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About us

Founded in 1992 the Institute ECOAR for citizenship is a civil society organization of public interest based in São Paulo. The institute was born out of the initiative of professionals, students and environmentalists, who came together shortly after the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (ECO-92) and the Global Forum 92, to take action on the emerging environmental problems. They contribute to the construction of sustainable communities and influence public policy design towards a more socio-environmentally friendly way.

Ecoar is one of the founders of the Treaty for Sustainable Societies and Global Responsibility for Environmental Education, which provides a reference for educators around the world. Over the years, Ecoar deepened its expertise in educational research and case studies for sustainability, which promote the dissemination of knowledge, values, attitudes, behaviors and abilities that contribute towards the survival of species and ecosystems on our planet, for the social equality and human development.

Ecoar acts in metropolitan, suburban and rural regions, where it implements educational programs and projects to strengthen sustainability, global climate mitigation, the adaptation towards climate change, the management of high density urban areas, conservation units, parks and other properties of public use, participatory management of hydrographic basins, the preparation and implementation of the local Agenda 21, the creation and animation of networks, minimization of waste as well as its management, and last but not least, training courses on contemporary environmental issues.

Since 1997, Ecoar has committed to study the phenomenon of global warming and climate change as well as its possible consequences on the maintenance of the high quality of life on our planet. Diverse programs of raising public awareness have been implemented following the objective to sensitize, inform and form individuals and entire communities to change their practices and daily habits that could mitigate the emission of greenhouse gases.

Moreover, Ecoar engages in the question of development and promotion of networks, as a founder and coordinator of the Brazilian Network for Environmental Education – REBEA. It is also a member of diverse other networks, such as the Mata Atlântica Network, Biosphere Reserves, the CAN – World Climate Network, among others.

The team of educationalists and professionals working at Ecoar has created and elaborated institutional and instructional material and a respective number of well-considered references in the environmental field, such as videos, books, booklets, agendas and games.

Since 2008, Ecoar follows the guidelines of the Global Report Initiative (GRI) according to its own management processes. Always aiming at maximizing the transparency and sustainability of its own activities.

During the COP 15 in Copenhagen in December 2009, Ecoar, in cooperation with the York University of Canada, launched the Portal of the Global Climate Justice. The focus was set on adaptation strategies to face the challenges and consequences of climate change of vulnerable communities worldwide.

In 2010, Ecoar launched the first project of its kind to measure, reduce and neutralize the emission of greenhouse gases produced by Brazilian football teams, as well as the environmental education of several teams and their fans. The project “Playing for the Environment” was supported by the teams São Paulo, Corinthians and Palmeiras with the slogan "opponents in the field, united by the environment".

Ecoar represents the Brazilian civil society also on international levels, as one of the members of the Board of Directors of the Center for Socio-Environmental Knowledge and Care of the Prata Basin. This nomination was given to Ecoar as it provides a space for reflection, constructiveness and transmission of new methodologies, new concepts and technologies. Ecoar, as well as the Center for Knowledge and Care, have always been willing to provide the space for dialogues, for encounters between multiple stakeholders with diverse interests and know-how. It is a learning community spreading the principles and values ​​of Environmental Education for Sustainability, supported by the scientific community and led by efficiency.

Ecoar’s performance, expertise and strength, has constantly developed new institutional and instructional material, considered as a reference in the educational sector for sustainability.


The year of 1992 marks a milestone in the history of worldwide environmentalism. The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (ECO-92) and the Global Forum 92 determined the strengthening of environmental movements around the world. At the same time a new vision of environmentalism, the socio-environmentalism, became popular in Brazil. It started from the resistance movements against the military dictatorship and was composed by an integrated vision of nature derived from the wisdom of traditional people, indigenous nations and riverine populations. An environmentalism based on a systemic understanding of the universe, where the preservation of the environment cannot be dissociated from the respect for life of all species, human and non-human, human dignity, social justice and planetary responsibility.

