publique d’éducation à l’environnement pour la gestion environnementale participative et le règlement des conflits socio-environnementaux dans la conservation de l’environnement à Rio de Janeiro

Elos da Diversidade, A Public Policy on Environmental Education for Participatory Environmental Management and Resolution of Socio-environmental Conflicts on Nature Conservation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Elos da Diversidade, uma política pública de educação ambienta para uma gestão ambiental participativa na resolução de conflitos socioambientais no contexto da conservação ambiental no Rio de Janeiro.
Lara Moutinho-da-Costa
p. 123-138

Résumés

L’article présente l’expérience du projet « Liens de la diversité » (Projeto Elos da diversidade), de la Surintendance de l’éducation à l’environnement du Secrétaire à l’environnement de l’État de Rio de Janeiro, un projet d’éducation à l’environnement axé sur la gestion participative de l’environnement, la conservation de la nature par des pratiques culturelles. Le projet a été développé dans un contexte de conflit : le différend sur l’accès et l’utilisation des territoires, l’intolérance religieuse et le racisme impliquant l’utilisation religieuse publique de la nature protégée par la loi. Mis en œuvre en partenariat avec l’Université d’État de Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), les institutions religieuses et le Parc national de Tijuca, ce projet a été exécuté entre septembre 2011 et décembre 2014, développant des actions distinctes visant à créer le premier espace sacré légalement établi au Brésil. L’objectif était de sensibiliser le public au rôle des sites naturels sacrés, des paysages culturels et du patrimoine immatériel dans la gestion des écosystèmes et l’utilisation durable de la biodiversité, en harmonisant les besoins de protection de la nature avec le droit à la liberté religieuse assurée par la Constitution fédérale du Brésil, avec les droits de l’homme comme ligne directrice et l’éducation à l’environnement critique comme principale force.

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Introduction

1The present article aims to present the experience of the Project Elos da Diversidade /Bonds of Diversity Project, second component of the Environment in Action Program of the Superintendent of Environmental Education of the Secretary of the Environment of the State of Rio de Janeiro – SEAM / SEA– RJ. It is an environmental education project aimed at participatory environmental management, conservation of nature and confronting conflicts involving the religious public use of natural areas protected by law, such as parks and reserves. The main goals were 1) to strengthen the bonds between biological diversity and cultural diversity, focusing on the conservation of the natural resources and cultural practices associated with them; 2) counter the actions of environmental degradation, prejudice, racism and religious intolerance associated with religious practices in natural areas protected by law.

2Implemented in partnership with the State University of Rio de Janeiro, religious institutions and the Tijuca National Park, the Bonds of Diversity Project was executed between September 2011 and December 2014, a period in which different actions were developed in order to carry out a pilot experiment in establishing a Sacred Space next to an urban forest protected by the law (in this case the Tijuca National Park, located in the city of Rio de Janeiro). The Sacred Space was conceived to be a place of use consecrated by different religions, legally established, located inside or around natural protected areas, signaled, equipped with security, infrastructures for practices (lighting, street furniture, public toilets, changing room and parking area), regular collection of waste, shared management between public power and civil society. Also, bringing awareness to visitors about environmental education for the religious public use of nature with minimal impact, respecting diversity of thoughts and practices.

  • 1 Carlos Frederico Bernardo Loureiro, Sustentabilidade e educação: um olhar da ecologia política. S (...)
  • 2 José Silva Quintas, Introdução à gestão ambiental pública, Brasília, Ibama, 2ª ed. Revista, 2006.

3As a public policy, the project followed the principles and guidelines of Law 9,795 / 99, which establishes in Brazil the National Environmental Education Policy. Until February 2014, it aligned itself with the theoretical and methodological assumptions of the critical environmental education field1. This education incorporates in the method the analysis of the environment in its multiple determinations (political, economic, social, cultural, spiritual, symbolic, affective, etc.) and the power relations established in the territory. It thus follows the premises, guidelines and methodology known as Education in the Environmental Management Process, or pedagogy of conflict, developed by José Silva Quintas, and collaborators, when he was at the head of the General Coordination of Environmental Education of the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), a federal agency linked to the Ministry of the Environment of Brazil and responsible for executing the National Environment Policy2.

  • 3 José Silva Quintas, Educação no processo de gestão ambiental pública: a construção do ato pedagóg (...)

