The project addresses the important role of food in climate change. It promotes vegetarian, seasonal, regional and organic foods through environmental education in schools, and also supports farmers in selling their products locally.
The project focusses on educating children through hands-on activities such as gardening projects and visits to farms. It also supports the direct sale of crops by organising farmers’ markets and farm-gate sales. To ensure quality and promote environmentally friendly and diverse agriculture, criteria are currently being developed to establish a regional brand.
The project gets young volunteers from (Eastern) European countries involved in all the activities, and the skills they learn can later be passed on in their home countries.
Orange tasting in Maletto, Sicily. Foto: S.Hermsen
At present, very little environmental education is provided in Sicily, and there is limited awareness of the link between food and climate change. However, the Etna region is already suffering from effects of climate change, such as extreme weather and desertification.
Etna’s agriculture, which is highly diverse, provides the population with a good variety of fresh products. Unfortunately, more and more people are buying non-regional and processed foods. The project aims to counteract this development and strengthen traditional organic and smallholder farming.
“Frutti per la Bioshere” will also have a positive impact on the current planning activities for the establishment of a nature conservation area at Etna.
Healthy and ultra-local
The Frutti per la Biosfera project involved 1,500 students from 11 schools in Sicily planting their own school gardens and visiting a range of organic farms. They got to know ancient cereals of Sicily or how to easily trace the origin of eggs. Through the practical part of the project, the children will then learn how to act sustainably and how to actively support climate protection themselves.
This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). The EUKI competition for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.