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02 May 2023

PAGE has bestowed the SDG Award to the Huertas Comunitarias STEM project at the 10th edition of Premios Verdes, which took place in Galapagos from 19 to 22 April  2023. This award, supported by PAGE, recognises a project among the 500 finalists that meets most SDG targets. Next, the winners are to travel to the United Nations Headquarters in New York to meet the UN network and engage in an agenda of activities that will give resonance to the impact of the project.

Over 300 people from all over Latin America and beyond gathered to celebrate this year’s edition of Premios Verdes, one of the most relevant sustainability festivals around the world. During the awards ceremony, eleven projects were praised for their significant contributions to environmental sustainability.

Among them, one project took home the coveted SDG award supported by PAGE: the Colombian project “Huertas Comunitarias STEM” in partnership with Cafelab, an organization dedicated to environmental sustainability and social empowerment, was honored for its innovative and successful approach to addressing multiple challenges in the local community.

Huertas Comunitarias STEM focused on empowering farmers to grow food in community gardens using composted coffee grounds, a creative solution that not only tackled food insecurity but also addressed other pressing local issues, like waste management, high dropout rate, and local worker’s dependency on the coffee industry.

The project developed academic work at school level to provide students and their families with empirical understanding of their COVID-impacted economic situation for them to change it autonomously. Throughout one school year, students were enabled to critically comprehend the status quo of a real-life problematic; creatively design and implement the community gardens with STEM methodologies; finally, they produced explicative text guides about the planting process.

The project’s multifaceted, technology-driven approach accomplished ambitious goals on multiple levels through the triangular school-parent-student relation. Thanks to the community gardens, food security was achieved for 530 families across the region; this also resulted in the school dropout rate being reduced to 0%, as students were able to support their families while continuing their studies. Further, they showed progresses in the field of scientific competencies and refined their critical thinking, communication, and social skills, with 60% of the students resolving to pursue higher education.

At the institutional level, the Huertas Comunitarias project impacted the school’s curriculum and study plans. And what is more, the skills and knowledge gained by students and their families are transferable to the whole community, ensuring that their benefits to be felt beyond the school year.

Overall, the project was an outstanding success in providing practical, sustainable, and innovative solutions to present-day challenges in the socio-cultural context of the community. This remarkable example paves the way for future challenges to be tackled with resilient and creative responses.

 PAGE is supporting the SDG Award, which recognizes a finalist project that meets most SDG targets. PAGE places particular importance on promoting initiatives to implement the 2030 Agenda and its 17 SDGs. The LAC Green Award promotes and encourages all participating projects to identify, include and adopt the SDGs. PAGE rewards the projects which are best aligned with the SDGs, have strongest potential to contribute to the achievement of SDGs, and strengthen partnerships.

The Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) has grown into a prominent alliance of five UN agencies, 8 funding partners, and 22 partner countries that work together to transform economies into drivers of sustainability by supporting nations and regions in reframing economic policies and practices around sustainability.

Sources: PAGE, UNDP, Premios Verdes

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