4The Education Methodology in the Environmental Management Process sensitizes, mobilizes, organizes and shapes different social subjects to: 1) participate in the decision – making process linked to environmental management actions (water resources management, biodiversity, pollution, etc.); 2) occupy, in a qualified, politicized permanent way, the public spaces linked to environmental management, legally established for this purpose, such as management councils of nature conservation areas, river basin committees, environmental councils; 3) the plan, elaborate and execute transformative actions of the lived social-environmental reality, based on a social and environmental diagnosis done collectively, involving public managers, organized civil society, social groups, communities, and scientific and academic institutions. Based on this diagnosis, different environmental and social problems and conflicts are mapped and identified, prioritizing actions with short, medium and long term goals, and elaborating plans and projects for the intervention and transformation of reality.3

5In the case of the Bonds of Diversity project, the Education in the Environmental Management Process methodology focused on participatory environmental management of the biodiversity of the Atlantic Forest of Rio de Janeiro. It confronted social-environmental conflicts (especially religious intolerance and environmental racism concerning the religious use of protected natural areas), emphasized by legal and constitutional provisions. On one hand, the Brazilian government’s need and institutional obligation to protect biodiversity, expressed in several Brazilian laws and on Article 225 of the Federal Constitution, imposes rules and limits on the direct use of natural resources of areas protected by the law. On the other hand, the right of the Brazilian population to freedom of religious worship and religious practices is guaranteed by Article 3 and 5 of the Federal Constitution of Brazil.

6Being also a public policy of such complex nature, the project connects with various spheres of life, of established state power, of religious traditional knowledge and of many fields of academic knowledge such as the biological/natural sciences, social sciences (sociology, anthropology, geography), economic and political sciences. As well, it invested in dialogue and respect for the diversity of thoughts and actions in the construction of bridges between the Instrumental Reason (academic and technical/state knowledge) and Historical Reason (the knowledge of traditional peoples and communities, such as the Terreiro folk of African– Brazilian religions).

Protected Areas and Environmental Injustice: understanding the conflict involving religious public use of nature protected by the law

  • 4 “Muitas destas religiões derivam de culturas míticas, que valorizam os territórios que habitam co (...)

7Different religious traditions perform rituals in nature. To exemplify, we can cite the indigenous/shamanic cults, Umbanda, Candomblé, Buddhism, Hinduism, Daime, Wicca, Druid/Celtic, gypsy traditions, and even Neo– Pentecostals, as religions that perform rituals in nature, surroundings or even within the territory of areas protected by law. All areas that have clearings, rivers, streams, waterfalls, lakes, waterfalls, forests, hills and quarries, where they find the necessary conditions for communication with their deities and cultural reproduction of their traditional way of life. Some of these traditions, especially those considered by the dominant culture as polytheists or pagans, make offerings as part of rituals practiced, considered as gifts, treats of food for their deities. In these groups, there is a strong bond between their deities and the natural elements (fire, water, earth, air, lightning, rain, river, beach, pond, forest), and the different environments and landscapes become heavy with symbolism and meanings. As Drummond points out, “many of these religions derive from mythic cultures, which value the territories they inhabit as bearers of elements endowed with both earthly and supernatural values”4. For these groups, the land and the other elements of the natural environment have at the same time utilitarian values and sacred values, from the sphere of the symbolic, immaterial.

  • 5 Convention on Biological Diversity – CBD, Article 8J: “Subject to its national legislation, respe (...)

8Although the Convention on Biological Diversity recognizes the intangible component of nature5, from the standpoint of nature conservation in Brazil the religious use of nature is often seen as a threat, invasion of area and a matter of law enforcement intervention. From this perspective, the offerings that remain in nature pollute the waters of rivers, waterfalls and surrounding forests with non-degradable materials, interfering with the scenic beauty of the landscape and causing a strong negative impact on visitors at the conservation units. In fact, the food and carcasses of dead animals from the offerings, according to this point of view, after a certain time, become vehicles of pathogens for men and wildlife, while also serving as points of dissemination of vectors to the surrounding communities. For example, lit candles kill trees and contribute to the making of forest fires; the crockery, bottles and glasses left in the environment break easily, pollute waters and forests and endanger the lives of local people and wildlife. Not to mention the packaging that carries the offerings and which are constantly discarded in the local environment, either by bad environmental education, or by the absence of garbage collectors and programs of regular collect of waste in these environments. In this context, it is important to note that there are different social actors who make offerings in nature. From the religious authorities, through the initiates, devotees, assiduous frequenters, sympathizers and even the totally lay, but superstitious, person who makes an offering to “Oxum” at the waterfall because her neighbor said she would help her getting pregnant, or the one who throws a flower in the sea for Yemanjá at New Years’ Eve to bring luck. But no matter if he is religious devotee, initiated, frequenter, sympathizer, or layman, they are all prejudiced by hegemonic culture as polluters, and religion becomes the great villain, being associated with the concept images of fear, trash, dirt.

