Our Junior Scientists are burning to make a difference in their community. But the system of Environmental Protection Areas, created to protect biodiversity and encourage sustainable farming, just doesn't work! The Young Eco-Leaders program brings together students and farmers to learn from one another, turbocharge good environmental practices which attract increased conservation revenue, and empower youth to have a voice in community decision-making and care for the forests that benefit us all.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
Most of the land in the Environmental Protection Areas belongs to family farmers who, in the absence of guidance and incentives, are unsure how to adopt sound conservation practices. Local government lacks the resources to provide leadership, while the younger generation is neither consulted nor encouraged to participate in decision making. As a result many of them no longer see a future in the rural areas which are dying for want of new blood while youth drifts away for lack of opportunity.
How will this project solve this problem?
Iracambi's Junior Scientist program has produced a corps of high school students who, for the first time in their lives, have studied real field science using real equipment. It's time for them to put their learning to work! Pooling their knowledge with local farmers, they'll learn how to take sound conservation decisions, creating new economic opportunities to allow interested students to stay on the land and participate in bringing about a sustainable future for forests and for themselves.
Potential Long Term Impact
Young people everywhere complain of not having enough to do. Yet when they are involved in programs that excite them and stimulate their creativity we all benefit. With a basic scientific training, an enhanced understanding of the extraordinary biodiversity of the rainforest, and hands-on involvement in conservation, our Young Eco-Leaders can become change makers in their community, benefiting 1000 farm families with increased opportunities, while honing their skills as tomorrow's leaders.
Total Funding Received to Date: $385
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $9,615
Total Funding Goal: $10,000