The Missing Link for a Sustainable World JoaquĂn LeguĂa Orezzoli
The Missing Link for a
Sustainable World JoaquĂn LeguĂa Orezzoli
Special thanks to Patrick Matthiesen and the Matthiesen Foundation for the translation of this book to English and their permanent support to ANIA since our foundation.
We need to give children time to connect with nature and love the Earth before we ask them to save it.
Social transformation is the result of human action on nature and and on human beings themselves.
It covers both the external and internal world. It redefines conditions, functions, and practices permanently altering our environment. For example, we obtain oil from the subsoil transforming it into gasoline which then becomes part of the input for combustion and generation of our energy. Due to this transformation, we can more easily transport ourselves and live more comfortably, but at the same time we are polluting the air, increasing greenhouse gases, and accelerating climate change. From this modification, we are destroying our environment. We are also obtaining new knowledge and a renewed understanding about the physical world; about the external part of it; and, also, of its own internal part, of its subjectivity, of its affections and emotions. In these continuous acts of change, human beings are gifted with new living conditions and also deeper meanings and senses which in turn, allows us to redefine our identity and generate new behavioral patterns. These define our governments, methods of production, and interactions and feelings that occur in our daily life. Social transformation, then, is changing the meaning of our existence. This change of meaning has to do with the expansion of consciousness. Or, with recognizing and detecting a number of mechanisms that unconsciously alter the meaning of our actions in order to bring them to the conscious universe. The greater the volume of elements which were not previously considered that I incorporate into my personal universe of meanings, the greater my consciousness will be. Therefore, I need to expand my interpreting capacity. To interpret, I act with my emotions, with rationality, and with information. That is my knowledge. To change meaning, is to reinterpret the given to unfold a new experience. By unfolding a new experience, we implement a new practice and new behaviors which leads us to the path of reinterpretation. It is the unfolding or development of that consciousness that makes it possible for humans to transform their social world. Transformation has to do with making sense of life. Changing this sense of life is a historical and social change. Socially, changing one’s sense of life is transforming the given. For many years, Joaquín Leguía has been fostering a new sense of life. He has not done it only through words. He has provoked it through action, through implementing an innovative concept - the link between the individual, the community, and nature. That’s ANIA, as I understand it. This book tells us the story. Moreover, as Joaquín says: “it is necessary to build a sustainable world” and create “awareness about the need for children to grow up healthy and with the skills for generating well-being for themselves, other people, and nature”. Embodying ANIA’s sense and meaning also implies creating and multiplying a new business model that seeks a different relationship with the market and with society: starting with companies that are endowed with a purpose to solve social and environmental problems, in addition to making profits. In other words, transforming themselves into sustainable entities. If these types of companies, known as “B companies” multiply, it is possible to achieve the transformation that Joaquín and ANIA are seeking. It has to do with modifying meanings and feelings that populate our unconscious, and therefore, seeking common sense innovation, which will enable us to move towards a sustainable world.
Baltazar Caravedo Molinari Sociologist, economist and President of Sistema B Perú
When you listen to stories that evoke emotions, you remain infused with them as if they were on the tip
of your tongue ready to be told at the right time. The story that Plato uses to describe our origin as human beings on Earth after having lost our wings in the world of emotions, is a story with perfect fantasy. It is the perfect way to start this text. Since first reading this story in school, I have been seeking those few beings that remain on Earth, who have wings. We must carefully listen to these beings, as they have that wisdom with which one is born with. That kind of wisdom that is saturated in one’s genes and in one’s personal history. Joaquín Leguía is the first of them, and every time I read his writings or listen to him speak, my theory is confirmed once more. Through this book, Joaquín gives us a gift. He gives us wisdom from his own learning as a child and as an adult. From his truth, he takes us on a journey that connects us with an ideal world of which we all would like to belong to. He shows us the real and current picture of this world, one that we do not want to see. He teaches us our terrible reality and he does it in such a way that no one could ever refute the truth that is being presented in such an objective way. He also shares, through the work of ANIA and of his team, how we can materialize our dreams for the benefit of humanity. This book is one of my top five books that should be read, and it is among the first books to read to my children because it gives us valid information for both hemispheres of our brain. It gives us real evidence of numerical objectivity that shows the current state of our planet and the result of the terrible disconnection that we have as a species with other species. It objectively speaks to us, but it also speaks to us from the perspective of a child in that what he lived through, turned him into what he is now. With this, Joaquín hands us a wonderful recipe of hope - a light at the end of the tunnel where we become aware that we are in the here and now. This book is an emotional and objective awakening which leads us to self-evaluate ourselves as human beings, parents, brothers, friends, partners, businessmen or artists and to be able to choose a path and accept the consequences of taking that path. When I read what Joaquin has written or when I listen to what Joaquin has to say, I see passion and emotion. I see love for who we are and I absolute see clarity in his ideas. This clarity leads to consequences in the way he acts and therefore legitimacy to his speech. Joaquín has managed to capture his personality in this book. I read the dreamer and the realist in it. The person who is hopeful, but who also is a fatalist. This is a book that all world leaders should read. A book that all schools should have, and a book that all parents should implement. If at any time we doubt faith and become skeptical about the evidence that we are all a connected unit ... then this book also shows us the ratios and necessary objectivity to understand that this is real. It is a handbook to improve the world, which has been written thinking of politicians, dreamers, businessmen, environmentalists or any human being who can read. This is a book that can change the perception and the look of millions of people because it is honest, clear, conscious, and consistent, allowing every human being to understand, grasp, and apply it. I truly admire you, dear brother.
Vania Masías Málaga Dancer, social entrepreneur and founder of the Asociación Cultural D1
The purpose of our species is to build a better world for ourselves, other people, and nature. To achieve this, each person has been endowed with a talent or special skill that, when put into practice, will make our emotional, social, and natural environment connect, our affection will flow, and life will flourish all around us. However, the damage we do to new generations and to our planet is an indicator that we have distanced ourselves from our own human nature. It is inhuman that today most children are at risk because of the toxins present in what they eat, drink, breathe, and that flows to them from the very beginning through the umbilical cord and then through breast milk. It is inhumane that they are at risk because of the culture of violence and fear to which they are exposed to in their homes, on the street, and through the media. It is inhuman that more than 50% of the ecosystems of our planet are degraded and that we have accelerated one thousand times the species extinction. Today, our purpose is to possess more, and our talents have been shaped for this purpose no matter what happens to other people and to nature. We have institutionalized a way of life based on the belief that we can increase and sustain our wellbeing at the expense of the health of our social and natural environment and, unusually, of our emotional and physical health. There are no limits to our appetite for material and novel stuff, and in order to achieve this, we care little about the source of air we breathe, the water we drink, and the populations we do not see. That what is irrational, absurd, and unacceptable has
changed to suitability and today, it is rational, sensible and acceptable. “Success” is possible insofar as we are more immune to the destructive impact of our actions, which we consider “externalities” and justify them as “collateral damages” in the name of progress or wealth. This existential amnesia, which transforms human beings into a kind of “mentally modified being” has become pandemic and what is mundane is viral. It incubates in homes and schools, it gets stronger in the streets and at universities, it expands through media and marketing, and when it matures, symptoms are incoherence, self-centeredness, arrogance, short-term goals, redundancy, greed, indifference, vanity, lack of compassion, machismo, aggressiveness, and high tolerance for violence and cruelty. Lacking purpose and ethics, we wander in our own labyrinth, where what we feel, think, and do, do not coincide. Where our very human condition makes us vulnerable to the inhuman, fear conditions love and lying is the best defense for truth. No matter what path we take, our perception is that we progress little and in many cases that we are even going backwards. Time continues ticking and we get more desperate. When the person who is lost, ignores that he is lost, the path becomes dangerous. When people that are lost deny that they are lost, danger becomes imminent. Scientific and spiritual leaders have warned for several years now that we are heading towards an abyss and that we must turn around as soon as possible to change the destiny of humanity. James Lovelock, British scientist born in 1919 and the creator of the GAIA theory, sums it up this way “as long as there is energy and time we must retreat from an unsustainable world and move on towards a sustainable one”. Therefore, we conclude that we need to radically change our behavior and values regarding how we treat nature. If we consider that it is during childhood when we develop the peak of our values and attitudes towards life, then achieving it at this stage is a transcendental objective and it is transversal to all other actions to move us towards a sustainable world. In that line, multiple investigations reveal that regular and positive contact with nature contributes significantly to children’s cognitive, physical, social and emotional development, while at the same time developing values and attitudes in favor of life. For example, it is known that children who freely and regularly play outdoors cognitively perform better. They are better able to get along with others, and are healthier and happier. On the contrary, the absence of nature in their lives, which happens to be increasingly urban and virtual, increases obesity, learning disorders, stress, hyperactivity, chronic fatigue, depression, and the perception of having a less positive life. This phenomenon,
Legionary ants, known also as army ants or marabunta, build bridges by interlacing their bodies to overcome obstacles.
now considered a pathology, is called “Nature Deficit Disorder” A dramatic example of this is that maximum security prisoners in the United States of America spend two hours a day outdoors and children less than an hour. Experts fear that if children do not develop a fondness and respect for the natural world at an early age, there is a risk that they will never be able to do so again. This publication, based on over 20 years of experience of the “Asociación para la Niñez y su Ambiente (ANIA)” [Association for Children and their Environment (ANIA)], expert studies, shared knowledge, and my life experience, seeks to place value on nature for its power to raise healthy, empathetic, and good-hearted citizens, an environmental service ignored so far. Therefore, we share our initiatives, lessons learned, and a way forward to ensure that new generations are linked with Mother Earth and grow up capable and willing to contribute to a better world, generating well-being for themselves, for other people, and for nature. I do not doubt that they will do their part if we give them the chance. The question is: can we adults be their references adopting sustainable lifestyles? I hope that after reading and feeling this book the answer will be yes and that the response is strong, as we are the bridge on which they depend on to move on towards a better world. Let’s do it for our sons and daughters, new generations, the unborn, humanity, the planet, and for the peace and joy that we seek, and that we will surely find, in fulfilling our life purpose. Our ability to adapt to climate change, to sustain the positive changes we achieve, and to meet domestic and global Sustainable Development Goals depend on it.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;The child who has felt a strong love for his surroundings and for all living creatures, who has discovered joy and enthusiasm in work, gives us reason to hope that humanity can develop in a new direction.â&#x20AC;?
How It All Started
Runa and Rearing
Contact with Mother Earth
Mother Earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Nurturing Skills
An Unsustainable World
Our Impact on the Planet
Our Impact on Childhood
Our Impact on Humanity
Towards a Sustainable World
Children and Youngsters as Change Agents for a Sustainable World
ANIA is born
Achievements and Recognition
Signs and Knowledge for a Sustainable World
Makers of a Sustainable World
The Garden that Will Make the Difference
As a child I got to know nature, and I asked if I could play with her. With joy she said yes. She gave me land, grass, water, trees, bugs, sky and birds. Nature got to know me when I was a child, And asked if she could play with me. With joy I said yes, I gave her my heart. JoaquĂn
HOW IT ALL STARTED When you go back in time and navigate from the past to the present, you come to the conclusion that everything has happened in such a perfect way to get you were you are at at the moment. This is how this story begins.
“There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in”. Graham Greene
The emotional, social, and natural environment in which we live our first years creates in us certain skills, vulnerabilities, and degrees of resilience. If we choose to see the causalities in our life from a constructive point of view, we will recognize the specific conditions of our upbringing, and as a result, the personal resources we rely on to contribute to a better and sustainable world. When I was a kid, I lived with my mother, grandmother, sister, and my companion in all of my adventures, my brother Augusto. My parents were not living together anymore. At that time they said that the streets were not safe and that’s why my siblings and I spent our time at home. I was the youngest one. Augusto had different abilities. His world was the other way around. He walked with his shoes inside out, wrote backwards, and had invisible friends with whom he talked with. He had special powers. Tarzan and he were my favorite heroes. One day we explored a piece of land on the other side of the wall that divided it from my house. We opened a gate and discovered a wild garden. A jungle! It had fruit trees, bamboo trees, a dark cave under some cypresses and nice grass to run on. Soon, that space became our kingdom. When I wanted to climb to the sky I climbed to the top of the trees and grabbed the clouds with my hands. When I was happy, I ran without stopping until the lions – my dogs – jumped on me. When I played soccer, my brother would blaringly narrate the soccer events with a stick as microphone. I was the top scorer, the
number 10, until my brother showed me the red card. When I rested, the grass was my mattress and the dogs were my pillow. But not everything was happiness. There I shot a little bird for the first and last time. I aimed at it with a sling and, ….boom! ….. It fell. I felt awful. I buried it, and next to it, I buried the sling. Another day, I was annoyed and I kicked one of the trees and, auch! I felt that I had kicked myself. Then I cried until the dogs’ lickings, dried my tears. At the end of the afternoon, when the sun was setting, I would climb up my favorite tree to watch over the horizon of my garden, of my world. In it, I was the hero, I felt safe and free like nowhere else. At night, in my dreams, I saw how the walls of the house faded and the garden merged with a meadow with leafy trees. Herds of animals crossed it and a family of indigenous nomads peacefully followed greeting me from afar. When I turned nine, my mother told me we would take a trip to the jungle. We went to the Amazonian hospital in Yarinacocha, Ucayali, Peru, where they healed people from native communities. Mom knew the doctors and had traveled to work with them. Shortly after arriving, I became friends with three Shipibo children who lived in a community next to the hospital. They always walked without shoes. Sometimes they had bows and arrows, sometimes a soccer ball. They were always happy and I liked that. They taught me how to use the bow, milk cows, listen to the tigrillo, fish for piranhas, speak their language, walk without shoes, take out ticks, and row in canoes. Several times they saved me from poisonous snake bites and other kinds of danger, alerting me with love so that fear would not penetrate my heart. It was during these four years when I explored the jungle and its people, and when they explored me.
I was raised not only by my parents, but also by my garden and by my brother, as well as by the jungle and by its people, who taught me to feel and see in ways that were completely new to my eyes and heart. They taught me that not only exists what you see, but also what you feel.
When I returned to Lima they informed me that they would build something in the garden. With tears in my eyes I saw how, in a short time, my sister and brother trees, as well as the square meters of grass, through which I had dragged myself through and where I had run thousands of kilometers in, disappeared. Years later, the jungle that I traveled through as a child suffered the same fate due to agricultural and urban expansion. Life taught me that when you follow your heart you understand that everything happens for a reason. My brother protected my dreams and my essence. The garden allowed me to be who I really was without judging or restricting me. During childhood, when many get their dreams slashed, mine were fed by the Amazon region and its inhabitants. I learned that we are better off if we do not kill birds or kick trees, if we bury our weapons, and if gardens have no walls so that our feelings could move freely. I understood that we are made of the same air, water, and earth that surrounds us, and that what we do to the world we do to ourselves. I was raised not only by my parents, but also by my garden and by my brother, as well as by the jungle and by its people, who taught me to feel and see in ways that were completely new to my eyes and heart. They taught me that not only exists what you see, but also what you feel.