9Many religious authorities are not insensitive to these questions, working to educate and rescue traditional knowledge with their devotees, to reorient practices and actions. They recognize that although rivers, waterfalls, forests and beaches form part of the belief base of these traditions, and have a fundamental importance, there has been a certain distance from the basic religious principle of respect for nature by many devotees, practitioners and sympathizers not only of Umbanda and Candomblé, but also of other religious traditions of matrices of nature. But they declare that such disrespect is not, however, an integral part of these religions. In fact, it results from the lack of knowledge of issues linked to the sacred knowledge of these traditions and the preservation of nature. For these traditions, it is ignorance, or the lack of knowledge and conscience, and not religion, that pollutes nature. And prejudices only increase intolerance and the distance between the problem and its understanding.

  • 6 “Como a construção e o crescimento das cidades se faz pela apropriação pública, ou privada, de be (...)
  • 7 “Conflitos socioambientais são aqueles conflitos sociais que têm elementos da natureza como objet (...)

10The urban and peri-urban parks of Rio de Janeiro, such as the Tijuca National Park, receive a daily flow of religious visitors in their areas, especially on special dates of the religious calendar. But the search for these oases of exuberant forests is not surprising if we consider that with the increasing expansion of cities towards rural areas, more and more green areas are occupied and degraded, and it is expected that the religious population residing in cities will then seek protected natural areas, urban and peri-urban, to make their offerings, where life remains exuberant. Hence arises one of the conflicts. According to Scotto and Limoncic, “As the construction and growth of cities takes place through the public or private appropriation of nature’s goods (object of appropriation and conflict) there is a confrontation of interests of different social groups, including market, companies, powers and institutions”6. These different social groups then start to dispute natural assets and public investments that allow the use and access to these goods. In this process of dispute, then, the conflicts are formed. For Henri Acselrad: “social-environmental conflicts are those social conflicts that have elements of nature as an object and that express a struggle between opposing interests, who dispute the control of natural resources and the use of the common environment7.

  • 8 Joel Bonnemaison, “Viagem em torno do território” in R. Corrêa e Z. Rosendahl (Org), Geografia Cu (...)
  • 9 Thomas Schaaf, “Sitios sagrados – integridad cultural y diversidad biológica: un nuevo proyecto d (...)

11The realization of practices and rituals seeks the access, the communication of the religious with their deities, and takes place in nature because recognizes in it a place where this communication can take place, since in these environments life is present in a luxuriant way, with all its force. This force, that “energy,” which is related to the presence of life, called “axé” in African-Brazilian religions, and which is present in the natural environment, makes this environment, this place, a sacred place, a sacred space for these groups. According to Joel Bonnemaison8, space is a concept that refers to different processes, which may be material or immaterial. The natural spaces where the different religious groups perform their devotional rituals are heavy with symbolic contents, and are identified by the presence of ‘geosimbols’, natural elements bearing symbols of cultural significance, and are therefore signified and sacred according to the cultural tradition. They become a territory of belonging and identity for these groups, a sanctuary territory, from Bonnemaison’s perspective, where their assets are collectivized for the common use of all, within culturally pre-established rules and limits. Such places are known worldwide as sacred natural sites, propitious places to contact with the forces of creation and for religious practices9.

12However, when these sacred natural sites are located within natural protected areas, such as the Parks, conflicts appear. Parks are natural environments of great ecological, scenic, scientific, cultural, educational and recreational nature where it is only allowed the indirect use of environmental goods –, so conflicts show an important gap in the conservation strategies of nature of these units.

13The establishment of studies aimed at generating public policies that contemplate at the same time the protection of biodiversity and socio-diversity, is of extreme relevance, given the enormous demands of public religious use that the urban conservation units present. On top of that, there is a total lack of coping strategies on the matter, which concerns both the protection needs of natural assets and the right to free religious expression guaranteed by the Federal Constitution of Brazil and human rights as a guideline for these strategies.

