Frutti per la Biosfera – Fruits for the Biosphere
The project is completed. The project addressed the important role of food in climate change. It promoted vegetarian, seasonal, regional and organic foods through environmental education in schools, and also supported farmers in selling their products locally.
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 Biosphere” will also have a positive impact on the current planning activities for the establishment of a nature conservation area at Etna.
The project focussed on educating children through hands-on activities such as gardening projects and visits to farms. It also supported the direct sale of crops by organising local farmers’ markets and farm-gate sales. To ensure quality and promote environmentally friendly and diverse agriculture, criteria were developed to establish a partnership system, where identified farms and restaurants undergo a check in order to become a partner-company, a “Partner della Biosfera”.
The project involved young volunteers from (Eastern) European countries in all the activities, with the aim of them passing their new developed skills on to their home countries.
State of Results
- A total of 1539 environmentally educated school children (6-10 years) from schools in the projects area.
- 19 highly motivated and further educated young adults of 8 different countries.
- 9 school yard gardens were created and planted by the children. If not on the ground, wooden planting boxes have been installed.
- 5 Pioneer small and sustainable farmers markets were established in close cooperation with farmers, municipalities, other local NGOs and the participating schools in different villages of the project area. More than 1.000 visitors and participators came to the markets.
- organization of an own agriculture conference with about 300 conference participators as well as more than 100 directly invited persons.
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.