RUNA AND REARING While investigating the harmonic relationship between human beings and nature, I became acquainted with two words in the Andes Mountains whose meaning validated and strengthened my worldview.
“The most valuable natural protected area is the heart of children because that is where our feelings for life and nature are born and harbored”. ANIA
In the Andean-Amazonian worldview, everything that exists in nature comes from the Pachamama or “Mother Earth”, the universal nurturer of life. Plants, animals, hills, water, rivers, stones, even the moon, the sun, the stars, just like people, are considered living beings and have the skill to talk, to be happy, to be sad, to be upset, to cry, to grow, to multiply, and to die. In this context, Andean children grow up as children of the Earth and siblings of plants and animals. In Quechua, Runa means person, but not everyone can be defined as one. A runa is united in body, mind, and soul to its ayllu, its great family. This is made up of human fellowship (runa), the communities of living beings of wild nature (sallqa), and the communities of deities or spiritual beings (wa’ka). The three come together in forests, water, and farms, especially in the last one mentioned, which is considered the epicenter of Andean life. A characteristic of the runa, is that it aspires to be a good nurturer of life in order to contribute to its ayllu. To be one, the person knows that nurturing is reciprocal. When you nurture a plant, it nurtures you, and when you nurture an animal it also nurtures you. The same happens when you nurture a child. No one is better than others and each one fulfills a role that complements and strengthens others. The runa knows that affection, respect, and joy are requirements for good nurturing to occur. In the Andean world view, a child is not a “person project” or an “incomplete adult”. It is a full being, a sprout of life with its own skills that gives joy to Mother Earth. As an adult, the child
A characteristic of the runa, is that he/she aspires to be a good nurturer. In order to be it, he/she knows that nurturing is reciprocal. When you nurture a plant, it nurtures you, and when you nurture an animal, s/he also nurtures you. The same happens when you nurture a child.
remains in his/her being and with his/her characteristics, as one stage does not put an end to the stage before but on the contrary it contains and strengthens it. When circumstances require it, the adult becomes a child and activates the skills of that stage of his/her life. A special skill of children is curiosity and their ability to communicate with nature and deities through sounds and signs. Their world is animated and they speak with the different kinds of corn, cattle, hills, lagoons, and the wind. Adults attribute this skill to their innocence and to not knowing how to speak ill of anyone or kill or harm animals. Perhaps a remnant of it is the habit of many of our grandmothers to talk with plants and to nourish them with beautiful words, a custom now almost extinct. Another skill of children is that their presence on farms stimulates production and regenerates life. For example, those who are in charge of sowing are pregnant mothers since the wawa [baby in Quechua] that is in her belly and the wawa that is in the belly of the Pachamama (the seed), will compete to see who grows the fastest. The result is a productive farm. Another characteristic of the runa is that it is considered a custodian and not an owner of the land nor of animals. These are granted to him/her by the hills-deities so that they are mutually nurtured. To uphold this custom, parents give their children, at an early age, two or more furrows so that nurturing takes place. Also, in a ritual called SuĂąay, children receive an animal so that they nurture each other. Thus, parents get their children to become attached and to become related to nature, to take care of life and be good-hearted people, â&#x20AC;&#x153;allin sonqoâ&#x20AC;?. A characteristic of the runa, is that he/she aspires to be a good nurturer. In order to be one, he/ she knows that nurturing is reciprocal. When you nurture a plant, it nurtures you, and when you nurture an animal, s/he also nurtures you. The same happens when you nurture a child.
ï&#x20AC;µ Racchi, Cusco.
MOTHER EARTH When one is aware of what the Earth offers us, it is impossible not to feel affection and respect for her.
May the sun bring you new energy by day, may the moon softly restore you by night, may the rain wash away your worries, may the breeze blow new strength into your being, may you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life. Apache Blessing
“Recognizing the Earth and its ecosystems as our home and highlighting the need to promote harmony with nature and the planet,” the UN General Assembly – through resolution number 63/278 – recognizes Mother Earth as “a common expression for the planet earth in a number of countries and regions, which reflects the interdependence that exists among human beings, other living species and the planet we all inhabit”. Nature comprises all living beings, elements, and phenomena produced or modified without human intervention. It includes plants, animals, air, water, soil, various climatic phenomena, Earth’s geology, and human beings in their natural state. We, Homo sapiens, are vertebrate mammals, a primate species of the hominid family, and our DNA is 98.4% identical to that of chimpanzees. Likewise, our organisms share the same elements as those of the periodic table for plants, animals, and everything in nature, and the same air and water that circulates on the planet flows through our bodies. There are different types of ecosystems in nature. An ecosystem is a system of living organisms..., their environment, and the relationships that exist among them. There are terrestrial ecosystems, such as deserts, forests, and grasslands; aquatics ecosystems, such as rivers, lakes and seas; and mixed ecosystems, such as coasts and wetlands.
The Environmental Services Provided for by Earth Ecosystems provide us with “environmental services” which are “free” goods and services on which we depend on for our survival and well-being. These include: photosynthesis, oxygen production, water supply, nutrient production, biodiversity, pollination, and biological control. The provision of food, medicine, fibers, fuels, genetic resources, ornamentals, and raw materials such as wood. There are those that regulate air quality and climate, such as the emission and sequestration of greenhouse gases; water regulation that includes changes in vegetation cover and its consequences in drains, floodings, and aquifer recharges; water purification and treatment; and the regulation of diseases and environmental risks such as floods. Also included are non-material environmental services that include: cultural diversity, aesthetic value, and inspiration, recreation and ecotourism, educational and scientific value, and spiritual or religious value. In this last category, invisible to the anthropocentric worldview, resides an essential environmental service crucial for the future of humanity.
Grand River Territory. Ontario, Canadá.
CONTACT WITH MOTHER EARTH Our body, senses, curiosity and emotions are the best “app” to connect us with nature.
“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.” Khalil Gibran
The researcher Frances Kuo Ming, calls nature “Vitamin N” because she considers that we require frequent doses of it for our well-being. An example of this is the health benefits we receive with the simple act of putting our bare feet on the ground, known as “Earthing” 1. In doing so, we absorb the healing energy of the Earth, called “Qi”, which flows through the conductive circuit of our body restoring its electrical balance. This helps reduce sources of inflammation, chronic pain and stress, it improves blood pressure and sleep, and relieves headache, muscle tension, among other benefits. The point of greatest absorption is in the sole of the foot and in acupuncture, this point is known as Kidney 1 (K1). The best Qi energy conductors are grass, gravel, sand, and water, and the saltier the water, the better. We also absorb it by contacting our skin with the bark of a tree. It is no coincidence that one revitalizes oneself when one walks barefoot on beaches, swims, practices water sports or walks in the countryside. Children’s Contact with Nature During many hours of play in my garden I was Tarzan, the captain of the national soccer team, and the Lone Ranger. I climbed and swayed through trees defending animals from poachers, dribbled up the ants to win the world cup, and rode horseback through plains and mountains facing endless dangers, like when my mother chases me to do homework. My brother and best friends were accomplices of these and other epic deeds.
Clinton Ober, Stephen T. Sinatra, Martin Zucker. Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? Basic Health Publications Inc., 2010.
Research in the United States shows that students in schools that use open-air classrooms and other forms of nature-based experiential education significantly improve in social studies, science, language arts, and mathematics.
Nowadays, it is known that regular and positive contact with nature is fundamental for the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development of children (Kellert, 2005). Cognitive Benefits Contact with nature improves academic performance in children. It promotes creativity, the sense of wonder, cooperation, problem solving, acquiring knowledge, reasoning, observation, and attention. • Research in the United States shows that students who use open-air classrooms in schools and other kinds of nature-based experiential education significantly improve their social studies, science, language arts, and mathematics skills. For example, students in outdoor science programs improved their score on science tests by 27% (American Institute for Research, 2005). In another study, school children who had a gardening program had higher scores in science than others who did not have a similar program in their curriculum (Klemmer, Waliczek, and Zajicek, 2005). • Playing in nature helps develop problem solving skills (Kellert, 2005). • Studies conducted on playgrounds in schools found that children participate in more creative games when they find themselves in green areas. They also play more cooperatively (Bell and Dyment, 2006). • Nature promotes the sense of wonder, a key factor that stimulates lifelong learning (Wilson, 1997). • Proximity, views of, and daily exposure to natural environments, increases concentration and improves children’s cognitive skills (Wells, 2000).
ď&#x20AC;ľ At the Ann Sullivan Center in Lima, Peru children perform occupational, sensory, and fine motor therapy with the Earth.
Edith Cobb, after reviewing 300 biographies of “geniuses” found that the common denominator among them is that they all had intense experiences with the nature between the ages of 5 and 12.
• Contact with the natural world can significantly reduce attention deficit disorder symptoms in children at the early age of five (Kuo and Taylor, 2004).
Santa Cruz. Pisco, Ica.
• Schools with larger windows and views to natural spaces are correlated with better exam results, students’ intention to continue with their studies, and reduces violent attitudes (Matsuoka, 2008). • Edith Cobb2, after reviewing 300 biographies of “geniuses” found that the common denominator among them is that they all had intense experiences with nature between the ages of 5 and 12. Physical Benefits Contact with nature increases physical activity, motor skills such as coordination, balance and agility, reduces myopia, and improves health since children get sick less. • Children who regularly play in natural environments display the most advanced motor skills, including coordination, balance and agility, and they get sick less often (Fjortoft 2001, Grahn et al., 1997). • Children who attend schools that possess diverse natural backgrounds are more physically active, more nutrition conscious, behave better with each other, and are more creative (Bell and Dyment, 2006). The Ecology of Imagination in Childhood. Columbia University Press, 1977.
• The more time children spend outdoors, there will be less myopia rates in children and adolescents (Rose et al., 2008)
Contact with nature improves creativity, a sense of wonder, cooperation, empathy, and problem solving in children.
• Children who grow their own food are more likely to eat fruit and vegetables (Canaris, 1995, Hermann et al., 2006), and show greater knowledge about nutrition (Koch, Waliczek, and Zajicek, 2006). • Contact with and observing nature helps reduce heart rate, and lessens stress in children, according to the ‘Health and Protected Areas in Spain’ study, prepared by EUROPARC. Emotional and Social Benefits Contact with nature stimulates self-esteem, empathy, solidarity, peace, and resilience. • Plants and green landscapes reduce stress in highly stressed children. Places with greater number of plants, green landscapes, and access to natural game areas boast more significant results (Wells and Evans, 2003). • Gardens and vegetable gardens in schools improve children’s learning and behavior (Blair, 2009). • Having plants in the classroom benefits children’s emotions, behaviors, and health (Han, 2009). • Being outdoors stimulates children’s independence and autonomy by improving selfdiscipline and self-control (Bartlett, 1996). • Playing in natural spaces reduces violence, intimidation, vandalism, littering, and damaging nature (Coffey, 2001, Malone and Tranter, 2003, Moore and Cosco, 2000).
ï&#x20AC;µ Racchi. Urubamba, Cusco.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that children play outdoors and exercise at least 60 minutes a day.
• When children play in natural environments, their play is more diverse, imaginative, creative, fostering linguistic and collaborative skills (Faber Taylor et al, 1998, Fjortoft, 2000, Moore and Wong, 1997).
Puerto Prado. Nauta, Loreto.
• Children who play in nature have more positive feelings towards others (Moore, 1996). • Children are smarter, more able to get along with others, healthier and happier, when they can frequently play freely and unstructured outdoors (Burdette and Whitaker, 2005). • Nature buffers the impact of life stress on children and helps them cope with adversity in both urban and rural areas (Wells and Evans, 2003). • Nature instills a sense of peace and of being in harmony with the world (Crain, 2001). For the reasons stated above, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that children play outdoors and exercise at least 60 minutes a day.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;Let the children be free; encourage them; let them run outside when it is raining; let them remove their shoes when they find a puddle of water; and when the grass of the meadows is wet with dew, let them run on it and trample it with their bare feet; let them rest peacefully when a tree invites them to sleep beneath its shade; let them shout and laugh when the sun wakes them in the morning. â&#x20AC;&#x153; MarĂa Montessori
MOTHER EARTH’S NURTURING SKILLS During my childhood, the garden was the safest and most fraternal place. To it, I attribute my feeling of brotherhood with nature and my instinct to take care of it. There I learned that a person can never replace the skills of a flower, a butterfly, a tree, a dog, or grass to nurture sensitivity, awe, empathy, security and so much more in us.
“Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another.” Juvenal Due to multiple investigations, it is known that regular and positive contact with nature during our first 12 years of life is fundamental for the development of values and attitudes in favor of taking care of the environment and our planet (Cohen and Horm, 1993; Wilson, 1993; Sobel, 1990, 1996 and 2004; Kellert, 2002). The three factors identified as the most determinant for the development of behavior in favor of the environment in children are: free unstructured play in nature, the presence of an adult who nurtures their curiosity and love for their environment, and participation in significant activities that contribute to the environment at home, at school and/or in their community (Chawla and Derr, 2012). Studies by precursors David Sobel (1993), Roger Hart (1997), David Hutchison (1998), Diane Gordon (2001), as well as Peter Kahn and Stephen Kellert (2002), define three stages during childhood and adolescence in which nurturing and developing a link with Mother Earth takes place. The Stage Where Children Develop Emotions Towards Nature (0 to 6 years) “If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow.”
Above: Fuerabamba, Apurimac. Opposite page: caring for pets develops empathy and responsibility in the little ones.
Early childhood is far-reaching regarding children’s intelligence, personality and social behavior formation. It’s the stage when more brain connections are made, when they make language their own, when they understand local culture, when they discover the potential of their body and mind, when they build their identity, and when they acquire skills to live with others. They learn mostly through unstructured play. In this sense, nature offers a comprehensive, organic, and inclusive space stimulating sensory exploration by seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and tasting. Which in turn leads them to feel, think, say, and do. Playing in nature stimulate fantasy, creativity, gaze, questioning, and motor skills. It Teaches them to fall and rise, to overcome obstacles, to face fears, to develop selfconfidence, and to become autonomous. The presence of water, sand, plants of various species, and other elements of nature enrich children’s experience while they play. Of all of the elements mentioned, the presence of grass is important, as it is a space that parents or guardians perceive as safe, and they transmit this to their children, granting them greater freedom and independence, strengthening their self-confidence, and bonding with what is “green”. Complementing outdoor play and other actions such as planting and watering plants, interactions with animals awakens many emotions in children. An example of how amazed children are with animals is that animals are present in 80% of their dreams (Acuff, 1997, Patterson, 2000). Caring for animals fosters a sense of responsibility towards living beings in children. This transcendence is well expressed by Mahatma Gandhi when he says: the greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated. In this stage, children shape their world vision based on experiences with their environment. If they have had a safe place where they can freely move and their parents or guardians motivates them to do so, they will explore new spaces with that same attitude. If their world has been an insecure and dangerous place, limited by the fears of those who guide them, it is likely that they will face the unknown with that same attitude.