14It is in this context of conflict, territorial struggle, discrimination, prejudice, racism and religious intolerance that emerges the second component of the Environment in Action Program, the Bonds of Diversity Project. This project allows us to think of urban space as a product of struggles, as a result of conflicting and contradicting social relations, created and deepened by the development of capital and instrumental reason associated with it. Its primary mission was the conservation of the rich biodiversity of the local Atlantic Forest and the recognition of the existence of the tangible/ intangible and cultural heritage associated with it. The conservation and maintenance of natural balance, social-biological diversity and cultural assets (material and immaterial) are subject to legal protection because of their importance and relevance. But above all, the project sought public recognition of the right of access and use that the African-Brazilian religions have to local natural assets for its cultural reproduction. Public recognition that the Atlantic Forest is African- Brazilian territoriality.

Education and culture focused on the conservation of nature and the confrontation of religious intolerance and environmental racism in the conservation of nature

15The area of coverage involved the protected urban forests of Rio de Janeiro. After conducting technical visits to the various conservation units, the Tijuca National Park area was chosen to implement a pilot project to create the Sacred Space, in the area known as “S curve”, a place with woods, waterfalls, rivers and natural monuments traditionally used for religious practices by different religions.

16It’s worth mentioning that there were three urban forests protected by specific legislation existing in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Each was able to host the pilot experience of implementation of the First Sacred Space legally established in Protected Area of Brazil (Figure 1), each housing a conservation unit of the Park category. The choice of the Tijuca National Park was due to three main reasons:

  • 10 Aureanice de Mello Correa, Lara Moutinho-da-Costa et al (Org), A Floresta: educação, cultura e ju (...)

– It is a park where conflict involving public religious use in a structured way is studied and faced since 1997. So, it is the Brazilian Park that has more accumulated experience in the theme. During 20 years, seminars, technical visits, work groups, workshops, projects, joint efforts have been carried out. This work has been presented in scientific meetings in order to socialize the experience with other units. This is broadly described in the book A Floresta10.

– Because the park works this type of conflict within its Management Council. It has incorporated actions of management of the religious use of nature in its management plan and other technical documents.

  • 11 Lara Moutinho-da-Costa, A Floresta Sagrada da Tijuca: estudo de caso de conflito envolvendo uso p (...)

– Because it is a park where discrimination, prejudice and racism (individual, institutional, cultural and environmental) practiced against non-hegemonic religions occurs explicitly11.

  • 12 Rio de Janeiro, Secretaria de Estado do Ambiente. Programa Ambiente em Ação, Projeto Elos da Dive (...)

Figure 1 : Urban Forests of Rio de Janeiro capable of hosting the pilot experience of the implantation of the First Sacred Space in Natural Protected Area of the country12

17The actions developed focused on four main lines, one of which aims at environmental education.

18First, the research part aims to survey and characterize the problems and conflicts experienced by the religious when they perform their religious practices in natural areas protected by the law. The survey of religious institutions using the pilot area has been done through encounters with religious communities and application of a semi-structured questionnaire to the religious participants. The application of the questionnaire (socioeconomic diagnosis, religion, religious practice performed in the unit, used sites, materials used, dates of the religious calendar that require practices in natural areas, knowledge of the environmental laws, etc.) allowed identify the religious user profile. Then, in order to find the technical foundation of the future establishment of ARIES – Areas of Relevant Interest of the Sacred - and of ZRIS – Zones of Relevant Interest of the Sacred – within the scope of the Management Plan of the conservation unit, the Sacred Natural Sites within the conservation unit chosen to host the pilot project have been mapped. Those natural sites contain material and immaterial (symbolic) elements important for different cultural traditions, traditionally used for religious practices.

19A second part of the project deals with the creation of Space and infrastructure for the religious and spirituals practices. The Sacred Space is a place traditionally used to carry out religious practices (with or without offerings). It should be legally established and recognized, preferably situated around the protected area, signalized and regulated for the use and dissemination of minimum impact rules (establishment of sites pre-determined for the placement of candles and offerings, restrictions on the use of sound, use of biodegradable materials, etc.). The management of this area should be participative, shared with the cultural traditions users. In these spaces should be allowed the practice of offerings, but with minimum impact rules built together with the religious user and a religious waste management plan. For that, a center for the treatment of religious wastes should be implemented. On top of that, a garden/sacred leaf nursery should be created. Nurseries are for the production of seedlings, aiming at reducing the impact of the direct withdrawal of plants used in the liturgy, in the natural areas protected by the law and used in the liturgy.