The desire to broaden the understanding of environmentalism, going beyond the preservation of fauna and flora was one of the drivers to found Ecoar, combined with the willingness of the citizens to contribute to the construction of a new paradigm; the momentum was born to guide the discussion in metropolises towards serious urban environmental topics. It is all about making the world understand that only education can guarantee the achievement of a more dignified quality of life for all. This and the desire to influence socio-environmentally sound public policies, has led a group of academics, educators, environmentalists and researchers to come together soon after Eco 92, to form the Ecoar Institute for Citizenship.

Marcos Sorrentino, Rachel Trajber, Moema Viezzer, Nilo Diniz, Tânia Moreira Braga, Irineu Tamaio, Ricardo Rodrigues, Cláudia Macedo, João Cavallo, Sérgio Dialetachi were bringing this group together and in collaboration with hundreds of associates from all over the world, they wrote the Environmental Education Treaty for Sustainable Societies and Global Responsibility. Until today it is considered as one of the most up-to-date, complete, profound, ethical, and solidary documents ever produced by a civil society organization.

Ecoar was born out of the dreams of this pioneering group with the mission to contribute to the construction of sustainable societies. Therefore following its values; education, respect for diversity, socioeconomic cultural specificities of each community and to point out the global concept of sustainability.

The first projects Ecoar conducted were entirely dedicated to activities such as publications and videos to spread the principles of Environmental Education.

From 1994 onwards, the organization started to join forestry practices to the educational activities, with the foundation of the Association Ecoar Florestal.

In 1996, new activities emerged; the implementation of projects with the focus on field work and case studies together with low-income communities to promote sustainable local development.

For this purpose, Ecoar developed innovative methodologies for investigation. Until today they are used by the institute and several other entities in Brazil.

The various technicians, educationalists, strategists and consultants which were part of Ecoar delivered essential contributions enriching their practices.

In recent years, the reflections that have been made have greatly expanded the work areas at the center of Ecoar’s activities. Substantial changes began to happen, mainly from the invaluable contributions that science and technology have brought to the ecology and socio-environmental movements, influencing them strongly.

The institute also couldn't help but to notice the great transformation that corporations and government agencies were undergoing. Decades of work by civil society movements, especially the feminism movement, the human rights movements and environmental movement, have formed more demanding consumers and investors, culminating in a more stringent and fair legislation.

The effects of globalization can no longer be ignored as they influence methods and change habits. A new society was put in place where the introduction of the world-wide computer network allowed the civil society to reach a new level of organization and global mobility.

Despite the steps taken backwards in the 90s by European and North American politicians, environmental and ecological concerns continue to grow among many, including within consumers, investors and electorates.

There are no excuses for companies not to adapt in socio-environmental contexts, even from traditionally less developed countries.

With the "discovery" of the concepts of social responsibility and sustainable development by business and Brazilian governments, Ecoar realized that it could make a great contribution to solve misunderstandings and/or to deepen the work of those who really were imbued of the desire to make the transition from the previous paradigm towards more sustainable patterns of production, consumption and disposal.

In 2003, Ecoar established the section Education for Sustainability, as the founding axis of its activities, choosing corporate stakeholders as a focus of their work.

It turned out to be great challenge for Ecoar to succeed to raise awareness and mobilize these different target groups ranging from entrepreneurs, environmental leaders, academic communities, politicians holding office, architects, engineers, agronomist and journalists and to make them understand that the concept of the survival of our planet is connected to the idea of social justice, human dignity as well as the environmental restauration and conservation.

Innovative experiences, derived from its research and reflections, have enriched and updated the existing methodologies in Ecoar, such as the intensive use of new concepts of the art of education and communication when working with young people. As well as unknown and unusual techniques with a socio-environmental character connected to participatory diagnosis, research and encouraging ecological planning and modeling of rural and urban structures, ecological literacy in schools, businesses, public spaces, in using more and more mass communication tools and the global network of technology, and so on.