ï&#x20AC;µ San Juan de Miraflores, Lima.
The Stage of Interdependence and Bonding with Nature (6 to 12 years) “The heart of childhood, from seven to eleven, is the critical period for bonding with the earth.” David Sobel. In this stage, exposure to the natural world increases and an impression of seconds can last a lifetime. Their motor skills, curiosity, and the less supervision by adults leads them to explore new territories. This allows them to develop their identity far away from family environments and from adults. At a cognitive level, they can already perform geological, chemical or biological observation activities in the environment. Ideal activities are those that entertain, are affective, experiential and have purpose. What they can see or touch and imagine mobilizes them. Some examples are playing and doing outdoor sports, looking for treasures, becoming acquainted with nature mysteries and legends around a campfire, camping, swinging on a “liana”, rescuing and caring for animals, having their own space to raise plants and build small worlds, castles, fortresses or hiding places. The latter activity is significant because their “I” is fragile and they need to protect it when they transgress the boundaries of what “they are allowed to do”. Creating these spaces strengthens their self-esteem. The Stage of Involvement in Local and Global Environmental Problems (12+ years) “I’m encouraging young people to be entrepreneurs in social enterprises and to contribute to the world, instead of just making money. Making money is not fun. Contributing and changing the world is much more fun.” Muhammad Yunus. In this stage, the sense of purpose is cultivated and strengthened and the talents of children and adolescents are channeled to create a better world. In this age range they already have the skills to understand and to participate in more abstract and global issues, to learn practices that are beneficial to them and their environment, and to measure the impact of their actions. The direct and positive interaction with nature promotes socialization, selfesteem, freedom, independence, physical development, security, entrepreneurship, decisionmaking, solidarity, tolerance, responsibility and teamwork. Ideal activities are excursions, adventure sports, participating in scientific research, developing sustainable productive projects, supporting domestic and wild animal shelters, among other activities.
The ability of Mother Earth to nurture healthy, empathetic, and good-hearted citizens is an environmental service that we must value and spread. To activate it, children must grow up in regular and in positive contact with nature. As a result, they will take care of her. This symbiosis between the natural world and human beings is for us the missing link for a sustainable world.
AN UNSUSTAINABLE WORLD With insulating soles, looking at a screen, and our mind thinking about our pocket, nature is now perceived as a decorative element, unnecessary, subordinated to our interests. Far from having a symbiotic relationship with Mother Earth, we damage her to “live better”.
“The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.” Mahatma Gandhi
In a union-and-love relationship with the natural world, people take what is necessary, things are shared, we are grateful, suffering is avoided, and we let things rest and replenish. There is well-being and growth when the person, the community, and nature are healthy. The original cultures, such as the Quechua of South America, the Indians of North America, the Bushmen of Africa and the Aborigines of Australia taught us this. Today, they are the minority and a culture of discord and fear prevails. Since the time we exist as a species, about 195,000 years ago, we have not altered ecosystems as much as in the last decades. Instead of properly managing ecosystems we have degraded them with voracity. Apparently, the turning point was between the 1960s and 1970s. Instead of paying attention to the first voices of warning and shaping the economy and technology as tools to move towards a sustainable world, we bit the apple. Not satisfied with this, and putting aside the well-being of others, we calibrated our minds to possess more without considering the carrying capacity of ecosystems. The economy stopped being at the service of the Earth and the Earth started to be at the service of the economy. The end and the means were reversed and in that process we lost our purpose. With petroleum, the industrialization of cheap and disposable products such as plastic and other synthetic polymers was catalyzed. With television and corporate marketing they sold
us new needs and made consumerism our creed. This increased the demand for fossil fuels, the contamination of air, water and land, and damage to plants and animals. Differences and inequality were accentuated between human groups and the less favored ones who raised their voices to protect their family and lands were silenced with money, fear, and violence, as well as being disgraced. We learned that success is measured by the material wealth that people possess, that money and technology are above the values for which they are used, and that military force is essential to safeguard peace and freedom. The explosion of social networks and smart phones, which catapulted the virtual world, turning it into the center of gravity of our personal and work relationships came with the millennium. New generations found a more inclusive, free, and aesthetic space that gives them emotions that the real world can no longer provide for. As a 12-year-old child told me â&#x20AC;&#x153;in real life we cannot go to higher levels, but in the virtual world, we canâ&#x20AC;?. Meanwhile, on a distant planet called Earth, the ecosystems are weakened and with them the hope of billions of people to access a better life.
OUR IMPACT ON THE PLANET The way how we move our sword when walking, petals or thorns will step barefoot on them.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish been caught, and the last stream poisoned, will we realize we cannot eat money.â&#x20AC;? Cree Indian Prophecy
Calculating the Impact In order to know the impact we have on our planet, we must first understand what ecological footprint and biocapacity is. Ecological footprint is the total area of biologically productive land and water needed to provide what humanity consumes, as well as absorb the waste it generates. It includes land for cultivation, grazing and urbanization; fishing areas and productive forests; and the forest area required to absorb the additional carbon dioxide emissions that oceans cannot absorb. The sum of these areas is called global hectares (Hag). According to the Living Planet report of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), in 2010, the global ecological footprint was 18,100 million Hag and the world population consisted of 7,000 million people, resulting in 2.6 Hag per capita. Biocapacity is the biologically productive surface of land and water to be cultivated, in addition to pastures and forests. In 2010, the global biocapacity was 12,000 million Hag or 1.7 Hag per capita. The difference between the ecological footprint (demand for resources) and biocapacity (available resources), is the ecological deficit and occurs when our demand for environmental services exceeds what Mother Earth can replace. It is estimated that we have been living in
It is estimated that we have been living in ecological deficit since 1970, when there were 3.7 billion people in the world. Since then we emit more carbon than forests and oceans can absorb.
ecological deficit since 1970, when there were 3.7 billion people in the world. Since then we cut down trees faster than the time they need to mature; we catch more fish than the oceans, rivers and lakes can replenish; and we emit more carbon than the forests and oceans can absorb. As a result, fishing collapses, forest covers decrease, the available fresh water decreases, pollution increases, the climate changes, conflicts over resources aggravate, the number of refugees and migration increase as well as diseases, hunger among other calamities. According to the Global Footprint Network, the “Earth’s Overcapacity Day” is the date on which we spent the natural resources corresponding to that year. In the year 2006, it was during the first days of October; in 2014, it was on August 19; the following year it happened on August 13; and in 2016, it turned out to be on August 8. If now we need 1.5 planets to sustain us, it is estimated that by the year 2030 we will need the equivalent of two planets. This is an unequivocal indicator that we live unsustainable lifestyles, weakening the ability of the planet to provide for the conditions allowing for our specie to exist.
Website of the Ministry of the Environment of Peru. http://www. minam.gob.pe/ cambioclimatico/ por-que-el-peru-esel-tercer-pais-masvulnerable-al-cambioclimatico/ 3
It is important to note that countries with higher incomes have the highest ecological footprint per capita and emit the largest amount of greenhouse gases (GHG). On the contrary, countries with the lowest incomes are those that have the lowest ecological footprint and suffer the greatest damage to their ecosystems. Peru, despite only emitting 0.4% of global GHGs, is the third most vulnerable country to climate change after Bangladesh and Honduras. According to figures from the Ministry of the Environment of Peru3, between 1997 and 2006, droughts, torrential rains, floods, huaicos [flash floods], frosts, and hailstorms increased more than six times. Indicators of our Impact on Nature In 2004, the “Millennium Ecosystem Assessment” (UN), revealed that 60% of the environmental services that allow life on Earth were being degraded by our action. In 2014, the “Living Planet Report” (WWF) revealed that in the last 50 years, our impact on
the biosphere, that is, on the layer of air, water, and land in which all life develops and that includes from the ocean floors to approximately 10 kilometers of altitude in the atmosphere, is unprecedented. For example, it is known that since 1970 the vertebrate population in the world, i.e. the number of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, has been reduced by half. Additionally, we have accelerated the natural process of species extinction by 1,000 times, mainly through the destruction of natural habitats. Impact on Air The troposphere is the layer of the Earth’s atmosphere that is in contact with the surface of the Earth and extends to an altitude of about 10 kilometers approximately. It is a very thin layer of air where all meteorological and climatic processes that allow life are developed. If we compare an apple with our planet and make a cross section, the shell of the apple is wider than the troposphere. Carbon dioxide (CO2), water vapor, methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and ozone (O3) are gases that are naturally found in the Earth’s atmosphere and serve to capture a part of solar energy. These allow the surface to be kept warm and, therefore, make life possible on the planet. These compounds are known as Greenhouse Gases (GHG). In recent decades, GHG concentrations have increased significantly due to the burning of fossil fuels and the expansion of agriculture and livestock, causing an increase in the global average temperature of the atmosphere and oceans by 0.8 ° C. This phenomenon is known as “global warming”. As a consequence of global warming there has been a change in global climate, what we call today “climate change”, generating, among others, heat waves, floods, storms, droughts, fires, meltdowns, and outbreaks of new diseases and other diseases that had already been eradicated. Proof of this is that in the first half of the 20th century there was an average of 12 disasters per year and in 2004, 3,507 disasters were reported4.
4 United Nations Children’s Fund, Regional Office for East Asia and the Pacific. Emergencies: Refugees, IDPs and child soldiers; natural disasters. UNICEF EAPRO, Bangkok, 2005, p. 6
In 2014, the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), revealed the following: • The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased since pre-industrial times (1750), by 40%, mainly due to the burning of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, and coal) that we use to transport ourselves, to use in our homes, factories and electric plants. Also due to logging, forest burning, and cement production.
Plastics found in the stomach of a baby albatross on the Midway Islands, located more than 2,000 kilometers away from any continent and where people do not live.
• Since the same year, methane levels have increased by 250% as a result of human activities related to agriculture, livestock, and natural gas production and garbage dumps. • Additionally, the level of nitrous oxide has increased by 20% as a result of the use of fertilizers and the burning of fossil fuels. Impact on Water 97.5% of the water on Earth is found in oceans and salt water seas. The remaining 2.5% is fresh water. Of the total fresh water, 69% is in a solid state in the form of ice, icebergs and glaciers. 30% is in a liquid state in streams, rivers, lakes, lagoons, marshes and groundwater. The remaining 1% is in a gaseous state forming air and clouds. • The majority of glaciers in the world might disappear before the year 2050. • Half of the world’s rivers are in danger and/or contaminated. • Half of the wetlands, which cover less than 1% of the planet’s surface, have disappeared.
24% of the surface of the Earth has been transformed into agricultural fields, and 30% of it has been abandoned in the last 40 years.
• More than 60% of the world’s reefs are in danger of disappearing. These ecosystems contain life as rich and as varied as that found in tropical forests. Its loss is due to the acidification of the oceans as a consequence of carbon dioxide absorption. • There are approximately 400 dead oceanic areas that cover an area of 245,000 km². A “dead zone” is an area where the oxygen level in the water is very low or zero and where there is no aerobic life. It occurs in maritime areas where rivers or rain runoff spill waters laden with industrial and agricultural waste. These areas have also started to appear in rivers and lakes. • In the Pacific Ocean there is a 4-million-ton island of floating garbage in an area of approximately 1,400,000 km², located between Hawaii and California. In this “plastic soup”, which occupies an area larger than the territory of Peru, for each kilogram of plankton there are 6 kilograms of plastic. 80% of this waste comes from land areas and 20% from ships. • In the Atlantic Ocean there is another similar area, which occupies approximately 700,000 km². • More than 75% of natural fish supply fish supply has disappeared or is in the process of disappearing, largely due to industrial fishing. • 90% of the main sea predators, such as tuna, swordfish, and shark are in danger of disappearing. • More than 75% of freshwater species has decreased their populations due to loss and fragmentation of their habitats, pollution, and invasive species.
A major issue is the drastic decline in bee population. The Earth Watch Institute has considered this species as the most valuable species on the planet.
Impact on Earth The land area that makes up the continents and islands represents 25% of our planet. The terrestrial ecosystems that exist are forests, bushes (shrubs, xerophiles, and moors), grasslands (meadows, steppes, and savannahs), tundras, deserts, wetlands (marshes, mangroves, wetlands, estuaries, reed beds, among others), and the human ecosystem. The human ecosystem is composed of non-natural spaces, controlled or intervened by human beings. It includes urban areas, as well as rural areas which are used for crop fields, animal husbandry, mines, logging, etc. It also includes artificial or intervened ecosystems, such as the creation of forests, ponds, introduction of new species, abandonment of fields, desertification, among others. These are some figures that help understand the impact of human beings on the earth’s surface: • 24% of the surface has been transformed into agricultural fields. • 30% of arable land has been abandoned in the last 40 years. • 50% of the world’s forests has disappeared and forest areas with the greatest biodiversity are in danger. • 35% of the world’s mangroves has disappeared. • 39% of terrestrial species has decreased their populations between 1970 and 2010 due to habitat loss due to the expansion of agriculture land, urban development, and energy production. Uncontrolled hunting is also one of the causes. • The volume of waste per inhabitant in the industrialized countries in the last 20 years has increased by 300%. • The beef cattle breeding industry is the most destructive economic activity in terrestrial ecosystems.
OUR IMPACT ON CHILDREN Children are the human group that is most vulnerable to environmental degradation and climate change. Their condition and the way we raise them reflect our level of consciousness and vision of the future. They are the canary in the coal mine of humanity.
“Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth”. Chief of the Seattle Tribe 30% of the world population is made up of children. They eat, breathe, and drink more than other humans in proportion to their weight. For example, they drink almost 2.5 times more water than an adult. Therefore, they absorb more toxins present in food, air, and water. As their bodies are developing, these toxins affect their cells and organs in greater magnitude, exposing them to malformations and different kinds of disease. This, coupled with their natural curiosity and undeveloped capacity to discern what is dangerous from what is not, makes them more vulnerable when they touch, manipulate, taste, and ingest materials harmful to their health.
Puerto Prado. Nauta, Loreto.
