ORGANIZATION NAME: Instituto Terra
SUMMARY: We are committed to engage a new generation of environmental champions, harnessing children's potential to be the agents of transition to a low-carbon economy. By reconnecting with nature and connecting with each other, we will foster a sense of community where each individual action will make a lasting difference.
PROBLEM SPACE: Habitat and biodiversity loss due to deforestation has been the most significant environmental change resulting from human footprint on the planet. The challenges posed by global warming make forest restoration not just a question of governmental responsibility, but a necessary active pursuit of all citizens. Yet, there is a disconnect between the various spheres of action, and a lack of understanding of our responsibility as individuals, contributing to a sense of disempowerment and political inaction. Today, one of the greatest challenges is to create bridges among all stakeholders in order to forge cooperation and joint action. It is a call for “the human ability not just to act but to act in concert" (Arendt,1970:143) as a necessary condition for bringing about real change in current state of affairs.
SOLUTION: This is a program of forest restoration with an important environmental education component. The program offers a package of creative solutions for engaging children in tree-planting actions and learning about the biodiversity of the Atlantic forest. The foundation of the project lies in the creation of a seed bank based in the partner institutions' seedling production centres, representing a wide range of indigenous tree species. Tree-planting kits will be provided to elementary and middle school students (8-14 years old). These kits include seeds and collectable stickers of plant species. Workshops and field visits will stimulate children to grow and plant the seedlings, maintaining the plants until each reaches maturity (approximately six months).Location coordinates of the plants will be set in an open-source GIS platform integrated with Google Earth. This platform operates as an interface for tracking progress and knowledge sharing. Input and output data on forest restoration actions of each intervention area will be facilitated by an app easily accessible using "Code" technology through mobile devices. Community at large will be involved by establishing partnerships with local institutions for reaching the entire student population of each pilot project, and attracting businesses in exchange for carbon offsetting gains.