Considered by many as a great designer of frameworks and methodologies, Ecoar follows its course, continuing to write history, which is in line with the history of Environmental Education in Brazil, seeking constant improvement, pursuing efficiency, effectiveness and professionalization, as tools to contribute, more and more, to the construction of a sustainable Brazil

In the same way, Ecoar is already established in the area of Education for Sustainability, it also became a reference for Education for Climate Change in the country, and was invited to work under this theme in national and international seminars and courses.

In December 2009, during the COP 15 in Copenhagen, Ecoar in cooperation with the York University of Canada, launched the Portal of the Global Climate Justice. The focus was set on the adaptation strategies of vulnerable communities around the world to the challenges and consequences of climate change. (Repeat)

In 2011, Ecoar widened the spectrum of its work and established a partnership with Brasil Sustentável Editora. Three online courses as part of a distance education program have been launched, under the titles:

  • Creation of sustainable schools, dedicated for professors of all levels;
  • Creation of sustainable enterprises, which targets managers and partners of all areas of the business sector;
  • Creation of sustainable societies, dedicated to leaders, public managers, students and the general public.

From 2012 onwards, one of the main areas of Ecoar’s commitment was the National Waste Policy, which was agreed on in 2010 to be implemented by 2014 at the latest.

The organization and strengthening of waste picker cooperatives of recyclable materials, the implementation of reversed logistics in enterprises and the associations of public entities of waste management is part of today’s portfolio of projects that Ecoar supports and supervises.


The principles of Environmental Education, pointed out in the EA Treaty, have been the guiding values of the work carried out by Ecoar during its 22 years of existence.

The projects developed by Ecoar are permanently imbued with the intention of empowerment and they remain trusting in a philosophical commitment with a focus on transformation regarding the relation of humans to each other and to nature. Involvement, participation, belonging, autonomy and emancipation of the target audience are part of the focus and the strategy of the organization.

The understanding that networks are the most powerful forms of social organization, especially to speak out to people and groups gathering together to achieve common goals in an egalitarian and democratic way have always been present in Ecoar. In recent years, the understanding of the network as the foundational pattern that nature has used for over 4 billion years to sustain life, reassures and expands Ecoar’s efforts in this direction.

It is only possible to speak about sustainable societies by also taking into account the economic dimension. Through aiming at reducing the social inequalities in the country, Ecoar seeks to spread a new way of thinking and producing, to generate wealth in a way that connects each other. The elaboration and implementation of socio-environmentally sound projects as well as the systematical promotion of courses and seminars with communities of small producers, associations and cooperatives, as well as groups of the unemployed and the informal workers, all contribute to enabling them to be in charge of their own source of income.

Fostering active citizenship is part of Ecoar's mission, which seeks to create channels for the expression of a new ecological consciousness for the citizens of Brazil and the world, to support environmental activism and to strengthen collective initiative in relation to social and environmental issues.

Ecoar understands that in the coming decades, humanity's survival will depend on our eco-literacy, that is, our ability to extract the knowledge of nature, to understand the basic principles of ecology and to live according to them. For this, it is essential to educate current and future generations to understand the paradigms that maintain the cycle of life.

(The greatest challenge facing humanity in the twenty-first century is to find a way for the ever-growing population to strive, despite the environmental conditions created by our specie from the disregard of the environmental effects of limitless growth. Human beings are interconnected to each other as a unique and undividable community and have to work together at reversing the damages we caused.

Ecoar answers this question through its own vision of Environmental Education for Sustainability that it applies when considering what needs to be addressed and promoted through the development of knowledge, values, attitudes, behaviors and skills that contribute to our survival as well as the survival of all the species and ecosystems of the planet.

The driver of the methodology Ecoar uses in its courses, seminars, lectures and workshops, is to understand the functioning of the web of life in all its complexity.