In places of greatest poverty, and especially in developing countries, children are the most vulnerable group regarding environmental degradation and climate change5. They are victims of malnutrition, acute respiratory infections, diarrhea, malaria, and other diseases transmitted by vectors sensitive to climatic variations. They are also more susceptible to traumas caused by forced migration, separation from their families, exploitation by armed groups, sexual trafficking, and violence in general. Additionally, as environmental degradation and climate change move forward, in an underlying way, another equally worrisome topic moves forward: children’s disconnection from nature. Children’s Disconnection with the Natural World The great migrations of animals in the world are well known. Some animals do it to get away from extreme climates, others do so by fleeing predators, and others because they are in search of food. The story is not very different with our specie. However, in the last 50 years
5 UNICEF. (2007). Climate change and childhood. New York: United Nations Children’s Fund.
“Nature Deficit Disorder” is a phrase coined to describe the human costs of alienation from nature. Some of the symptoms in children are learning disorders, obesity, stress, hyperactivity, chronic fatigue and depression.
the two largest human migrations have been: the migration from rural to urban areas and the migration from the real to the virtual world. As a result, we have distanced ourselves and disconnected ourselves from the natural world to the point of believing that our well-being is independent of the state of Mother Earth. In 1970, the world population consisted of approximately 3.7 billion people. 37% of the world population lived in cities and the rest in the countryside. At that time, children had unlimited access to nature and outdoor spaces. They spent most of their leisure time in gardens, parks, sidewalks, courtyards, vacant lots, and other “left over” spaces in the cities or fields, forests, beaches, cliffs, and more (Moore, 2004, White and Stoecklin, 1998). In 2007, the world population exceeded 6.7 billion people and 50% of the world population lived in cities. It is estimated that by the year 2030 the world population will reach 8.4 billion and 60% will live in cities. As the years go by, there is a tendency for children to be exposed to fewer natural spaces. There will be fewer trees to climb, fewer spaces to build hiding places and to see a butterfly fly, fewer places to throw stones in puddles and to sleep on the grass. The biologist Robert M. Pyle has called this phenomenon “the extinction of experience”. The causes are: the destruction and cementation of natural areas where people used to play, overload of structured activities that parents impose on their children, growing insecurity, fear for the unknown, traffic, the notion that parents have of the earth and of the bugs as dirt and danger, and entertainment offerings in non-natural and virtual spaces. Just as Al Gore alerted us on climate change and opened the eyes of many on this issue, the journalist Richard Louv, with the publication of his book “Last Child in the Woods”, did the same with the impact that is coming due to children’s growing disconnection with the natural world. Reading the book we learn, that the territory explored by a child who grew up in the
1990s is a ninth part of the territory explored by a child that grew up in the 1970s. This reality should lead us to reflect and question how we raise our children, especially to those parents who, forty years ago, were playing barefoot, without adult supervision, freely running around, and exploring new territories. Nature Deficit Disorder The “nature deficit disorder”, so named by Louv, describe the human costs of alienation from nature. Some of the symptoms in children are learning disorders, obesity, stress, hyperactivity, chronic fatigue, and depression. Louv explains, for example, that children who live in the city, in comparison to those who live in the countryside, are more fearful, develop more allergies, have more problems of being overweight or obese, are more hyper, speak louder, are more nervous and insecure, and get bored faster. On the contrary, children who live in the countryside get sick less, can concentrate better, and are self-disciplined. They have better motor skills and balance, and are more nimble. They are also more imaginative, have greater skills to have fun and collaborate in groups. They observe more, reason better, and have more inner peace. Studies Carried out on this Subject Inform Us That: • In the United Kingdom, in a single generation, the typical area of a household in which an eight-year-old child can wander off on his own was reduced by more than 90% (Children’s Play Council, 2004).
• In the United Kingdom, children between the ages of 11 and 15 years, on average, spend 50% of their time in front of a monitor. • In the US, over a period of six years (1997-2003), the number of children who have outdoor hobbies was reduced by 50%. • In the US, 70% of mothers played outdoors with they were children every day. Today, only 31% of their daughters and sons do so (Clements, 2004). • In the US, children and young people between the ages of 8 and 18 years spend an average of 53 hours a week connected to an electronic device (research performed by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 2010). • In the US, most people can identify hundreds of corporate logos, however, they cannot identify 10 species of plants in their own neighborhood6. • According to a study published by The Guardian, in 10 countries, maximum security prisoners spend more time outdoors a day (two hours) than children (less than an hour). Impact on Children’s Development If you ask a child where the milk comes from, s/he answers: from the supermarket; if you ask him/her to draw a chicken, s/he draws a leg of a roasted chicken; and if on a sunny day the child prefers to play with the computer or tablet instead of playing in the park or garden, most likely the child is lacking positive and regular contact with nature. Many studies reveal that not growing up in natural spaces affects children’s cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development. Regarding cognitive concerns, for example, more severe symptoms are observed in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who play on asphalt or places without vegetation, regardless of family income (University of Illinois). It has also been observed that people who do not have green views and less immediate access to green places they cognitively significantly function less. Regarding physical concerns, for example, there is a correlation between less contact with nature and the increase in obesity, rickets, asthma, myopia (Nowak, 2004) and a decrease in cardiorespiratory fitness. There is also a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among infants, children and adolescents, which increases the risk factor for the development of various diseases such as cardiovascular and cancer diseases. Regarding social and emotional concerns, for example, there is a correlation between less contact with nature and the perception of having a less positive life. It has been found that impulse control is poorer, the feeling of gratification is lower, and that aggression and violence are more frequent if you do not have contact with nature. It has also been found that the strength of community ties weaken and therefore people are less courteous, and communal spaces are used less. There is less mutual support, and, in general there is more noise, garbage, illegal activity, crimes against property, gangs and violence.
6 Miller J. R. 2005. Biodiversity conservation and the extinction of experience. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 20: 430-434
OUR IMPACT ON HUMANITY Experts fear that if children do not develop affection and respect for the natural world at an early age, there is a risk that they will never be able to do so again. If they grow up disconnected from nature, they will not defend it, and when adults, they will be indifferent to the damage they cause her.
“We cannot win this battle to save species and environments without forging an emotional bond between ourselves and nature as well – for we will not fight to save what we do not love” Stephen Jay Gould Mother Earth Attachment Disorder We know that experiences during our childhood transcend the rest of our lives and that it is during this period that we develop the “emotional bond”, that is, the emotional relationship between a child and the person who nurses or takes care of him/her. We also know that during the first months of life skin-to-skin contact, breastfeeding, and good eye contact between mother and child strengthen the bond and allow for a flow of affection between them. When the emotional bond is strong, children’s anxiety lowers and children are more secure in order to face new situations.
The infrastructure of many educational institutions resembles that of a factory, and in some cases, that of a prison.
On the contrary, when the emotional bond weakens or is non-existent, the lack of attachment produces anxiety in children and makes them fearful and makes them feel insecure with their environment.This occurs when the mother physically disappears, when parents are not competent in order to bring up the child, and/or when they are partially deprived of affection due to the long time that the mother or father dedicates him/herself to work. The symptoms that then arise are: hyperactivity, attention deficit, impulsivity, rebellion, pessimism, distrust, emotional instability, and ease with which some type of addiction develops. This is called “attachment disorder”. In our opinion, today humanity suffers from a Mother Earth attachment disorder, since humanity is showing the same symptoms as the symptoms of a child who suffers when s/he is separated from his/her mother. The population that is not in touch with nature increases every day, and with it the fear and distrust for their environment.
Education of an Unsustainable World In a culture where success is independent of the well-being of other persons and of nature, education will pay little attention to the social and natural environment of learners. In this type of culture, the prevailing education model has its roots in the industrial age, where school is the means to â&#x20AC;&#x153;formatâ&#x20AC;? children to turn them into adults who serve that model of development. An indicator of this model is the infrastructure of educational institutions resembling the infrastructure of a factory and the similar practices to those of operators are applied with students. Until a few years ago, in Peru, the government and the private sector have prioritized their efforts by investing in infrastructure, by making digital technology more accessible and by training teachers with the specific goal of making their students perform more. Over time, the walls have been raised isolating the learner from his/her environment; cement has increased leaving little or no space for green areas and other life forms; the source of knowledge has migrated from the experiential to what someone or something else says it must be; and hours of reading, writing, math, and science have increased stealing minutes and hours away from recreation, play, physical exercise, and expressive arts. As a result, the right side of our brain, where emotions, creativity, clarity of vision, intuition, non-linear thinking, develops, and which today humanity lacks and needs, has been inhibited. Led by the left side of our brains, we are mentally and emotionally disabled to face global challenges that threaten life and are nourished every day by our blindness and lack of reaction. Thus, education strengthens the unsustainable habits and customs that damage ecosystems. In places where this type of education prevails and moral values are weak, democracy contributes in order for bad practices to become institutionalized and perpetuated. Fortunately in Peru, for some years now in the education sector, there has been an important improvement in policies and practices that lead towards sustainable development. However, in the mentality of many people linked to formal and informal education, including parents, there is still a preference for educational practices that lead us towards unsustainability. Characteristics of an Education for Unsustainable Development Lack of Purpose and Emotion As in unwanted jobs, what students most crave is recess time and going home. Beyond the conditions offered by schools, if purpose is absent, there will hardly be emotion, and if there is no emotion, there will hardly be an improvement in learning. I remember when they were teaching me logarithms at school. We asked the teacher: Loga what? And his answer was: just learn! For the majority of us it was very difficult for the simple reason that what had been entrusted to the teacher to teach had no purpose. The same thing happened with the
other subjects and the same thing happened at other educational institutions. We would have learned better, for example, if the teacher had shown us the photo of an abandoned dog and asked if we would have wanted to build a house for him. I do not doubt that most students would have answered yes. And then he would have told us that in order for us to do so we needed to learn a tool called logarithms. Everything would have made more sense by understanding the tool not as an end but as a means to fulfill the purpose of helping to build a better world. As John Burroughs says: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Knowledge without love will not stick. But if love comes first, knowledge is sure to followâ&#x20AC;?.
Knowledge is Worth More than the Values with Which They Are Applied Indistinctly, if you are the best in math, language, and science you will be recognized and rewarded with hugs, prizes, trips, and scholarships. But if you have average grades and you stand out for being empathetic and supportive you will be the recipient of a star on your forehead. The best indicator of this is the school report card that shows the knowledge aquired by the students but not the values with which it is applied.. What is the use of students having the best grades if the acquired knowledge will be used to satisfy their needs regardless of the damage they cause to their environment. I remember a few years ago an event in which they awarded a professor from one of the best universities in the world, who upon receiving the award said he did not have much to celebrate, because the majority of executives responsible for the 2008 economic crisis came from that house of studies. Knowledge is a part of what needs to be assessed, the other part is how we use it in order to build a better and sustainable world. The lesson is that knowledge without values is a double-edged sword, and therefore, as Aristotle reminds us, “educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”
Lack of Green Areas and the Little Value People Give Them When They are Present A green or dirt area is always at risk of being covered by cement since its ability to raise values and provide emotional, mental, and physical health to students is ignored. When it is used as a pedagogical resource it is almost certain that it will be in the form of a horticulture garden. In general, 100% of the area will be used for productive purposes for direct consumption or sale, and unwanted animals or plants will be eliminated. In the horticulture garden we do not leave a space for nature to nourish itself and for it to provide environmental services. There is no place for flowers or for the pollinators they attract, for bushes and birds they shelter, or for a small pond with clean water for them to drink out of. Our contact with nature becomes operational and lacking in affection. In this way, we perpetuate practices that subordinate the natural world to our interests. It also happens when we recycle waste, turn off switches, and turn off faucets. We mechanically do it, with no emotion, because we lack an emotional bond with Mother Earth that allows us to feel joy in healing and caring for her. Practices that Generate Indifference towards the Natural World Activities in favor of the environment that do not contemplate a follow-up may end up generating indifference. For example, soon after planting trees in a park or cleaning a beach, a child who had participated in this activity walks by the place and sees that the trees that were planted are no longer there or the beach is dirty again. She will feel sad and frustrated but she will not have the opportunity to analyze the causes of what happened since the initial activity did not include other follow-up activities to check the state of the trees or the beach. Thus, she will spend years participating in similar actions with the same result and will have learned that what she does for her environment does not transcend. Then, as an adult, she will be a citizen who is indifferent to environmental problems that surround her. Another common action is to physically and visually separate the natural environment adjacent to the school with a perimeter wall. The message to the student is that “that other place is outside and does not matter”, thus generating indifference for what is beyond the wall. Practices that Generate Fear towards the Natural World Activities that expose children at an early age to abstract themes, difficult to understand and beyond their control, such as whaling and the melting of polar caps, can generate fear in them and rejection of nature. The specialists call it “Eco phobia” (Cohen and Horn-Wingerg, 1993, Coffey, 2001, Kellert, 2002, Sobel, 1996, Wilson, 1997). This can also occur when educational institutions place great emphasis on the prevention of risks against natural disasters without spending an equivalent amount of time knowing the benefits that Mother Earth offers us and developing an emotional bond with her.
TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE WORLD The more darkness, the greater the force of light. That truth always gives me hope as well as people who live with purpose. If we enable children and young people to adopt sustainable lifestyles by using their talents for their wellbeing and that of others, we will plant the seeds for a better world.
“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.” Pablo Neruda Achieving a sustainable world seems a utopia nowadays. It also seemed so when we learned how to walk and fell hundreds of times to be able to do so. Despite the enormous challenges facing humanity, we are still in time to globally rise to the challenge, as happened at the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP) in Paris in 2015. We will move towards a sustainable world if our actions have a positive impact on children and nature. If the indicators show otherwise, the rest will be illusion.
Racchi, Urubamba, Cusco.
What is a Sustainable World? According to the Oxford Dictionary “sustainable” means “conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources”. For the Six Nations Iroquois Indians it means that each decision that is made should take into account its impact on the next seven generations. A sustainable world in Western culture is synonymous with “sustainable development”, a term adopted by the United Nations that is defined as that development capable of satisfying current needs without compromising resources and possibilities of future generations. It is also defined as the balance between the economic, the social, and the environmental. In Andean culture, the related term is sumaq kawsay, also known as “living well”, “good living” or “living beautifully”. This is a way of life based on love and mutual respect among humans, nature, and deities. You live in fullness when you are in harmony and balance with Mother Earth and the beings that inhabit her.
Pisco Elqui, La Serena Chile.