20Third, the establishment of rules for the religious public use of the Sacred space should be driven collectively. The rules of access and use of legally protected natural spaces with minimum impact and specific norms of use and management of those areas (use of candles and placement of offerings in predetermined spaces, restrictions on the use of sound, regular collection of waste, recovery of degraded areas, shared management with the religious institutions involved) should be constructed through the creation of a management council with the participation of public managers, religious users, and academic and environmentalist institutions.

21The project focuses on Environmental Education in order to inform, sensitize and mobilize about the Sacred site. Conferences and meetings have been organized with religious authorities and religious public users of the protected natural areas to raise awareness about the importance of the Atlantic forest, the existence of laws and rules of access and use of the law protected natural areas. The aim was also sensitized to social-environmental conflicts related to such use and to mobilize for project activities. To this end, periodic meetings of cleaning and restoration of areas used in religious practices have been organized. Hold meetings between technicians of the protected areas of Rio de Janeiro, specialists and religious, in order to build a base of information on religious practices in nature and to identify aspects of the cultures that contribute to conservation, create instruments and strategies for conflict management related to religious intolerance and racism. It has been a tool of dialogue between knowledges. In addition, Cultural and educational workshops have valued traditional cultural knowledge and practices. In the same way, technical seminars, cultural and educational exhibitions, celebrations and festivals on the dates of the religious calendar, have supported the dissemination of information and valued the expression of Brazil’s biocultural wealth. The religious institutions have also been inserted in the scope of the Management council of the pilot protected area, with the possibility of creating a working group or technical assembly.

22To help in the guidance of new and regular visitors of the Sacred Space created, bringing awareness about the values of nature conservation and rules of access and use of space, respecting the differences between knowledge and practices, practitioners and religious had to be trained. A course for Religious Environmental Agents (Guardians of the Sacred) has been planned with production of material (Notebook of Good Practices, Decalogue Calendar of Offerings, DVD / Video).

Main Results Obtained13

  • 13 To see more, Aureanice de Mello Correa, L. Moutinho-da-Costa, C. F. B. Loureiro, “O processo de i (...)

23The results below are the synthetic expression of the actions developed, field observations recorded in reports and photographed, participatory dynamics made with people present in the events, meetings and workshops, and the discussions conducted in team meetings after each activity. Therefore, they express the position of the group that worked on the project, in its delineations and developments of interest for academic research and for the consolidation of public policies to confront religious intolerance and to promote environmental conservation with respect to religious cultural practices.

Excellent internal dialogue between religious, technical and academic staff

24In a social context where there is an abyss between scientific knowledge and religious knowledge, and a strong antagonism between religious practices and scientific practices of conservation, it is important to highlight the unity and cooperation achieved. In addition, the team was able to establish a dialogue respecting different point of views in order to achieve common goals. The coexistence was pleasant and positive. This first point, undoubtedly, was a condition for the others, given the challenges of reconciling practices and traditional knowledge and conservation in Brazil. More than that, it was a condition for establishing dialogical educational processes and group mobilizers for problematization and transformative action in the unequal and intolerant reality in which religious people and technicians of environmental conservation coexist. The project brought together a decisive learning for those who work in the culture-nature binomial, which serves as a reference for other experiences and public policies.

The People and Communities of Terreiro Meetings

25Between September 2001 and December 2012, 20 People and Communities of Terreiro Meetings were held, with the participation of 2,550 religious in total, to map the conflicts experienced by them in their religious practices in nature and sensitize them on conservation of the Atlantic forest.

26Some highlights could be noticed:

– The number of participants per meeting, reflecting the process of capillary mobilization of visits to the homes of each delimited region;

– The quality of the debate, in which it was possible to identify the main internal religious aspects related to public policies that need to be addressed by the project;

– The atmosphere of respect between team and religious present;

– The general motivation achieved through the transparency of the debate and demonstration of public commitment among those involved, generating future demands and good possibilities of forming a group able to follow all stages of the project until the consolidation of the sacred spaces, where the integrated and shared management of spaces would be consolidated;

– The pedagogical questions elaborated as a script for the talk wheels and dialogues held at the People and Communities of Terreiro Meetings signaled procedures and postures for solving the issues addressed during the talks, being evident by the quality of the contributions, the good level of technical and political contribution of the participants.

