Environmental Monitoring and Interpretation Center (CMIA) of Vila do Conde: Promoting education for environmental awareness

In recent years the urban question in the European Union has been a matter of deep focus and intensive debate, contributing to the European Community environmental, spatial and sustainability policies approach.

CMIA resulted as an intervention of POLIS (Urban qualification and urban environment enhancement portuguese programme), in response to contemporary trends and priorities regarding the improvement of urban life, through aware citizens, leading potentially to a pro- environmental behaviour.

Educational, research, and community service aims are simultaneously met through CMIA activities: environmental sensibilization actions, including conception of respective pedagogic material, as regular thematic expositions open to students, teachers, individuals and general community; ateliers and workshops; and environmental monitoring studies.

The primary aim of CMIA is to educate students, individuals and the general community, to make them aware of different environmental thematics, as preservation of water resources, biodiversity, renewable energies, invasive species, amongst others.

A description of the CMIA activities performed during two years experience, the features as such approaches to environmental education, and perspectives for future actions will be presented.