Based on the above definitions, for us, sustainability means “that while it lasts it transcends in benefit of its environment”. For this, it is essential that our decisions and actions generate well-being for ourselves, other people, and nature. We call this the rule of thirds. “Wellbeing for oneself” is first, because we consider it essential that a person should be emotionally, physically, and mentally well to contribute to others in an optimal way. If we achieve a succession of sustainable actions that are enough in number and significant in impact until the global trend prospers based on social inclusion and regeneration of nature, then we will live in a more sustainable world. In this line of thought, James Lovelock, in his book The Revenge of Gaia, says: “I have asked myself if a small and densely populated nation like Britain could become viable and compatible with Gaia (planet Earth) in the long term by dividing it into three parts. One third for cities, industries, ports, airports, and roads. The second third for intensive agriculture, enough to grow what we need; and the last third for Gaia, so that it freely evolves without any type of interference or control “. Culture of Unity and Love To move towards a sustainable world, we must have a vision of how we want to live. For us, that vision is materialized in the “culture of unity and love”. This vision conceives the way of life on the principle that we are one with Mother Earth and Our purpose is to use our talents to generate well-being for ourselves, other people and nature. She is nourished by feelings, thoughts, words, and actions that raise, sustain, and celebrate life and its diversity, which are transmitted from one generation to another allowing us to progress to a state of greater empathy, compassion, inclusion, integration, coherence, freedom, and peace. In the culture of unity and love we honor nature, we do not conquer and exploit it. We listen and protect children and the elderly. We do not ignore them and we do not abandon them. That what is feminine is valued and respected, but not underestimated. Diversity is celebrated, not censored. Poverty is the lack of spirituality, not only the lack of materiality. Education and work are means for the fulfillment of our being, not for the stockpoling of the Self. The energy that moves us comes from love, not from fear. Aligned with Pope Francis’s feeling, in the culture of unity and love, “technology is always accompanied by ethics, self-limiting its power.” A Sustainable Lifestyle To create and sustain a culture of unity and love we must adopt a sustainable lifestyle, allowing for the decisions we make and the actions we take to not only generate benefits for us but
ï&#x20AC;µ Comas, Lima.
also for other people and nature. An example is when we are going to choose or consume a product, before deciding on the basis of price and quality, we ask ourselves if this product is good for others and good for nature considering its production, content, and packaging. At present, there are more and more seals that differentiate these products from others as “FSC”7 for products derived from sustainable forest management. To the extent that our demand for responsible products increases, supply will also increase, technology and innovation will evolve in that direction, and companies will generate economic profitability by solving social and environmental problems. The economy will administer the resources with the goal of increasing the population’s quality of life, regenerating ecosystems and their environmental services. In this line of thought, the entrepreneur Gunter Pauli developed the concept of “Blue Economy” that is based on biomimicry, that is, to take advantage of the accumulated knowledge of millions of years by nature to solve problems and create wealth by regenerating and maintaining healthy ecosystems. In the pursuit of sustainability, the indicator of a country’s wellbeing will no longer only be a function of economic growth (GDP) but it will also be based on social and environmental indicators such as the “Gross National Happiness” index that now prevails in Bhutan. Adopting a sustainable lifestyle is also living in equilibrium and harmony with oneself, cultivating spirituality, body, and mind. It is making the decisions that feed the heart and generate a feeling of fullness, such as the quality of time we spend with our children, our significant other, our parents and our grandparents and taking care of our health. Otherwise, as Pope Francis emphasizes, “... a logic of dominion over one’s own body is transformed into a sometimes subtle logic of dominion over creation”. In summary, adopting a sustainable lifestyle is using our talents to generate well-being in our emotional, social, and natural environment. It is making the decisions that unite and do not divide us. It is living purposefully by being caring and responsible for oneself and for others. It is being a good keeper of life and living with a good heart. Today the concept of Handprint is the symbol of individual actions that have a positive impact on the environment and sustainable development. Education for Sustainability or Sustainable Development As Paulo Freire says: “Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.” To adopt a sustainable lifestyle, and that this lifestyle can be institutionalized in
Forest Stewardship Council.
society, it is necessary that education evolves to an education for sustainability combining technology and experiential learning. As our purpose is to contribute to creating a better world, then education should be the vehicle that helps identify and nurture our talents or special skills in order to implement them and to generate well-being for ourselves, other people, and nature. This is called Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), and it is globally promoted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The goal is forming empathetic, capable, and good-hearted citizens who adopt a sustainable way of life. The spirit of the ESD lies in the emotions of personal worth and the transcendence that it generates in students to know that their purpose is to contribute to create a better world. That motivates them to learn by researching, inquiring, knowing and doing, for which they can count on nature as an ally. As Cicerón reminds us: “the study and contemplation of nature is the natural food of the intelligence and the heart.” A school that provides ESD has the following characteristics: • The vision and mission are visible. There are locally relevant and culturally appropriate. They inspire, and are known by all, and in their own way they manifest the importance of the environment and form students as change agents for a sustainable world. • Teachers are trained in the principles of ESD and apply them with love and enthusiasm. The question that guides them is: How will what we teach our students strengthen their abilities to create a better world? • Those teachers that stand out are valued and recognized and are assigned to train and inspire others. • The use of knowledge is valued equal to or more than knowledge itself. For example, being good at mathematics in itself has no significance until students implement the knowledge acquired not only for the well-being of themselves, but also of their environment. Scholarships, prizes, and other recognitions are granted to those who have the knowledge and values to contribute to a sustainable world. • Students permanently link acquired knowledge with the purpose of creating a better world. In order to do this, they develop critical skills, learn to discern truth from fantasy, to value money not as an end but as a means to create well-being, and acquire the skill to challenge injustice and violence.
ï&#x20AC;µ Talara, Piura.
ï&#x20AC;µ Ollantaytambo, Cusco.
Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is globally promoted by UNESCO. The goal is to form empathetic, capable, and good-hearted citizens who adopt a sustainable way of life.
• Games8, dance, sports, music, cooking, drawing, and other forms of art and expression are performed in order to nourish creativity, spirit, joy, culture, identity, companionship, solidarity, affection, peace, equity, inclusion, and unity. This is one of the main characteristics of the Finnish educational model, a benchmark in the world. Instead of reducing hours on these topics to increase time spent doing math, improving literacy, and science, these are included and practiced transversally with the first activities. • Emphasis is placed on sensorial activities and on developing empathy, compassion and nonviolence, especially in male students. To do this, dance, capoeira, yoga, art, growing plants, and breeding animals or other similar activities that contribute to nourish the right hemisphere of the brain and the expression of emotions are promoted. • People with different abilities are included so that they help nurture a good heart in the rest of their classmates. • As part of the educational infrastructure, as well as a library or a chemistry laboratory, there is a green area or natural space that is used as a pedagogical resource for transversal use. There, students are in direct contact with the land and practice nurturing with love and respect while they learn and implement the knowledge acquired on various subjects in order to build a better world. • Outdoor spaces with sunlight are used to grow native plants that serve as habitats for birds, pollinating insects, and other beneficial animals. • Animals and plants are also valued for their ability to promote values in us. For example to promote empathy and responsibility, educational institutions adopt dogs that are raised and cared for by their students.
8 In California, the NGO “Playworks” encourages children, during recesses, to voluntarily participate in a wide variety of games that generate multiple benefits in their development. This initiative is important because a large number of children when they have free time without having access to a screen get bored because they have lost the skills to create their own games.
As part of the educational infrastructure, as well as a library or a chemistry laboratory, there is a green area or natural space that is used as a pedagogical resource for transversal use.
• Responsible production and consumption are taught and practiced as school policy. The consumption of organic food is promoted through on-site production or in students’ homes, or supplied by local producers and according to the season. Also, as part of this learning process on how to prepare or cook healthy foods is taught. Junk food, the use of pesticides, and toxic cleaning utensils are prohibited. The segregation of inorganic solid waste, reuse, recycling, and the production of compost is promoted, always entailing that these activities involve emotion, and are not merely mechanically performed. Sustainability logos such as “FSC” and “Fair Trade” are taught. Energy and water are saved, and technology is used as a means to improve the environment. Classrooms, bathrooms, the dining room, the school kiosk, the library, natural areas, and other spaces reflect the good practices adopted. • Home is an extension of school and there students implement in the short term what they learn by motivating their families to adopt sustainable lifestyles. It is in the home where what is learned and internalized by children in school is made visible. For this, teachers and family members are aligned in word and action, and thus they transmit coherence, security, and confidence to students. The “task” of parents is to generate conditions so that children can implement their knowledge with values on a regular basis.
In original cultures, older adults act as teachers by transmitting their know-how and knowledge to children through daily tasks and storytelling. 9
• Teachers summon grandmothers and grandparents to regularly participate in school chores, in the growing of plants and caring for the natural areas, and sharing their wisdom and affection with students in various subjects and moments. For example, they help with literacy as storytellers in History, and during recesses providing affection and self-control in children by simply being present9. In this way, the intergenerational link is promoted, knowledge transfer, and emotional containment among children, teachers, and older adults of the community is strengthened. Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is globally promoted by UNESCO. The goal is to form empathetic, capable, and good-hearted citizens who adopt a sustainable way of life.
IE Nº 5048 “Ramón Castilla Marquesado”. Callao.
CHILDREN AND YOUNGSTERS AS CHANGE AGENTS FOR A SUSTAINABLE WORLD Mario Benedetti, Uruguayan writer and poet, asks one of the most lucid and relevant questions for these times: “If those responsible for the world are all venerable adults, and the world is as it is, shouldn’t we pay more attention to youngsters?”
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” Albert Einstein We live in an anthropocentric, androcentric, and adult-centric culture. The first considers human beings as the most significant entity of the universe, subjecting nature to its authority. The second one emphasizes male dominance, subjecting women to male authority. And the third one puts the adult in the center, subjecting children, youngsters and senior citizens under their authority. In this hierarchy we have at one end the adult male as king and at the opposite end we have girls as the most marginalized ones. We already know the result. It is time to internalize Einstein’s words and incorporate those who we do not listen to or see into the decision-making process.
Puerto Prado. Nauta, Loreto.
A Six Nations Indian woman, in Canada, told me that in the time of her ancestors,”contrarian” children were valued a lot, that is, those who thought and did things differently from the group. They nourished their skills and took care of them because when the time came that nobody else found the way out, they did. It is time to do the same with the “ignored”: nature, senior citizens, indigenous populations, people with different skills, youngsters, and children.
The current and potential contribution of children as change agents is invaluable, especially if we take into account that it is up to 12 years of age that human beings develop the majority of values and attitudes in favor of life and nature.
From an adult-centric perspective, children are perceived from the point of view of their shortcomings, that is, those skills and characteristics that they lack in order to be considered adults. They are always considered as “the future” and therefore their actions in the present do not count and they have no value for society. For example, there are no development indicators that assess the contribution of people under 18 years of age. The existing indicators are: how many are born, how many die, how many go to school, how many flunk the school year, how many drop out of school, how many work, how many are living in the street, are sick, etc. People under 18 years of age are also often manipulated as marketing tools for interests that are not their own. An example is when they march or when they demonstrate with slogans that they do not understand or are not of interest to them or when they appear next to a politician on a billboard. This type of subtle manipulation is known as “Tokenism”10. On the contrary, from a “Runa” perspective, children are perceived as full persons, with skills appropriate to their age that are important for the well-being of their community. Children easily learn, do what they like, express themselves corporally, smile, are curious, imagine, try new ways of doing things, share, cry, forgive, embrace, express their feelings, and talk with nature. They easily give and receive love. They are less afraid of failure as they show by falling hundreds of times until they learn how to walk. They have many of the virtues that humanity needs today to change and to build a better world.
Hart, R. (1992). Children’s Participation: From tokenism to citizenship. Innocenti Essay Nº 4, International Child Development Centre, Florencia. 10
According to positive psychology, in order to sustain and strengthen the virtues that children possess, their present and potential capacities need to be acknowledged and understood. They need to be considered not only as the future but also as the present and they must be aware of their personal strengths and their skills to help others. They need to regularly experience positive emotions and count on the regular presence of adults as guides and sources of love and security. Especially in their home and especially during the first four years of their lives
that is when we develop confidence and self-esteem. They need for their opinion to be taken into consideration, especially regarding the issues that directly impact their lives, such as their well-being, family, friends, and natural environment. Feeling valued and having their actions transcend generates hope in them and with this they strengthen empathy and willingness to learn and to undertake.
ď&#x20AC;ľ Racchi, Cusco.
The current and potential contribution of children as change agents is invaluable, especially if we take into account that it is up to 12 years of age that human beings develop the majority of values and attitudes in favor of life and nature. They are the main source of ideological and emotional renewal of society. They are axes and transmitters of affection and unity. They are a source of inspiration that mobilizes adults to act and change. They are cultural receptors and transmitters. Also, with the right conditions, they are defenders of nature and they are a mass consumer group with the capacity to promote the demand and supply of goods and services that generate well-being for people and nature. Those children that grow healthy, with a good heart, who participate, who are being heard and valued; when they are youngsters, they will have the skills to catalyze their impact and united they will be able to build and sustain a culture of unity and love. For this, it is important to promote intergenerational equity, positive contact with nature, and to consider the new generations as allies in building a better and sustainable world. When â&#x20AC;&#x153;reciprocal upbringingâ&#x20AC;? is institutionalized we will know that we are valuing children as change agents.
We will move towards a better world when the formula for sustainable development indicates that the health of both children and nature is improving and that children experience regular and positive contact with nature.
ANIA IS BORN After graduating from the university and not finding an organization where I could incubate my ideas, I decided to create a non-profit organization in Peru as a vehicle to carry out my mission during this lifetime.
“If you can dream it, you can do it. Walt Disney
To face climate change and environmental degradation, and meet the objectives of sustainable development, there is one action that we cannot stop doing and that is transversal to others: to develop love and respect for the natural world in the generations to come and the skills to adopt a sustainable lifestyle, generating well-being for ourselves, other people, and nature. To help achieve this goal the “Asociación para la Niñez y su Ambiente – ANIA” [Association for Children and their Environment] was born in 1995. Its mission is to promote initiatives that connect children and youngsters with nature and that empowers them as change agents by adopting and promoting sustainable lifestyles from their homes, educational institutions, and communities. Two years before, while at university, I learned that to participate, children need inspiration, safe spaces where they can implement what they feel and think, orientation, especially from role models, and be recognized as citizens with rights and competence to contribute. I also learned that they should play a protagonic role and not a symbolic one. They play a protagonic role when their voices are listened to, their opinions are taken into account regarding subjects that affect them, and their competence to contribute to society is recognized, promoted, and valued. Before graduating from the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University, my teacher, counselor, and friend, William Burch, told me: “always face the cause of the
Ania’s character has evolved significantly in its 20-year existence. Opposite page: A Sculpture of Ania in a Miraflores park, Lima, Peru.
problem, not the symptom. Go back to your country, live where you can nurture your passion, and not only when you know the problem, but when you feel it as yours, you will be able to contribute to its solution. “ After returning to Peru, in 1995, I moved to Madre de Dios, a region located in the southeastern part of the Peruvian Amazon. That year, in one of my trips to Lima, we founded the “Asociación para la Niñez y la Conservación de su Ambiente – ANICMA” [Association for Children and the Conservation of their Environment – ANICMA] with a number of people that were very close to me11. Soon we shortened the name to ANIA, Association for Children and their Environment. The vehicle to carry out my mission had been created. Between 1996 and 2009 a succession of initiatives took place that later would be articulated together to materialize an innovative proposal based on love and affection and respect for nature and for recognizing children as change agents for a sustainable world.
Carmen Banchero, Manuel Ugarte, Fiorella Cerruti, Pedro Pendola, and I. 11
Ania, the Character In 1997, after living in several native esa’eja communities in Madre de Dios, I returned to Lima for a few weeks. I always proudly showed photographs of the jungle and its people. One day, a female friend who saw the photographs told me: “why don’t you make ANIA’s logo transmit what these children transmit”. That afternoon I started to draw and the Ania character was born. Sitting on the Earth with a butterfly and a flower, she symbolizes an indigenous girl, considered the most marginalized human being on the planet. The butterfly represents the fauna and the flower the flora. Together they represent life. Ania also symbolizes the right hemisphere of our brain related to affection, empathy, creativity, and other skills that humanity lacks and needs today.
