CIESPI's engagement in the debate and action about the environment and children's rights

 Approximately one billion children and adolescents, almost a half of the youth population, live in the thirty-three countries classified as having a high risk of climate and environmental crisis. According to UNICEF, Brazil is classified as high risk with only Mexico having a worse rating in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

Realizing that the climate crisis is a crisis of child and adolescent rights, in 2023 CIESPI undertook diverse initiatives related to environmental issues and children’s rights including being involved in the establishment of CLICA, the Coalition for the Climate, Children and Adolescents and participation in international conferences and publications.


The founding of the Coalition for the Climate, Children and Adolescents (CLICA)


The coalition states that preservation of the environment is essential for guaranteeing the implementation of the rights of children, adolescents and young people. CIESPI is one of the founding institutions of CLICA, a collective of institutions from civil society for the purpose of defending the rights of children and youth, of current and future generations, by means of a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.

Among the members of the Coalition are the Center for Recovery and Nutritional Education (CREN), José Luiz Egydio Setúbal Foundation, Alana Institute, Institute for Living Trees, Childhood Institute (IFAN), Brazilian International Plan, National Early Childhood Network, and World Vision. 


Representatives of the partner institutions during CLICA´s foundation 


Since its establishment in March 2023, CLICA has engaged in a number of actions:

1) CLICA was nominated by the Brazilian Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, Marina Silva, to become part of the board of the National Council for the Environment (CONAMA).

2)Sent contributions to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child responsible for the development of General Comment #26 which addresses the rights of the child to a health and clean environment, with a special focus on climate change.


3) Participated in the lauching of the General Comment n.26 in the Brazilian National Congress. 

Carolina Terra, from CIESPI, address the Brazilian National Congress

CIESPI also organized a special issue of the journal O Social em Questão, published by the Social Service Department at PUC-Rio, focusing on decoloniality and children’s rights and included several papers that discuss children in connection to nature. 


Launching of the special issue of the Journal O Social em Questão (Society in Question) on International Perspectives on Decoloniality and the Rights of the Child


Issue n. 56 of the journal was published earlier this year and brought together important contributions by Brazilian and foreign researchers. Edited by the CIESPI staff and international colleagues, the articles analyzed connections between decoloniality, childhood and nature, an understanding of how different cultures and global processes are influenced by and influence historical realities, as well as public policies that impact children. The articles included experiences and contributions based on the knowledge of children and of indigenous peoples and reflections about methods and practices which challenge hegemonic colonial ideas, that reinforce the disconnection between scientific and traditional knowledge. 







Providing a continuation of this important debate, in August 2023, CIESPI and the Department of Social Work at PUC-Rio organized an on-line seminar, Decoloniality and the Connection between Children and Nature ( Available at CIESPI´s YouTube channel).

In September, CIESPI participated in the International Conference Naturalized Spaces for Children held in São Paulo. The event was organized by Alana Institute, an important partner in environmental issues. CIESPI took part in a panel called Decoloniality and Childhood: the colonial inheritance and the connection of children and nature

On November 17th, also in São Paulo, CIESPI was present at the Pre-COP28 event, organized by Instituto Aya and Aya Earth Partners, with the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change of Brazil, Marina Silva, and guests. The round of debates on federal policies aimed at reducing the impact of the climate crisis included the participation of Mahryan Sampaio, UN youth ambassador, and indigenous leader Vanda Witoto, from Fundação Rede Brasil Sustentável, among others.

        The Brazilian Minister of the Environment and Climate Change speaking during the event


Intergenerational debate and participation including children and youth in policies and actions aimed at protecting the environment are essential to establish new forms of relationship with nature.

The timing of our efforts is particularly important because Brazil will host COP30 at the end of 2025 at the city of Belém, State of Pará. CIESPI intends to work actively preparing for COP30 from the perspective of children and youth.