Social inclusion, Environment and sustainability

Biochar Educational Project

A social solution to improve soil fertility, carbon capture and fight against climate change

Creators

Who is behind this?

Annaïs Pascual

Idària

http://www.idaria.cat

Spain

Idea

Idea pitch

Act locally, think globally. We will train and create a dynamic network of 600 Biochar ambassadors in Girona formed by young people aged 12-18 and users of social gardens at risk of exclusion who want to be part of the climate change solution while improving their employability opportunities. The training program will involve key territorial agents and focus on the use and exploitation of biochar, a charcoal used as a soil amendment for both carbon sequestration and soil remediation.

Where will your project idea take place?

Province of Girona, autonomous community of Catalonia (Spain)

What is the local challenge?

The province of Girona is fundamentally rural and produces much of the food consumed or exported in Catalonia. The pig sector, is one of the most developed although, it generates a serious problem of CO2 emissions and nitrate contamination. Climate change has seriously affected the territory in the last years with severe droughts and water shortages. There is a high rate of unemployment among youngsters and adults often characterized by migrant population (20% censed). Furthermore this rural area is experiencing an exodus towards cities and population is ageing. There is a need to promote a generational replacement with trained people and aware of the new environmental challenges in the agricultural production system whilst improving social and labour inclusion in the region.

How does your idea strengthen democracy and active citizenship at a local and community level?

Climate change is starting to be one key driver for inequality primarily affecting vulnerable collectives (agricultural sector, those with low income and above all young generations). Furthermore the lack of social and labour opportunities characterizing rural environments contribute to perpetuate segregation and human capital loss. The project will promote social cohesion and democracy by generating a space for active citizenship involvement and the development of strong networks between young people, vulnerable persons and key rural and community actors in the search for common and innovative environmental and labour inclusion solutions.

Who are you doing it for?

We will offer active training on biochar use and deployment in the form of an educational project lasting one academic year (9 months) to:
1) 500 young people aged 12 - 18 coming from 30 rural towns in the province of Girona,
2) 100 people at risk of exclusion, mostly with migrant background that are users of 10 social gardens in the territory
The project will actively involve farmers, livestock farmers and forestry/gardening companies through the organization of visits, working sessions and knowledge exchange in the use and implementation of biochar so that knowledge in this innovative field spreads and labour opportunities for the students emerge through increased networking and new competences acquisition. We will seek the support from the public administration as well.

How do you plan to get there?

PREPARATION (2 months):
-Preparation of the pedagogical project
-Preparation of graphic material
-Presentation of the project to collaborators and selection of participants
-Scheduling of training sessions.
IMPLEMENTATION (9 months)
5 training sessions with different lengths will be offered in each local group. A total of 150 practical sessions in 30 municipalities. Training themes: discovery of the environment and needs, visits to farmers and gardens, field experimentation sessions, introduction to the use of Biochar and the use of a data collection system through a common App. Monitoring of online users and the results collected in the App.
DISSEMINATION (1 month)
Dissemination activity in each municipality. Delivery of Biochar Ambassadors for Climate Change certificate

What are the expected results?

Creation of a network of 600 climate change ambassadors in Girona advocators for carbon capture and the implementation of the use of biochar in the territory.
Improvement of technical capacities in the agricultural and forestry fields.
Empowerment of vulnerable people, breaking of stereotypes
Generation of contacts and facilitation of work opportunities with surrounding agricultural enterprises.
Generation of knowledge in biochar applications as a tool for carbon sequestration, bioremediation and soil improvement, which will remain for public consultation through the App and in the project blog.
Improvement of social cohesion through contact and joint work between the participants and key agents of the territory collaborating in the project.

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

Democracy focusses on participatory and educative requirements for continuing processes of personal growth and individuation as well as social-institutional transformation. We believe that democracy can contribute to solve the sustainability and climate crisis that our world is facing. The Biochar Project will contribute to strengthening democracy and hence to a more sustainable Europe by promoting grassroots education, participation and awareness rising in innovative smart solutions like the use of Biochar. The project will pay particular attention to actively involve local key decision makers influencing local policies so that they can direct them towards sustainability. The replicability potential of the project methodology makes it likely for spreading in other EU territories.

What is your story?

Idària's social projects must be aligned with its mission and hence must contain a high environmental impact, social transformation, democracy and circular economy.
The project will allow us to reach 600 ambassadors and key local agents , with whom we will work to build territorial solutions to address unemployment, rural depopulation, social inclusion, environmental pollution and the need to capture CO2.
The entity works in collaboration with social gardens and schools and specifically around the Catalan Biochar project and its implementation in Catalonia since its inception. Why biochar? Because it is a "smart" solution that allows, through a simple pyrolysis process, to capture CO2 and improve exponentially the agricultural soils and the use of fertilizer and irrigation resources.

€ 48000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 53000,-

Total budget

Major expenses

- Personnel costs: 40.000
- travel costs: 3000
- Collective APP: 2000
- Training materials (including those used for practical workshops): 5000
- Public Presentations in 30 rural villages: 3000

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would like to know if the Civic Europe community finds the project interesting and if they think it would be possible to replicate it in other territories. Also additional expertise in the environmental and educational topics addressed by the project.

Team

Annaïs Pascual

Judith Gilbert

Abel Zahinos

Idea created on May 27, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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