The Children’s Forest From 1995, the year that ANIA was founded, until the year 2000, I was involved in environmental education initiatives that involved producing manuals or textbooks, teacher training, and short-term and specific actions such as drawing contests, producing objects with recycled material or planting trees. That year I was hired by the “Asociación para la Conservación de la Cuenca Amazónica (ACCA)” [Association for the Conservation of the Amazon Basin (ACCA)], in order to achieve – together with a group of specialists – the first conservation concession in the country located in Madre de Dios. This challenge revolved around a clearly delimited and valued territory for its biological wealth and other environmental services. Thus, and thanks to a public-private partnership with the Government, the Rio Los Amigos conservation concession was born in 2001. During that time, I understood that environmental education would be strengthened if we included in its intervention strategy a specific territory where children could concentrate their actions and perceive improvements as a direct result of their decisions and actions over time. This is how the “Children’s Forest” initiative was born. In its conception, they influenced the initiative of the “Bosque Eterno de los Niños en Monteverde” Children´s Eternal Rainforest, Costa Rica; “Sueño 2” [Dream 2] of the Fundación para la Conservación de la Naturaleza (ProNaturaleza)” [Foundation for the Conservation of Nature (ForNature)]; and “el bosque de Camilo” [Camilo’s forest], the story of a Colombian boy and his bond with ¼ hectare of forest that his father gave him12. These initiatives already handled the concept of territoriality linked to environmental education, and their stories served as inspiration. Out of five Children’s Forests that we started, only one transcended and the others left us important lessons. It was the initiative in the community of the settlers of Boca Amigo, in the middle basin of the Madre de Dios River, where important results were achieved. The members of the community chose 10 hectares of secondary forest for their children. When they were delimiting the area they found flooded areas, poisonous snakes, among other setbacks. They reflected and realized that they had chosen the place of least value and greatest danger to their children. With another level of consciousness, they reconsidered the place and granted 10 hectares of primary forest in a nearby area, not floodable and with a high diversity of species. After a few months they expanded the area to 100 hectares. Thanks to the dedication of the ANIA team led by Vanessa Frías13, community members, researchers, and ACCA rangers, volunteers, and the support of several organizations, the children created their vision of the area: trails were created, various species of plants were demarcated, species of animals were identified, the forest was articulated into the school curriculum, crafts were produced with the parents, and a small workshop-lodging was built14. Antonio Brack and Rafo Leon filmed the experience and broadcast it on Peruvian TV through their programs La Buena Tierra and Tiempo de Viaje, respectively. Tourists began to arrive, who were greeted by the children and their families, experiencing joy, empathy, awe, and inspiration. Several Children’s Land methodology courses were held in that community. Interested people from different Peruvian Regions and countries such as Brazil, Bolivia and Chile attended these courses.
Images of the first “Children’s Forest” that transcended. Boca Amigo, Madre de Dios, Peru.
Camilo’s father is a member of the reserve network of the civil society in Colombia. 13 The team, including Vanessa Frias, was made up of Marcia Mendoza, Marta Torres, Angelica Portocarrero, Elizabeth Chulla, and several volunteers. 14 The Boca Amigo Children’s Forest initiative was made possible thanks to the financial support of the Matthiessen Foundation, ACCA, Sarah Dupont, Avina, Ashoka and Fondebosque. 12
In 2003, the “Consejo Nacional del Ambiente (CONAM)” [National Environmental Council (CONAM)], led by Carlos Loret de Mola, invited me to present the Children’s Forest experience in the “Eco-dialog event” that they organized every two years. At the end of the presentation, a lady asked me: “In my community there is no forest, but there is a hill ... could we make the little hill of the children? Then, others asked me if they could make the “dune of the children”, the “children’s beach”, the “children’s garden” ... Thus, the concept of the children’s forest evolved in the Children’s Land methodology, also known as TiNi in Spanish, which can be applied to diverse ecosystems, rural and urban areas, as well as in homes, educational institutions, and communities.
Previously, in 2005, with sponsorship from Bank Wiesse Sudameris and Rainforest Expeditions a contest was organized whereby participants filled in the blank text of a comic strip and the winner traveled with his family to a shelter in the jungle of Madre de Dios. 16 Thanks to the support and contact of Marina Tejada, this was produced by Kazzoo Audio and Joe Quispe at no cost at all with the voices of several Peruvian talented actors such as Monica Sanchez, Miguel Iza, Christian Thorsen, Pipo Gallo, and the music of Pepe Chiriboga. Thanks to Scotiabank’s financing and the management of Giulia Sanmarco, the audio tape was recorded on a DVD that accompanied the stories. 15
Comic Strips With the idea of promoting the character of Ania, we organized a contest among cartoonists to create a comic strip using the logo as a reference. Among the participants, Juan Carlos Semino stood out. Since then he has been responsible for diagramming the character and its evolution. In 2007, thanks to the management of Alberto Servat, Ania was included as a comic strip on the amenities page, in section C of the Peruvian newspaper El Comercio15, she ran for nearly two years. The Story In 2003, after spending some time in the woods, I had a dream in which someone told me a story. Upon awakening, wrapped in a halo of inspiration, with a pencil and some pieces of paper as allies, I did not stop writing for an hour. When I read what I had written I asked myself where did this story come from. My mind had no answer but my heart had and I smiled. The next four hours I sculpted what I had written. Two months later the same thing happened and the story was completed. It was the story of Ania together with the Lucina, the flower, Bea, the butterfly, Curhui and Huinsi, the ants, Tawa, the grandfather and Meshi, the tree. A few years later, with the creative team of ANIA, which consisted of Ursula Leyva, Juan Carlos Semino, and Alfredo Suarez, we managed to edit and plot the story. In 2006, thanks to Renzo Mariategui’s management, Ania’s story was published in a three-volume collectible together with the Peruvian newspaper El Comercio. The titles of the books were: “Ania y la voz del mundo” [Ania and the Voice of the World], “Ania y el camino al Dorado” [Ania and the Road to El Dorado], and “Ania y el tesoro del bosque” [Ania and the Treasure of the Forest].
ď&#x20AC;ľ The evolution of the comic strips. Top: 2007; center: 2009; below: 2014.
Above: Ania’s three original stories. Right: Story: Nature’s Great Treasure.
After years of walking with the doll in Peru and in other countries, we have seen how she breaks the barrier of adult centrism and how she manages to bring out tenderness and affection in children and adults.
From left to right: the evolution of the Ania doll in 2004, 2009, and 2015.
Each book came with a CD audio of each story in Spanish16. In 2013, the three original stories were published in a single volume, entitled “El gran tesoro de la naturaleza” [Nature’s Great Treasure]17. That same year an agreement was signed with the Ministry of Education to include it in classroom libraries. As a result, the volume was distributed to 127,000 classrooms in elementary public schools throughout the country. In 2015, the story was accessible to more than 2.5 million children in Peru. The Doll In 2006, at an event in the Swiss Alps, I met the famous primatologist Jane Goodall. We became friends. Through her, I met her stuffed monkey, Mr. H, who has accompanied her to more than 60 countries and has been touched by over 2.5 million people adding magic to her message. Upon arriving in Lima, inspired by Jane and Mr. H. we set a goal of making an Ania doll to accompany me and help transmit our mission. Months later, Alfredo Suarez managed to design the doll and with a group of women artisans created several copies that we included as part of our educational material. In a short time we witnessed the doll’s magic. The girls were immediately impacted, they smiled at the doll, hugged, and spoiled it. At the sites where the doll stayed, they wove clothes and the doll dressed like them. The boys reacted quite differently. They mocked and beat her. However, after showing off their male chauvinism in front of others, affection radiated out of them and they embraced it in anonymity. In meetings with adults, women immediately connected with the doll and men not so much. However, after a few minutes the atmosphere turned genuine and enjoyable. As we say among ourselves, “Ania does her thing”.
This new version of the story was diagrammed with updated images and characters from the World of Ania and Kin. Writer Eileen Cabling collaborated in its drafting.
After years of walking with the doll in Peru and other countries, we have seen how she breaks through the barrier of adult centrism and manages to bring out the tenderness and affection in girls, boys, and adults. Personally, she has always taken care of me, especially when I speak in public, since I place her at the height of where my heart is and it relaxes me when I see that people look at her and not at me.
Ania and Kin’s World In 2010, the El Comercio Group, through Julio Noriega, got interested in the character of Ania and her story. The idea was to promote her on a global scale. He was joined by Olga Arana, a Los Angeles producer; Eileen Cabling, a writer who had worked for Disney; a group of Brazilian and Peruvian creative people; and Jack Shee, the animation director of the South Park series. After some years of creative process, the original characters and history were enriched with new characters, locations and designs, making them more attractive for children in urban and rural areas. The city was added to the forest, Kin joined Ania as her brother, and technology was added to nature. Alongside Kin, new characters were created such as Lata Data, a portable device made of reused materials; Glup, the little fish that symbolizes aquatic ecosystems; the monster of the compost pit, called Guacala and the “bum ba bum” band composed of various solid waste. Thus, the World of Ania and Kin was born. The goal was for Ania and her world to serve as a bridge between imagination and reality, inspiring and guiding children to live in harmony with nature and adopt sustainable lifestyles. After signing a property and rights contract with the El Comercio Group, in 2016, the Group signed an agreement with Discovery Kids to broadcast the animated micro-episodes of Ania and Kin’s World in Latin America. In this way, we moved towards our goal of having this initiative reach children around the world. Like several tributaries that form a great river, the Ania character, the children’s forest, the comic strips, the story, the doll, and Ania and Kin’s World converged to strengthen the Children’s Land methodology and to propagate it in Peru and other countries.
CHILDREN’S LANDS “Yachapas llaqta”, in the Andean world, means “territory that inspires to live”. There, reciprocal upbringing takes place. There is affection and the harvest is shared among people, animals, plants, and the soil. The landscape is cheerful, full of life, and transcends from the physical to the spiritual. Those who nourishes, cares for, and beautifies the territory nourishes, cares for, and embellishes him/herself.
‘’We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” Indian proverb A Children’s Land is a space granted by adults to children and youngsters, so that through it they can raise life and biodiversity. They relate to nature, develop empathy, and other skills that allow them to adopt a sustainable life style. It is a space where they can develop and implement their vision of a better world for a “good living”. The adult role is to facilitate children’s protagonism, guide them, and protect the space so that what they do in it, transcends. In Children’s Lands we apply the rule of thirds. The decisions and actions that are undertaken must generate as a result well-being for whoever does it, for their family and/or other people, and for nature. If you make a Children’s Land in pots, you have to have at least three plants and dedicate one to each third part. Children learn that in managing space and territory, it is also important to include an area for nature so that it can nourish itself and produce the environmental services that sustain life. A forgotten but critical practice to move towards a sustainable world. The Children’s Land methodology has an affective, playful, practical, intercultural, holistic, and interdisciplinary approach that allows it to adapt to diverse social, economic, cultural, and ecological realities, and for it to be locally relevant and culturally appropriate. It can be implemented at home, in an educational institution, in a neighborhood or community; in urban and rural areas and in diverse ecosystems. Depending on its location and extension they call it the children’s garden, the children’s forest, the children’s mountain, the children’s lagoon, the children’s beach, among others.
Children’s Land home in Talara, Piura.
The Objectives of Children’s Lands The Children’s Land methodology is an educational tool for sustainability that seeks to: • Regularly and positively connect children and youngsters with nature so that they grow up together, develop affection and respect for life, and grow up with a “good heart”. • Strengthen children’s and youngsters’ knowledge, skills, and values so that they adopt sustainable lifestyles, using their talents to generate economic, social, and environmental benefits. • Improve children’s and youngsters’ health, nutrition, education, and self-esteem. • Strengthen the affective and intergenerational bond among children, youngsters, adults, and senior citizens. • Contribute to the conservation of nature and biodiversity in urban and rural areas, in homes, educational institutions, and communities. • Generate an indicator that allows assessing the contribution of children and youngsters to sustainable development. Standards in Order to Be Considered a Children’s Land • The piece of land must have a minimum area of ½ m² or there should be three plants. • The land must be officially handed over for a long term period of time to children and youngsters. • Children and youngsters should have a leading role taking into account their skills and culture. • Actions to be implemented should contribute to the welfare of children and youngsters, of other people, and of nature. • There must be at least one trusted adult to help the children and youngsters implementing their children´s lands.
Steps to create a Children’s Land In the process of creating a Children’s Land, children and youngsters learn about planning, resource management, food security, nature conservation, artistic and emotional expression, and risk management.
• People interested in the Children’s Land methodology can find more information: www. aniaorg.pe • Children and youngsters become acquainted with and internalize the story of Nature’s Great Treasure. • Children and youngsters decide to create a Children’s Land contribute to their social and natural surroundings. • Children and youngsters identify adults committed as partners. • Adults define the space they will grant children and youngsters, considering that it should be a safe place, that tenure is secured, and that the size is appropriate according to water access and other local resources necessary for its implementation. • Children and youngsters develop an environmental diagnosis in order to become acquainted with the strengths and weaknesses of their local environment (home, school, and community). • Children and youngsters develop the Children’s Land vision based on local needs, that what is feasible to manage, and concrete actions that can contribute to them, other people, and nature. • The Children’s Land name and logo are defined. • A children’s and youngsters’ and an adults management committee is formed to support them. • A Children’s Land minutes book or diary is opened to record what happens in the Children’s Land. • The vision is socialized and based on it the Children’s Land is implemented with the managed resources. • Plants to be sown are defined based on those already existing in the neighborhood or community and native species appropriate to the local ecosystem. • Members of the Children’s Land become members of the Children’s Land Global Network
Above: Logo designed by children; logo diagrammed based on what was created by the children; stamp with children’s logo. Left: story co-written with the children of a Children’s Land. Opposite page, clockwise: creating the vision; vision created by the children; vision diagrammed based on what was created by the children.
Girls showing harvested products from their Children’s Land. Opposite page: details of various Children’s Lands in Peru and abroad.
(Facebook). • The Children’s Land own story is created that tells how Ania and Kin inspired the children to become change agents by making their Children’s Land. At the end of the story a map with the location of the Children’s Land is placed so that it can be visited. If economically feasible, it is published and disseminated. Concrete activities that can be carried out in Children’s Lands: • To play, have fun, explore, dream, undertake, and rest. • To care for and sow native and/or beneficial trees and shrubs. • To cultivate food, aromatic, medicinal, and pollinator hosts plants. • To collect, grow, and disperse seeds appropriate for the local ecosystem. • To care for, observe, and enjoy the presence of wild animals such as birds. • To nourish the land and to know how to make it rest by taking care of the animals that live in it. • To care for and reuse water. • To reuse non-hazardous solid waste and to produce organic fertilizer, such as compost. • To promote culture and to learn how to express oneself through art, reading, poetry, music, dance, among others. • To promote ventures that generate monetary and non-monetary resources through the sale of plants, eggs, handicrafts, tourism and barter, among others. • Breed and care for pets such as dogs, mules, dairy cows or laying hens. For example, in a Children’s Land in the district of Santiago (Ica), the children decided to cure a dog that was very sick. His “owner” was a totally indifferent adult man. They made an analogy of the state of the dog and the state of the world. Weeks later, the dog healed and for them the world healed a bit too. They called him “Bosu”, like their children´s lands name. (Bosque de los Sueños-BoSu) [Forests of Dreams-BoSu].