The results of the debates in the Meetings

27The maturity of the discussions, the seriousness of the group participating in the meetings, the respect shown for the different point of views, made it easier to identify some aspects of the prejudice and discrimination experienced. It is not the purpose here to discuss and analyze these aspects; however, an initial mention is pertinent for registration and monitoring purposes:

– 100% of religious reported having suffered violent acts of embarrassment and religious intolerance while doing their religious rituals in natural areas protected by law;

– Religious are clear that it is necessary to work internally with African-born religions, since a share of responsibility for the bad image created around religious practices (nature-destroyers and garbage producers) stems from inappropriate uses of materials, distancing of traditional sacred knowledge from religious groups and ignorance of conservation practices. In this sense, it is important to encourage networking, carry out workshops and produce teaching materials for the people of the terreiro;

– 82% reported a need for uniting the religious so that they confront the social forces opposing African-Brazilian religions, and to ensure that the project is consolidated as a public policy; 78% of the religious reported that they stopped attending certain preserved natural areas because, for at least a decade, the threat of violence by the state or parallel forces led to this. 45% have reported that they have used private areas, but there is a consensus that this is not a solution. This finding only strengthens the need to establish Sacred Spaces for public use and strengthen the fight for religious practices to be respected in other public spaces than those established for this purpose.

The opening of a dialogue with conservationists

28At the moment of consolidation of the sacred space in 2014, this was a crucial point, as it would be insufficient to have the religious mobilized and not get support between the technicians and managers of the protected natural areas. The dialogue is in fact not simple, there is resistance and ignorance on both sides, but through regular meetings and the search for institutional support at the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), the federal agency responsible for conservation units in Brazil, some channels were opening up and allowing the construction of a common agenda. An important moment of this dialogue was the 2nd Technical Workshop «Religious Practices in Protected Areas», with the participation of technicians from the Tijuca National Park, the religious and the academic sectors, to exchange knowledge, and to identify the religious practices and demands necessaries to regulate the religious use of protected areas with respect and tolerance to the diversity of thoughts and practices.

Carrying out of the “S curve” Clean-Up events

29Four large clean-up events were carried out to give public visibility and to recover the pilot area of the “S curve”, from the environmental and religious point of view. Each event had about 200 participants, which included high representatives of the oldest and most traditional Candomblé and Umbanda houses of Rio de Janeiro.

Political Participation

30The official participation of the project in the 2012 and 2013 editions of the “Walks in Defense of Religious Freedom”, among other events, were extremely important, strengthening the collective action to confront religious intolerance and giving credibility to the Project amidst the religious audience involved. Equally important was the participation in the People’s Summit of RIO+20, with the holding of the 1st International Meeting of People and Communities of Terreiro, which prepared a political letter addressed to the authorities of the countries members of the UN. Also, extremely important was the participation of the coordinators of the Bonds of Diversity Project in the elaboration of the Rio de Janeiro’s State Plan for the Promotion of Religious Freedom and Human Rights. Their main contribution is the environmental section, Guideline 5, which recommends : a) to guarantee the access and democratic use of spaces for manifestations, cults, practices of religious beliefs respecting religious diversity and conservation of the environment within the State Park ; b) to maintain and preserve monuments and spaces of religious and cultural importance with the funds of the annual public budget, and to encourage the partnership and cooperation of religious entities of interest and civil society.

31The elaboration and publication of varied pedagogical, didactic and informative materials, based on dialogue and exchange of knowledge among religious, environmental technicians and the academic sector was a milestone in the country, due to the total absence of these instruments in the public policies of nature conservation, as well as in the ones concerning religious intolerance, serving as a model to support other initiatives developed in other states of Brazil.

Conclusion

32Despite all the effort made from September 2011 to February 2014, due to changes occurred in the Government of the State of Rio de Janeiro in January 2014, with alteration of the Secretary of State for the Environment, the project had its scope changed and was closed in December 2014 without meeting the initially proposed goal of creating the Sacred Space of the “S curve” inside the Tijuca National Park. Also, the technical documents produced, forming the “Directives and Norms of Religious Public Use in Protected Areas and Participative Management Plan of the Sacred Space of the S Curve” were not published.

33But these are questions that remain on the agenda of emancipatory struggles in the field of religions and in the field of nature conservation in Brazil. As the person responsible for coordinating this Government Program, it was a unique experience in environmental education policies focused on social and environmental justice and nature conservation. I am pleased that this work has contributed to strengthening the links between cultural diversity and biological diversity and for the conservation of nature in the 21st century. The process broadened public awareness of the role of sacred natural sites, cultural landscapes and intangible heritage in ecosystem management and the sustainable use of biodiversity. It fostered public and institutional discussion of the religious use of conservation units by different religious traditions. It contributed to the historical recovery of memory associated with the participation of different cultures in the areas covered by the Program. It assisted managers of Conservation Units around the country in the management of their territories. By raising public awareness about the contributions of African-Brazilian thought to the conservation of natural resources, it has contributed to the reduction of conflicts involving religious offerings in protected areas, inequalities in the use of public spaces, prejudices and religious intolerance faced by non-hegemonic cultures, as well as the impacts that the remains from religious offerings cause to the natural environment.

