The main objective of #YCL2019Immersion was to create an experience where young people could learn climate change in theory, understand it in practice, and work on hands-on projects to start their careers in this field. Therefore, the participants' main assignment to be delivered in the journey was to develop a project that consisted of a solution to be implemented to improve our cities.
Hereby we are proud to present the projects developed during the immersion - they are 4 main projects focused on 4 sub-themes related to Sustainable Cities: urban mobility, energy, food & agriculture, and urban planning. On this post, you will find the details related to the Food & Agriculture project.
We thank all the experts for their inputs and recommendations to make sure that the projects were meaningful and had great potential of being implemented after the journey. Additionally, thank you ICLEI Jury for helping our participants with your critics and suggestions. All our participants left this journey eager to make them to the next level.
Ana Carolina Corrêa, Flávia Christo, Manoj Kumar, Rachel Shi, and Silmarie Crespo-Vélez
The Problem: Children in urban areas need effective food education and knowledge of sustainable practices because a) the society promotes an unsustainable diet and industrialized food, which nurtures unsustainable habits of the children; b) the current food system exploits the Earth's limited resources to produce industrialized food.
68% of the world population is estimated to be living in urban areas by the year 2050. Children are the most vulnerable population to the consequences of climate change, as they are the leaders of the future. The cities remotely transport industrialized food (responsible for 29% of the total GHG emission), and consequently, children in urban areas don’t have access to see the growing process of food. The need of the hour is to tackle climate change and through the lens of food and agriculture.
Even though there are existing programs promoting school gardens and quality food in elementary schools, due to the lack of funding, positive incentives, and internal motivation, there is limited effectiveness and impact on the children’s development of sustainable mindset and associated practices. Shokuiku, mandatory food education in Japanese schools is a unique success story of educating children to be conscious of making dietary choices thanks to its hands-on experience with food.
Solution Pitch: We help elementary schools build climate change resilience and sustainable food awareness through networking and gamification gardening.
The Proposed Solution
Our proposed program focuses on Elementary grade Students, intermediary-local farmers who act as mentors. It will enable children to impart knowledge about food production through methodologies like the gamification of the farming process as well as real-life experience. We aim to mitigate climate change by spreading awareness among future generations and within their social environment.
The program is focused on three pillars:
a) Using an ARG (Alternative Reality Game) we can increase children’s engagement with a
dynamic and positive competition.
b) Features on the website: register of users, calculate the carbon footprint and carbon credits, skills evaluation, timeline to follow up the crop growth.
c) Connect children with food production to lead them to more sustainable consumption focusing on mitigating climate change.
a) Groups of schools are selected
b) Crops to be grown are decided
c) Maintaining the garden and harvest
3) Networks construction between schools
a) School market
b) Family dinners
c) Food/Practices trading and sharing
d) Reunions of school districts
Impacts/ Benefits per Stakeholders:
Community (Parents and adjacent families): Through the implementation of the program, we increase the elementary-school students’ self-esteem and a sense of belonging. The food acquired from the urban school gardens will improve nutrition habits in children and families.
Students: The next generation kids would be much aware of the carbon footprints which are being generated because of unsustainable production and the cost associated with it. Further, they will become adults with a different mindset that is healthier for the planet.
Schools: The garden production will decrease dependency on the food sourcing from outside and the carbon footprint generated by transportation. It will positively impact the children’s lifestyle and consequently their families.
Private Sector and NGOs: The program can increase the credibility and visibility of the organizations involved. We aim to look for organizations that already have an interest in the environmental cause to make the partnership more valuable. The game would increase the availability of data regarding the environmental impacts of food production.
Check the Food & Agriculture pitch & solution canvas HERE.
Check also the remaining Group projects developed in YCL2019Immersion:
URBAN MOBILITY: A browser extension that can be incorporated into current route planning software (i.e.: Google Maps) to improve its suggestions with new and improved parameters. hOw2gO supports and encourages behavioral changes towards alternative modes of transport by including new parameters and improving existing ones (by Felipe Sá, Gereon Fju Mewes, Gerald Imo, Luciana Brandão, and Sibu Szymanowska)
ENERGY: The Green Building Guide - a Communication Toolkit is for tenants to convince their landlords to increase energy efficiency and implement renewable energy solutions, therefore it will be possible to reduce the GHG emissions associated with the energy consumption in buildings. The Communication Toolkit takes the form of a brochure and a website (by Anna Klaffschenkel, Daniel Kim, Flávia Perucci, Karima El Azhary and Sara Nyberg)
URBAN PLANNING: A training program in solar panel installation for environmental migrants in the city, that would give them formal employment, at the same time contribute to a more sustainable society with less carbon emissions (By Anna Yuruyeva, Ana Carsalarde, Daniel Patrick Howard, Evelyn Salas and Zara Amer)