The partnership between Embrapa and the European Union under the European Union - Brazil Sector Dialogues Support Facility is being strengthened by educational actions focused on students. The project is in line with Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, which aims to halve global food losses and waste by 2030. Among the foreseen activities is a cooperation with the Institute "Maurício de Sousa" to design an educational comic book about sustainable consumption.
Following the completion of the top-down project, which ran between July 2017 and February 2019, and promoted conversations between Brazilian and European experts and national research on food waste in households, the new activities supported by the Sector Dialogues are part of the project “Dialogues on food waste: making youth aware of sustainable consumption and climate change”. The initiative builds on previous activities and focuses on communication for behavioural change.
The new phase will involve elementary and high school students and teachers from the Embrapa & Escola (Embrapa & School) programme, and will support the Horta & Escola (Garden & School) Innovation Competition, with entries open until September 30th. Participating in the project is Embrapa Hortaliças, WWF Brazil and other Units of Embrapa with similar interests.
Director of innovation and technology Cleber Soares says that a greater focus towards building a more sustainable agri-food system increases our potential to come up with innovations, and shows the company's commitment to the global agenda. “Getting young students and educators involved in brainstorming innovative solutions to reduce waste and losses is strategic for strengthening the urban-rural connection, and showing how important food production and new technologies are,” he says.
For the European Union Counsellor to Brazil, Rui Ludovino, the project and its continuous actions to fight food waste meet the need to raise awareness about the issue among young consumers in Brazil. The initiative is aligned with the new Circular Economy Action Plan implemented by the European Commission to promote the sustainable use of natural resources and the fight against climate change. “The EU Climate diplomacy Week 2019 has focused on young people, a key audience that needs to be educated in order for us to build a more sustainable future,” he says.
Warley Nascimento, head of Embrapa Hortaliças and coordinator of the Horta & Escola Innovation Competition, underscores the importance of vegetables as excellent sources of much needed nutrients to maintain the health and quality of life of world populations.
"Every society needs to contribute with solutions to promote sustainability, accessibility, and the fight against hunger and food waste. Our role here is to foster science and innovation as an effective tool in giving answers to a society eager for health and development", Nascimento evaluates.
"The results of the research on food waste in Brazilian households will be useful to create the educational materials to be used in this new phase. Embrapa's experience in the Embrapa & Escola programme will be valuable in terms of increasing the impact of this initiative. The No Waste Campaign between Embrapa and WWF Brazil will gain access to relevant content which can be promoted using digital media,” says project coordinator and Innovation Secretariat Analyst Gustavo Porpino.
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