Sustainability Education is a continuing, ongoing process with specific strategies that include the understanding of ecological principles and systemic thinking.

To educate for sustainability, impregnating every activity and every project with ethical values such as cooperation, solidarity, generosity, tolerance, dignity, justice and respect for diversity, so that these values saturate everyday life, are the mission and the reason for the existence of Ecoar.



Financial director

Technical Team
Fabio Luiz Cardozo, José Sales de Oliveira, Marione Pilenghi Corrêa, Patrícia Blauth, Raquel Lima Ramos, Leandro Bellini.

Consecutive Council

Fiscal Council

What we do

1. Projects to Create and Strengthen Cooperatives of Solid Waste Collectors. Environmental Education and Income Generation for Vulnerable Communities:

Strengthen and organize waste pickers of the Sao Paulo Metropolitan Area

Beneficiaries: 13 cooperatives of the Western Metropolitan Area of São Paulo.
Partners: National Secretary of Welfare Economy
Sponsor: Ministry of Labor and Employment
Summary: This project aims at strengthening the organization of waste pickers in the São Paulo / West Metropolitan region as well as to consolidate the sales network initiated through the actions of the Cataforte Project. It includes actions to involve unorganized waste pickers and people in situations of misery in collective work based on the principles of solidarity economy and cooperativism.

Inclusão de Catadores e Estruturação Produtiva de Cooperativa de Coleta Seletiva

Beneficiaries: Cooperpac
Location: APA of Bororé-Colônia
Sponsors: FEMA/SVMA/Municipality of São Paulo
Summary: The project aims at providing technical, administrative and legal advice to a cooperative of recyclable materials aimed to reach self-management. This cooperative has been working very precariously for two years. The purpose of Ecoar's work is to advise the cooperatives in every dimension, ranging from the expansion of the local articulation to its environmental education in the scope area to promote and / or to deepen the network and to organize its documentation processes.

Environmental education, Citizenship and the Value Chain of Recycling

Beneficiaries: Recycling cooperative Chico Mendes
Location: East Zone of São Paulo
Sponsors: FEMA/SVMA/Municipality of São Paulo
Summary: The expansion of the environmental education and the production of the cooperative aiming at improving the program of waste separation through the reduction of the principles of Environmental Education in the communities of the São Mateus region and its surroundings. To improve the management of the cooperative, to empower its participants to manage the cooperative in a more efficient and effective way using the full potential of their collection capacity, production and commercialization of recyclable materials, as well as to improve the average income of each member of the cooperative.

2. Projects of Environmental Awareness and Carbon Neutralization Trainings:

Environmental education, Citizenship and the Value Chain of Recycling

Beneficiaries: Sports Club Corinthians and Sports Club Palmeiras
Partner: New Strategy Projects with a Cause
Sponsor: Banco Cruzeiro do Sul
Summary: The project is an initiative of the global football. In addition to neutralizing emissions from the aerial and terrestrial transportation of the participating teams, the project plants more than 100 trees per game and per goal each team makes. 200 trees are planted for each defended penalty and the promotion of a broad environmental education, as well as programs aiming at raising awareness within the fans. The project maintains a permanent site with environmental posts, quizzes and other information, four weekly programs with socio-environmental themes on TV Corinthians and several other media actions in the stadiums where the games take place.

The project also promotes selective collection programs at the headquarters of Banco Cruzeiro do Sul, which is the sponsor of the initiative, as well as clubs and training centers, and the support of recycling cooperatives.

3. Projects of Capacity of Professors, Public Managers, Leaders

Eco living, the art of living and transforming the middle

Beneficiaries: Professor and students of public schools of 23 cities in the state of São Paulo, Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul.
Partners: INDES – Ministry of Culture
Sponsor: Grupo Ecorodovias
Summary: A cultural project made possible by the Rouanet Law, which aims to revive art and to provide new impulses on a different perspective on reality. Together with communities and students of public schools, the aim is to show how it is possible to reflect and to discuss pressing issues related to sustainability through rich artistic manifestations. Teachers participate in creative workshops and cultural workshops, so they are ready to develop the project and work creatively, under the constant support and follow-up of the project team. The works are presented and shared with the community in free artistic shows, which take place in the participating schools.

