Educação ambiental no Parque Estadual das Fontes do Ipiranga (São Paulo-SP) : articulação entre programas educativos, população do entorno e plano de manejo
Araújo-Bissa, Caio Henrique de
Since the Brazilian National System of Conservation Units, the society participation in management of protected areas (PAs) is guaranteed and emphasized as an important issue. Environmental education (EE) contributes to the PAs so that they can ensure biodiversity conservation, being present in actions with visitors and the surrounding population and in management processes in order to make them participative. In this context, this research studied the Fontes do Ipiranga State Park (PEFI). The PEFI is a different PA, because inside its area there are institutions such as the São Paulo Zoo, the São Paulo Botanical Garden and the Cientec Park, responsible for visitation in the area. Thus, the research objectives were to understand the development and implementation of educational activities in the institutions at PEFI; identify the participation of local communities in activities at the PA; identify the perception of managers, educators and local communities towards PEFI; and support for the preparation of an integrated educational project, using participatory methodologies. The research had a qualitative approach with data collection conducted through interviews with educators responsible for the EE programs of the institutions at PEFI, people from local communities and managers, as well as from the direct observation of the PA council meetings. In a second step, we held a meeting with the research participants, using the Café ComPartilha methodology (based on World Café methodology), to stimulate dialogue between these people and carry out analyzes of the EE described in the management plan and the implementation of an integrated EE program. The main results of the research were that, regarding the perception about PEFI, most people do not see the PA as a whole; they see the institutions at PEFI as different matters and not related to the PA. Nevertheless, people from local communities have positive perceptions towards PEFI, such as a concern for its conservation. The participation of local communities exists only through representation on the PA management council. The population did not effectively participate in the elaboration and updating of the PEFI's management plan until the moment when this survey happened. EE activities currently in operation do not have people from local communities as their main public, they are developed individually by each institution and focus only on their visitors. PEFI is not the main theme hardly in any of the activities, being more present in a museum at São Paulo Botanical Garden and in an exposition at São Paulo Zoo. The PEFI’s managers are not involved directly with the EE programs that take place in the area; this is a responsibility of the institutions that develop them. The search for the integration of educational activities at PEFI is not a clear element in the management plan, which offers no tools for its realization; in addition, there are political barriers to the implementation of an EE integrated program. However, people involved in this research showed interest in that, suggesting that the formulation of the activities should be performed collectively, including institutions, managers and people from local communities. Finally, the lack of an identity of PEFI as a PA proves to be the main factor influencing the dynamics of activities that occur in the area. This factor can be mitigated from greater dialogue between the different groups. We hope that the research will help strengthening PEFI, mainly through EE, in order to ensure its conservation.