34I remain confident and committed to educational actions aimed at recognizing and respecting cultural diversity and its strategic importance in biodiversity conservation policies, at improving relationships, at reducing religious intolerance and prejudice, and at fostering greater social inclusion within the units of nature conservation in Brazil.

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Bibliographie

Acselrad (Henri), Conflitos Sociais e Meio Ambiente: desafios políticos e conceituais, Seminário do Projeto Meio Ambiente e Democracia, Rio de Janeiro, IBASE, 1995, p. 35.

Bonnemaison (Joel), “Viagem em torno do território” in Corrêa, Roberto & Rosendahl, Zenny (orgs), Geografia Cultural: um século (3), Rio de Janeiro, EDUERJ, 2002, p. 83-131.

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Drumond (José Antônio), Devastação e Preservação Ambiental no Rio de Janeiro: os Parques Nacionais do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Niterói, EDUFF, 1997, p. 46.

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Moutinho-da-Costa (Lara), A Floresta Sagrada da Tijuca: estudo de caso de conflito envolvendo uso público religioso de parque nacional, Dissertação de Mestrado, EICOS/UFRJ, 2008.

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Schaaf (Thomas), “Sitios sagrados – integridad cultural y diversidad biológica: un nuevo proyecto de la Unesco” in E. M. Barreda (ed.), Paisajes Culturales en los Andes, Memoria Narrativa, Casos de Estudio, Conclusiones y Recomendaciones de la Reunión de Expertos, Lima, Unesco, 2001, p. 243-251.

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Annexe

O artigo apresenta a experiência do projeto Elos da Diversidade da Superintendência de educação ambiental da Secretaria do Ambiente do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, um projeto de educação ambiental, estruturado sob a gestão participativa do ambiente e a conservação da natureza pelas práticas culturais. O projeto foi desenvolvido em um contexto de conflito: o debate sobre o acesso e utilização dos territórios de identidade religiosa e o racismo relativo a utilização religiosa pública da natureza em áreas protegidas pela lei. Elaborado através de uma parceria entre a Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), as instituições religiosas e o parque nacional da Tijuca, esse projeto foi executado entre o período de setembro de 2011 e dezembro de 2014, desenvolvendo ações distintas com o objetivo de criar o primeiro espaço sagrado legalmente estabelecido no Brasil. O objetivo era sensibilizar o público do papel das áreas naturais sagradas, das paisagens culturais e do patrimônio imaterial na gestão dos ecossistemas e da utilização durável da biodiversidade em harmonia com as demandas de proteção da natureza com o direito constitucional da liberdade religiosa, tendo os direitos humanos como uma linha diretiva das estratégias estabelecidas e a educação ambiental crítica como sua principal força.  

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Notes

1 Carlos Frederico Bernardo Loureiro, Sustentabilidade e educação: um olhar da ecologia política. São Paulo, Cortez, 2012.

2 José Silva Quintas, Introdução à gestão ambiental pública, Brasília, Ibama, 2ª ed. Revista, 2006.

3 José Silva Quintas, Educação no processo de gestão ambiental pública: a construção do ato pedagógico in C. F. B. Loureiro e P. P. Layrargues (orgs.), Repensar a educação ambiental: um olhar crítico, São Paulo, Cortez, 2009, p. 33-79.

4 “Muitas destas religiões derivam de culturas míticas, que valorizam os territórios que habitam como portadores de elementos dotados simultaneamente de valores terrenos e extra-terrenos”, José Antônio Drumond, Devastação e Preservação Ambiental no Rio de Janeiro: os Parques Nacionais do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Niterói, EDUFF, 1997, p. 46.

5 Convention on Biological Diversity – CBD, Article 8J: “Subject to its national legislation, respect, preserve and maintain knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and promote their wider application with the approval and involvement of the holders of such knowledge, innovations and practices and encourage the equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of such knowledge, innovations and practices”, https://www.cbd.int/doc/legal/cbd– en.pdf

6 “Como a construção e o crescimento das cidades se faz pela apropriação pública, ou privada, de bens da natureza (objeto de apropriação e de conflito) ocorre uma confrontação de interesses de diferentes grupos sociais, incluindo mercado, empresas, poderes e instituições”, Gabriela Scotto e Flávio Limoncic, Conflitos sócio– ambientais no Brasil. Rio de Janeiro: Projeto Meio Ambiente e Democracia, Rio de Janeiro, IBASE, 1997, p. 17.