Formation of the Professors of Cubatão

Beneficiaries: Professors of the Municipal Network of Education of Teenagers and Adults
Partners: Municipal Secretary of Education
Sponsor: Petrobras
Summary: Providing in-depth knowledge on the principles and fundamentals of sustainability and its application in the classroom, addressing contemporary issues such as global warming and climate change, biodiversity, consumption and waste, sustainable technologies and practices.

4. Waste Management and Reversed Logistics of companies

To promote the waste separation of packaging

Beneficiaries: Waste pickers of Coopernova Cotia – Recycling cooperative; Partners: Supermarket Pedroso Sponsor: Camil Alimentos Summary: Sustainable Education Program with the customers of the supermarket and the implementation of a point of PEV – a voluntary submission of solid waste - in the Pedroso supermarket of Cotia in the state of São Paulo. The project also aims at sorting and selling recyclable material in the Coopernova cooperative, providing additional revenues for more than 50 waste collectors.

One year after the implementation of the PEV, it collected 50 tons of waste which would have been brought to sanitary landfills. This extended their lifespan considerably.

The PEV is part of the Reversed Logistics Program of Camil Alimentos.


Through courses, lectures and workshops Ecoar offers the opportunity to reflect on emerging socio-environmental issues, to realize the connections between them and the serious challenges that humanity faces at the beginning of this century.

Ecoar believes that getting used to take a closer look at collective issues depends very much on understanding the context that surrounds us. The perception of the interconnection between phenomena and the relation of our small daily actions with the worsening of global problems is essential to provide a socio-environmental repertoire that encompasses and understands sustainability in its various dimensions.

Distance Learning Courses:

  1. Building Sustainable Schools
  2. Building Sustainable Companies
  3. Building Sustainable Societies

Duration: 40 hours


In class courses:

  1. Waste Management;
  2. Ecological Alfabetization;
  3. Environment and Culture of Peace;
  4. Participatory Methodology: Diagnostics and Tools;
  5. Global Warming, Climate Change;
  6. Tax and Fiscal Management for NGOs;
  7. Socioenvironmental Project Development; Budget and Management;
  8. Sustainable Tourism;
  9. Civic Construction and Sustainability;
  10. Sustainable Consumption and Minimizing Waste


For courses within your organization, please contact us via phone at 11 3129 5765 or by email at

Please feel free to contact us for the realization of seminars or talks about the above-mentioned topics.


The professionals at Ecoar are ready to provide advices to companies, governments, class associations, nongovernmental entities, unions, regarding projects and programs of reverse logistics, waste management, design of Corporate Social Responsibility programs, mitigation of Greenhouse gases, carbon neutralization, as well as in the implementation of socio-environmental projects and programs with communities.

Ecoar works with highly educated consultants, which are trained and experienced in areas such as the recovery and conservation of the environment, waste management, educational processes, more precisely in the elaboration of instructional material, face-to-face training as well as distance learning. It ranges from the companies to the public as well as from private management to community leaders.

Please contact us for more information.
Phone: 11 3129 5765


To improve and deepen the principles of Environmental Education and to contribute to the construction of Sustainable Societies, Ecoar has established solid and fruitful partnerships. Over the years, these partners formed a strong network of authentic learning communities where the interchange of know-how, sharing of knowledge and solidarity strengthens, revitalizes and nourishes our mission.

Get to know us

R. Rego Freitas 454, 2nd floor, cj 23
Vila Buarque CEP: 01220-010
São Paulo, Brasil
Phone: 11 3129-5765