7 “Conflitos socioambientais são aqueles conflitos sociais que têm elementos da natureza como objeto e que expressam uma luta entre interesses opostos, que disputam o controle dos recursos naturais e o uso do meio ambiente comum”, Henri Acselrad, Conflitos Sociais e Meio Ambiente: desafios políticos e conceituais, Seminário do Projeto Meio Ambiente e Democracia, Rio de Janeiro, IBASE, 1995, p. 35.

8 Joel Bonnemaison, “Viagem em torno do território” in R. Corrêa e Z. Rosendahl (Org), Geografia Cultural: um século (3), Rio de Janeiro, EDUERJ, 2002, p. 83-131.

9 Thomas Schaaf, “Sitios sagrados – integridad cultural y diversidad biológica: un nuevo proyecto de la Unesco” in E. M. Barreda (Ed.), Paisajes Culturales en los Andes Memoria Narrativa, Casos de Estudio, Conclusiones y Recomendaciones de la Reunión de Expertos, Lima, Unesco, 2001, p. 243-251.

10 Aureanice de Mello Correa, Lara Moutinho-da-Costa et al (Org), A Floresta: educação, cultura e justiça ambiental, Rio de Janeiro, Garamond, 2013.

11 Lara Moutinho-da-Costa, A Floresta Sagrada da Tijuca: estudo de caso de conflito envolvendo uso público religioso de parque nacional, Dissertação de Mestrado, EICOS/UFRJ, 2008, http://pos.eicos.psicologia. ufrj.br/dissertacoes/. This situation as also been denounced in the 1st Brazilian Seminar of Environmental Racism, Sustainable and Democratic Brazil Project, BSD / FASE and the Federal Fluminense University - UFF, 2005, published in S. Herculano and T. Pacheco (Orgs), Racismo Ambiental: I Seminário Brasileiro Contra o Racismo Ambiental, Projeto Brasil Sustentável e Democrático, Rio de Janeiro, FASE, 2006.

12 Rio de Janeiro, Secretaria de Estado do Ambiente. Programa Ambiente em Ação, Projeto Elos da Diversidade, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, 2011, p. 7.

13 To see more, Aureanice de Mello Correa, L. Moutinho-da-Costa, C. F. B. Loureiro, “O processo de implantação do espaço sagrado em unidade de conservação: o caso da Curva do S no Parque Nacional da Tijuca na cidade do Rio de Janeiro”, Encuentro de Geógrafos da America Latina, Lima/Perú, Anais do XIV, vol. 14, 2013, p. 1-15.

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Référence papier

Lara Moutinho-da-Costa, « Elos da Diversidade, une politique publique d’éducation à l’environnement pour la gestion environnementale participative et le règlement des conflits socio-environnementaux dans la conservation de l’environnement à Rio de Janeiro », Droit et cultures, 78 | 2019, 123-138.

Référence électronique

Lara Moutinho-da-Costa, « Elos da Diversidade, une politique publique d’éducation à l’environnement pour la gestion environnementale participative et le règlement des conflits socio-environnementaux dans la conservation de l’environnement à Rio de Janeiro », Droit et cultures [En ligne], 78 | 2019/2, mis en ligne le 14 octobre 2019, consulté le 13 novembre 2019. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/droitcultures/5708

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Auteur

Lara Moutinho-da-Costa

Lara Moutinho-da-Costa a été responsable de l’éducation à l’environnement au secrétariat à l’environnement de l’État de Rio de Janeiro (Secretaria Estadual do Ambiente do Estado do Rio de Janeiro) de 2007 à 2014. Associée au Laboratoire de recherche sur l’éducation, l’environnement et la société de l’Université fédérale de Rio de Janeiro LIEAS / UFRJ, elle est coordonnatrice générale du programme « Environnement en action », en partenariat avec l’Université d’État de Rio de Janeiro, ainsi que du programme d’études supérieures en éducation relative à l’environnement de la fondation de soutien au Centre Fédéral d´Education technologique Celso Suckow da Fonseca (Centro Federal de Educação Tecnológica Celso Suckow da Fonseca/CEFET). Elle est aussi présidente de l’association environnementale «Defenders of the Earth».

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