In educational institutions, Children’s Land facilitates the evolution of conventional education towards an education for sustainability or sustainable development.
Implementing Children’s Lands at Home and in Neighborhoods At homes, Children’s Lands can be implemented in gardens, flowerpots or pots, on terraces, balconies, roofs, patios, windows or any other places insofar as they are safe for children. Their presence serves to dedicate quality family time to children, for example, on Saturday mornings. It also generates a space that makes it possible to demonstrate what students have learned in school with values.
Children’s Land educational institution in Santa Cruz, Pisco, Ica, Peru.
When a Children’s Land that is visible to others is created, it inspires neighbors to do the same. When there is a street or a neighborhood with several Children’s Lands, they generate a friendlier environment for children and senior citizens. When time goes by and children grow up, the Children’s Land becomes a garden that generates well-being for the social and natural environment. Family members as a whole take care of it. Implementing Children’s Lands in Educational Institutions In educational institutions, Children’s Lands facilitate the evolution of conventional education towards an education towards sustainability or sustainable development. Children’s Lands are used as a pedagogical resource to make the environmental approach transversal in all curricular areas. Furthermore: • It facilitates teaching/learning, allowing the abstract (theory) to become concrete (through practice) and so that knowledge acquired and skills developed are purposeful. • It facilitates teachers’ skills development in all curricular areas such as science,math, language and arts. • It stimulates and makes teachers’ work more relevant. Teachers evaluate in the short term how their students implement what they have learned through values and purpose inside and outside school. • It facilitates students’ development of knowledge, skills, and values in favor of life and nature, strengthening self-esteem and empathy. • It creates more inclusive environments for different learning styles. For example, students who are restless and who find it difficult to concentrate in the classroom have an opportunity to learn and implement their knowledge in open and diverse spaces. Thus, they have a
Child with a congratulatory resolution from the Municipality of Santiago for his contribution to the sustainable development of this district, Santiago, Ica, Peru.
complementary space to the classroom that stimulates their learning. • It promotes nature and biodiversity regeneration within schools creating healthier and more stimulating environments for coexistence and learning. • It encourages positive interaction with parents and community members as they witness how students, in the short term, use the skills learned in benefit of their social and natural surroundings, in school, at home, and in their community. • It adds value and a sense of equity in rural schools. These have more area of land inside and outside their institution to implement Children’s Lands when compared to urban schools. For example, in the jungle, some educational institutions have a forest which can be used for pedagogical purposes and as a means to manage resources through tourism or environmental services. • It values local cultures and creates a space where students and their families can express and practice traditional knowledge and customs in favor of life and nature. Implementing Children’s Lands by Local Governments In order to involve local governments we designed a municipal ordinance by which the contribution of people under 18 years of age to the sustainable development of the district is recognized through their voluntary and protagonic participation in the creation and improvement of green areas and environmental care in public and private spaces. In 2009, the Municipality of Magdalena del Mar (Lima, Peru) published the ordinance and the municipalities of Chavin de Huantar (Department of Ancash), Alto Laran and Santiago (Department op Ica), Olmos (Department of Lambayeque), and San Borja (Department of Lima), as well as the Regional Government of Ica followed course.
In the 2010 award of “Good Public Management Practices”, promoted by the Ciudadanos al Día Organization, the initiative of the Municipality of Santiago called “Children and adolescents as exchange agents improving the district’s environment” was recognized as a standard of excellence in public management at the national level. 18
In Alto Laran, children who implemented Children’s Lands at their homes and in educational institutions were recognized with a congratulatory resolution. In Chavin de Huantar, in addition to the congratulatory resolutions and prizes to the most outstanding Children’s Lands, a participatory budget was assigned to strengthen a Children’s Land in an educational institution of the district. The same happened in Santiago, whose Municipality was recognized for good practices in public management18. Of all of them, the one that still remains in force is the one of Alto Laran, and the goal, rescuing what was learned from the other initiatives, is to turn it into a reference point for many more municipalities to become interested in and to institutionalize it as a good citizenship, education and environment practice. It is important to point out that in the three municipalities where the ordinance transcended there was support from the private sector. In the case of Alto Laran, the support came from the La Calera Company; in the case of Chavin de Huantar, it came from the Antamina Company, and in the case of Santiago, from the Agricola Chapi Company.
ACCOUNTS Below we present accounts of children, youngsters and adult promotors who have implemented Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lands in homes, neighborhoods, schools and communities in Peru, Chile, Canada and Japan. We highlight the way in which the protagonists have taken ownership of the initiative, adapting it to their own worldview and local context. This is very valuable for the methodology that is nourished and permanently enriched by new ideas and practices.
CHILDREN’S LAND AT HOMES AND IN NEIGHBORHOODS CLAUDIA HERNÁNDEZ SAYRITUPAC Place: San Juan de Miraflores, Lima Birthdate: June 15, 1996 Children’s Land: Home I started my Children’s Land on a 6 m² piece of land that my mother and grandmother gave me in front of my house. I was 12 years old at the time. Today I can say that love for nature made me more human, more sensitive, it made me see the planet as what it really is: our only home and that we are really the ones that depend on it. The Children’s Land taught me not to think only about myself. I stopped being just me to learn to share and that is reflected in the thirds of my small space. There I plant flowers for my fellow pollinators that despite being so small, do a great job to keep the cycle of our flora alive. I gave them a home where they feel safe and so that they can freely come and go whenever they want.
Claudia and her Children’s Land in San Juan de Miraflores, Lima, Peru in the year 2012.
I put little signs and one of them had a message that said: “Please, do not throw garbage here”, because every time I came from school I was surprised to find soda bottles and cookie packaging among other trash inside my Children’s Land. A sign had been there for almost a week and I was still seeing the same thing until I told my mom: How is it possible that nobody pays attention to my colorful and friendly sign? She told me: What if we put a trash can so they know that this is the right place to put the trash in? So it was! However, now there was another problem, I found fruit peels and I saw how the flies came and it looked ugly. So I decided to put two trash cans: one for organic waste and one for inorganic waste. With the plastic bottles I started creating my flowerpots, I painted them, and I gave them what I call “magic and spontaneous creativity”. Doing things like that, I would lock myself in my little space where I felt free and safe. I remember one afternoon when I went out with my mom and when we came back they had destroyed my woolflowers, one of my favorite flowers. I remember that I cried so much,
Claudia and her Children’s Land home in the year 2016.
that my mom told me: “Quiet, tomorrow we will buy some new ones”, and I told her it was not about replacing them, they were my friends, I talked to them, and they listened to me, and when I was happy I sang to them, and each time I was sad I sat next to them. I mixed the remainders of the woolflower with earth to help other plants as natural fertilizer In my Children’s Land I was “Super Claudia”, because I walked with my wooden stick, not to hit and play rough, but to rescue the woodlouse that fell to my little pond. It was sad for me that when I woke up late I wasn’t able to save them. I buried them in my Children’s Land always under a flower and I apologized for being a bad heroine. One day I put a small floating wooden bridge so that they could cross the small pond and thus be able to drink from the water because that was the main reason that they drowned. It worked! I felt very happy because my little pond was very useful for all our younger siblings, the woodlouse no longer drowned, the little birds bathed and drank in it. In my Children’s Land I learned how wonderful it feels to teach what you learn, sharing! I remember when they stole my little plants or hurt them, leaving them almost lifeless. To solve this problem, I made a sign that said “If you want a little plant, ask me, and I will gladly give you one”. Suddenly, they came by to ask me, to please give them plant sprigs. Over time it made me happy to see that it was not just me who felt love for nature, but that more and more people were starting to create their own Children’s Land in the neighborhood. I learned that it does not matter how small you are to teach older people good values and see their spirits flourish. Living with nature taught me the meaning of love, that when you love, you take care of people and things, and do not hurt them. I realized about the gift of growing up surrounded by trees, flowers, and little siblings who without speaking are able to communicate with us and to make us feel special. That even being defenseless before us and by being better off without us, they give us everything. That’s love.
ROGELIO RAMOS HUAMÁN Place: Comas, Lima, Peru Birthdate: August 13, 1988 Children’s Land: Home/Neighborhood It was the year 2004, I was 15 years old and I was studying at the Cesar Vallejo School, located on top of a hill in Comas, Lima, Peru. One morning at my school, a young lady came into my classroom. She explained that together we could implement a Children’s Land in my school, which we called “El Anden de los Niños” [The Children’s Terrace]. On the abandoned terrace 60 mini-lots were distributed among those who wanted to participate. By fertilizing, sowing, watering, painting, and participating in all the activities to grow and cultivate my piece of land, I learned that everything we do has an effect on us, on other people, and on nature. I also understood that when we do things with love, everything gets better, and it has a multiplying effect on people. With sadness, I remember the day when the ANIA project left my school. The project had been interrupted because the director and an organization claimed the achievement as theirs. Months later, the green areas that we had recovered were already lifeless.
Rogelio and his Children’s Land home in Comas, Lima, Peru in the year 2011.
Seven years later, thinking about what to do to improve my neighborhood for the children, I remembered ANIA and went to visit them. Joaquin received me with a big hug and smilingly said, “Now I understand, it was because of you that we engaged in that initiative”. I left the office with Ania, the story, and the manuals in my arms. I was ready to transform what I wanted to transform, I was empowered. During the next six months I discovered that the children in my neighborhood needed me so much, as I needed them. I started with my 9 m² plot in front of my house, a small space that in a short time would be illuminated with several plants, a fence, and posters painted with joy. Inspired by my Children’s Land, Imanol, my six-year-old neighbor started his Children’s Land with his small siblings. Then Cristian followed, another boy living on the same street, and then his cousins, and other boys and girls. In a few months there were already over 15 Children’s Lands in my neighborhood for which we had all contributed to in some way or another. Not happy with that, we set out to create our communal Children’s Land. With our self-esteem at its highest point we asked the neighborhood council for a piece of land of 120 m² located next to my house, which was full of waste and garbage. With effort, dedication, and the help of a company, we were able to implement our communal Children’s Land. At the end of the last day of work, I remember that we were all happy: girls, boys, adults, and the elderly saw how the strength and hope of those of us who had believed in change had managed to improve the neighborhood and made us better human beings. After several years these children have grown up and are more empathetic. Their Children’s Lands are gardens that brighten up the landscape and where families grow flowers and food. They still last there to remind us that nothing is impossible, that we can initiate change at any moment, without needing money, but with the need for love, unity, and mutual recognition. The communal Children’s Land is prettier than before, welcoming new children who contribute to keeping it while playing in it.
Left: “The Small Forest Rangers” communal Children’s Land in Comas in 2016. Above: the same space in 2011. Next pages: examples of Children’s Lands at homes.
San Isidro, Lima
Chavín de Huántar, Áncash
Chavín de Huántar, Áncash
San Juan de Miraflores, Lima
San Pedro, Ica
San Isidro, Lima
Ciudad de Cusco, Cusco
CHILDREN’S LANDS IN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION N°59482 – “TIERRA EN MIS MANOS” Name: Yanet Honor Casaperalta Place: Village of Huacarpay, district: Lucre, province: Quispicanchis, region: Cusco In 2007, I returned as school principal to Educational Institutional N° 50482 in Huacarpay, after several months of leave. Together with my colleague Norma Cajigas we greatly wanted to innovate, but the authorities were indifferent to our ideas. It was then that we met Erika Ismodes, who worked at Pukllasunchis, and she told us with affection: “You do not need support or permission to innovate, make a Children’s Land in the school. You only need land and love, and that’s what we have enough of.” Those were the words that turned our lives around.
Ecological reading area in the Children’s Land of the Huacarpay Educational Institution, Cusco.
In 2008, we started the Children’s Land with Erika’s advice, who had taken the ANIA’s Children’s Land promotors course. The children were the most animated ones and longed to become “guardians of the planet”. United, students, teachers, and parents, we started working very hard. The parents helped to clean the school, removed the trash, and left the piece of land clean, which we divided up into small plots so that each child could have his/ her own Children’s Land. There, they began to nurture life with love, motivated by the idea that their Children’s Land was the planet Earth, and they could improve it. That same year, 28 ecological areas of common responsibility were implemented in the school. These areas served as a pedagogical resource for students’ holistic learning. So, for example, there was the organic pharmacy, the flower area, the waste bank, the ecological library, the Children’s Land radio, the Children’s Land office made of plastic bottles, the affection center, the bug hotel, the ecological shoe store, among other things. As a result of our achievements, we were invited to participate in the II Regional Solid Waste Management Contest promoted by the Water and Environment Management Institute (IMA), project of the Regional Government of Cusco, where we won first prize. This filled us
In clockwise order: Yanet and Norma in the affection center; girls next to the compost pen; the Tierra en Mis Manos School in 2011.
with pride, strengthened the entire educational community, and motivated us to do more. In 2009, the Children’s Lands were extended to the children’s homes, where they managed to promote a love for nature, the growing of food and medicinal plants, and the proper management of solid waste in their families. The year 2010 was a very sad year for everyone. On January 24, the town of Huacarpay experienced a flood so fierce that it destroyed most of the homes of the village. In order to be safe, more than 300 families had to take refuge on our school ground and its surroundings, on the side of a hill. Norma and I found out about it that night and the next day, touched, we went to the school to comfort and take care of the children. The town was completely flooded, and in the school, the 28 implemented areas had been dismantled to place the tents where the families could live. At the beginning of the school year, with the children, and in the few available open spaces, we restored some Children’s Lands, and reconstructed some of the pedagogical areas. At that time, Norma and I witnessed how the Children’s Land was a very important pillar for the social and emotional recovery of the infants, children, and youngsters of the camp who stayed there for two years. In 2012, the families were relocated and that allowed us to revive the Children’s Land in school. Soon we had implemented 32 ecological areas as pedagogical resources to promote students’ communication skills, mathematics and scientific inquiry, as well as empathy, solidarity, and responsibility. Thanks to the resilience shown by the children and the rest of our educational community, we received a new recognition from the Regional Government of Cusco, for incorporating environmental conservation into the curriculum. Shortly after, the Ministry of the Environment recognized our work by awarding us the National Environmental Citizenship Award, in the Environmental Education category. Our implemented project was called “Children’s Land, a hope of love for the Pachamama [Quechua word for Earth]”. And in December 2013, much to our surprise and happiness, the Ministry of Education recognized our work again, and we were awarded first prize at the national level in the First Contest of Good Teaching Practices. Due to these recognitions, our school was visited by many teachers, education authorities, people interested in supporting rural schools, Peruvian and foreign volunteers, and exchange programs with children from other countries. I express with emotion that Norma and I were able to develop life skills in our beloved children in an integral way, by loving nature. They demonstrated this in different spaces, in their homes, school and community, and in different local, regional, and national events where they were invited to. Today their actions have transcended and there are many schools interested in replicating the experience.
EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION N° “CARLOS NORIEGA JIMÉNEZ” Name: Julian Ochoa Chochoja Place: Santa Cruz human settlement, district: Paracas, province: Pisco, region: Ica One day, in January 2010, in the Educational Institution N° 22716 “Carlos Noriega Jiménez”, located in Santa Cruz, Paracas, Ica, where I was the school principal, I met with Joaquín, with whom we set out to rescue the last 32 huarango trees. These trees formed a little forest that was about to be depredated. We also decided to transform a piece of land that was being used as a garbage dump by the community into productive green areas for life, having our children as main players. Both spaces, fortunately, were within an area that belonged to our educational institution. After going through the Children’s Land promotor training, I called a teacher meeting to transmit what I learned and started the environmental project with a transversal focus. We started to actively work with 40% of the teachers and, little by little, the rest of them became part of the group. We chose our environmental teacher committees, then our environmental leaders in each K-12 classroom. All of us worked on the vision of the environmental project and agreed to call it “The Magic Forest of the Children of Santa Cruz – Paracas”.
The school principal, Julian Ochoa, together with students and other members of the educational institution in the Children’s Land.
Having diagramed the vision, we managed to get the support of various organizations that gave us resources and oriented us to install a water tank, to heal the trees, to plant new plants and, thus, to restore the forest. After removing the garbage from the adjacent piece of land, it was divided up into areas of approximately 25 m² and each of these plots of land was given to each classroom so that students and teachers of each classroom could start their Children’s Land with their parents’ support. There, with creativity and in solidarity, they planted plants for themselves, their families and other people, and for nature. To institutionalize the environmental project, we inserted it into the vision and mission statement of our educational institution and other administration documents. We included the story of Ania and Kin in the reading plan, promoted training, and implemented in our students’ report cards the extra grade for voluntary environmental entrepreneurship. In the process of restoring the forest and working on the Children’s Land, the students strengthened their knowledge in mathematics, science, and the environment, that what is social personal, and other pedagogical areas through practice. The project was extended to the children’s families. With their parents’ support, several students created Children’s Lands in their homes. When we started the Children’s Land we had 230 students and in a few years we started to provide educational service to over 700 students. As a result, and the notorious change generated in our natural environment and in our students’, teachers’, and parents’ attitudes, our educational institution was recognized by local, provincial, and national authorities. The experience was also disseminated through different kinds of media such as Frecuencia Latina [Peruvian radio and TV station] and RPP [Peruvian radio and TV news station]. Today, the “The Magic Forest of the Children of Santa Cruz” environmental project has become a reference in the region, as we received the visits from different local and national institutions. The members of these institutions ended up being interns. As far as I am concerned, I was promoted to Director of the UGEL [Local Education Management Unit] – Pisco, Ica. During my tenure (2015 – 2016), we promoted the Children’s Land methodology in all the educational institutions of the province of Pisco, aspiring to become an ecological UGEL, which contributes in an innovative way to the sustainable development of Peru.
Above: Children’s Land created by members of a classroom in the school adjacent to the children’s forest. Opposite page: huarango forest relict located in the land of the educational institution in 2010, enriched, protected, and valued forest as a pedagogical resource, year 2016.
ANN SULLIVAN CENTER OF PERU (CASP) Name: Liliana Mayo Place: district: San Miguel, province and region: Lima In clockwise order: Liliana Mayo and her allies “Tempi” and “Lexi”; “Tempi”, a service dog, motivating a student to read to him; teaching empathy and responsibility with other living beings. Next pages: examples of Children’s Lands in educational institutions.
The Ann Sullivan Center of Peru (CASP) is an education organization that I founded in Peru in 1979 to serve the community of people with different skills (such as autism, Down syndrome, cognitive deficit, cerebral palsy) and their families. In 2012, I entered into an alliance with ANIA to include the care of nature as a skill to develop with our students with different skills. Since then, it has been an incredible experience, because students, as well as their families, have learned through our Children’s Land, which is called the “Land of Hope”, to work as a team, to plant, and to take care of the plants for themselves, the community, and nature. The participation of the families has been very important in order for there to be a multiplier effect in the homes, where their children can actively contribute to tasks, helping to care for the plants, and strengthening their self-esteem in the process. In 2015, this Children’s Land was the basis for a new project called “Garden and Healthy Cooking for People with Different Skills”. We were able to implement it with the support of the Australian Embassy. The goal of this project is to teach our students and their families to grow different types of plants and to prepare recipes with these products promoting healthy eating. With ANIA we have learned that we can all contribute to our planet and we are convinced that everyone has a different skill to generate joy and well-being in the world.
Chavín de Huántar, Áncash
La Victoria, Lima (antes)
Mavila, Madre de Dios
Chavín de Huántar, Áncash (antes)
Comas, Lima (antes)
La Victoria, Lima (después)
Chavín de Huántar, Áncash (después)
Comas, Lima (después)
Alto Larán, Ica
Children’s Lands in Communities Name: Pedro Balladares Place: Cañaveral community, district: Casitas, region: Tumbes As a child, I always dreamed of a better world. In the forest, which begins at the back of my house, I learned to cultivate love for Mother Earth, walking without shoes, collecting dry firewood, playing, and bathing in the rain. Due to the 1997-1998 El Niño Phenomenon, my father lost 90% of his livestock and products were scarce. To survive, my family and neighbors started growing food in the back of our houses, cutting down the existing carob tree forest. Altogether, adults and children, we sowed and moved forward with work and effort. Part of my education was paid with money from the sale of small-scale wood for building houses. I learned about the ANIA initiative in 2004, when I was still in high school, through an article in a magazine that told the story of the children’s forest in Madre de Dios, Peru, and Joaquin´s story. I always remembered it and in 2009, when I finished my degree in tourism, I contacted ANIA.
Pedro Balladares with children from the Cañaveral.
Together with the children, youngsters, teachers, and parents of Primary School N° 077 “Floro Boulangger Peña”, we set the goal of implementing a Children’s Land in the community, but we could not pay for the transportation cost and for the training of the Children’s Land advocates. We did everything possible and impossible to raise the necessary funds. My sister got tickets to Trujillo, the children held a fundraiser, they contributed to the fund with their pocket money, and thus we secured our trip to Lima. Upon learning of all our efforts, ANIA dealt with the remaining costs in order for us to attend the course, and to return home. With the knowledge and materials in our possession, and already back in Cañaveral, we started the desired project and procured a piece of land that was granted by the Agrarian Agency of Contralmirante Villar. The land was located next to a ravine and it was a dump. Thanks to the children’s enthusiasm and the parents’ effort, we managed to transform it into a beautiful place which we called “The Corner of Hope”. However, when some people saw that the piece of land was clean and beautiful, they took over the piece of land with false documents evicting the children. The children’s surprise and impotence was very big, therefore, the project was stopped. However our dream of having a unique and exclusive space for them was not.
And so, a few months later, my father, moved by what had happened, selflessly gave us a plot of land of almost one hectare that we had behind our house and had survived the El Niño Phenomenon. We were excited again although I already could see that the towers and high voltage cables that pass by close to the plot of land could be a drawback. When I commented this to Joaquin, he told me that on the contrary, that that was the solution to our problems and we contacted Red de Energía del Perú, a company that helped in implementing the Children’s Land. Thus, again, we began to transform our environment with the certainty and the assurance that no one would take away what we had achieved with so much effort. We fenced the area with sticks and we painted them. We built a roof to protect ourselves from the sun. We fertilized and took care of the native trees, and we planted food and medicinal plants and flowers for pollinators. Then, we cleaned an area of land where we built a small soccer field and a volleyball court. We made drawings and wrote messages in favor of nature on posters made with reused materials. In honor of the good vibes that surfaced during that time we built the Children’s Land, and the lessons we learned along the way. The children named it “The Corner of Good Energy”. Since then, we met our goals. Parents and local authorities got involved with our project. We received many visitors. We coordinated activities with community institutions. We shared our experience with children from other communities. We investigated our local flora and fauna. We exchanged seeds and plants. We carried out activities to show the community what we do and so that they can imitate our initiative.
NATIVE COMMUNITY OF PUERTO PRADO Name: Pedro Paucarcaja Quispe, Children’s Land Advocate Place: Province: Nauta, region: Loreto In 2013, I learned about the Children’s Land methodology and with the support of various people and organizations I helped create the “Iwiratikuara Ikrantsenkana” Children’s Forest in Puerto Prado. Over time, this space has become a very important place for the whole Kukama community. It’s a place to be admired and it’s an example for others to replicate it. In Puerto Prado there is a primary school and the elderly go daily to the secondary school in the neighboring community of Amazonas, located 20 minutes away by boat. Here are accounts of children and youngsters who are part of the Puerto Pardo children’s forest: “My grandfather tells me that we have been living here long before computers were created. A few years ago Pedro visited us and told us about conservation stuff, taking care of the forest, ideas of beautiful things. It was something like a dream. What I liked most was that everything had to do with children and youngsters, and in the end it is ours “. Cristian Ahuanari, 16 years old (high school).
“The community gave us 12 hectares of forest to take care of and to create a Children’s Forest. I did not think that our dreams would come true. And after three years they became true and we have changed a lot. Now the animals come closer because we no longer kill them. We all – the children, youngsters, and parents – take care of them. Being part of the Children’s Forest has made me sensitive. I have a lot of respect for plants and animals, and I take care of nature because it is part of our lives. Thanks to the forest, we can breathe clean air and breezily walk under its shade “. Vanesa Amasifuen, 13 years old (high school).
Pedro Paucarcaja, promoter of the Children’s Forest of Puerto Prado, together with the children who manage it. Opposite page: members of the Kukama community of Puerto Prado.
“Let me tell you that we ourselves have drawn the ideas we wanted to have in our forest. We gave our opinions. We also painted and then we went to play in the woods, and we learned a lot every time we did that. “ Mariliz Amasifuen, 8 years old (elementary school). “In our community we did not have a place to play, so with our parents’ and Pedro’s help, we decided to build our ‘This is jungle’ circuit inside the Children’s Forest. Now we have two teams that play: the toucans and the squirrels. I’m a member of the squirrels’ team. When we leave school tired, I help my parents, we do homework, and in the afternoon, we get together with my friends and we go running to the gorge of the Children’s Forest where we swim, play, and spend hours in the water, singing, imitating the singing of the birds. We do trampoline. We are all happy and we return home happy talking about how we swam and how we dived
Youngster from Puerto Prado finishing the fun ‘This is jungle’ circuit, designed by members of the Children’s Forest. Next pages: examples of Children’s Lands in community.
... That is why we decided in a meeting and to name the stream ‘Happiness’ because it is what it gives us and to put it into a deed. We love it and take care of it just as we take care of the forest and its animals.” Yetci Padilla, 12 years old (high school). “At the Children’s Forest we now have games, a maloca [ancestral communal home] to rest in, a place where we hold our meetings, do group tasks, paint, dance, sing, and have the circuit. We also have Meshi, a big, fat, old tree with many lianas that is inside our forest. The Children’s Forest has changed me a lot. Now I love nature more and I do not want it to be destroyed, that’s why I take great care of it “. Jarol Padilla, 16 years old (high school). I want you to know that my community’s Children’s Forest has helped me a lot in high school. Now I speak up more, I’m not ashamed any more, and I always participate in activities. The children that belong to the Children’s Forest at school are different from other children because we always participate in everything and the teacher, when he’s going to talk about nature, the forest or the Kukama culture, he invites us to come to the front of the classroom and we teach the class. I answer all the questions and I answer them without being afraid. But you know, before we were ashamed and nervous, and when we started the Children’s Forest in our community, Pedro and the volunteers told us stories and taught us many things and helped us to express ourselves better. We learned to talk more and to better understand about our forest. For example, we did not know that in our forest there are many trees and animals that also had strange names that had been written next to their photographs in fat books, and that they also depend on each other. We learned that everything is connected, if you knock down a tree, it affects other beings that can be large, medium, and small. Some that you cannot see but they are there. They live in the branches, in the leaves, in the earth, in the water. Their house is the tree and their city is the forest, just as the place where you live. They also taught us to love who we are and to be proud of our culture. They taught me that I’m worth a lot. They taught us to work as a team and to share things. I will not stop sustaining the environment and encouraging more people to sustain and to create a Children’s Land. I used to be the president of Children’s Forest and now I’m the secretary. “Usurpaqui!”, “Thank you!” in my language. Danny Tapullima, 15 years old (high school). We used to be ashamed to talk, to paint and dress with the clothes that our grandparents wore, but thanks to the Children’s Forest and to Pedro we have learned to value our Kukama culture and to be proud of our identity. Now many people know about us and come to visit us. We welcome them and we sing in our language. We tell them stories of our culture, about beliefs that we have, and the connection that we have with the water, the forest, and the air, as we Kukama have three lives: one in each element. We take care of the forest because it gives us fruit, seeds, oxygen, and shade, and it is the home of many animals that feel just as human beings do, and feed off of fruit from the trees, and drink the water from the gorges. There are also medicinal plants that heal us when we are sick. I am proud of sustaining and being a guardian of this place, and I have been elected as president of the Children’s Forest for the whole of 2016. Joil Padilla, 17 years old (high school).
TiNi en un predio privado en Oxapampa, Pasco
Alto Larán, Chincha, Ica
El Milagro, Loreto
Padre Cocha, Loreto
Villa Clorinda, Comas. Lima
CHILDREN’S LAND PROMOTION CENTERS Children’s Lands Promotion Centers (Children’s Land PCs) are places that serve as a reference so that the methodology can be visualized and applied in different kinds of environments. To create a Children’s Land PC we develop alliances with institutions that have a common purpose and that generate added value to their operations. We help them to get funds for the implementation and operation of the Children’s Land for a specific period of time and, as a counterpart, our partners provide the physical space, safety, the use of the Children’s Land, and its maintenance.
Until 2016, we have Children’s Land PCs in Lima, Iquitos, and Lambayeque, Peru. In Lima, there are Children’s Land PCs in the Natural History Museum of the San Marcos University, in the Ann Sullivan Center, and in the Astrid & Gaston restaurant. In Iquitos, there are Children’s Land PCs in the Amazon Rescue Center (CREA) and in the Peruvian Amazon Research Institute (IIAP). In Lambayeque, there is a Children’s Land in the Tucume Site Museum. There used to be a Children’s Land PC in Madre de Dios, run together with the National University San Antonio Abad of Cusco, and in Ancash, in the National Museum of Chavin.
Museo de Historia Natural, Lima.
Museo de Historia Natural, Lima
entro de Rescate Amazónico /IIAP, Loreto
Museo de Historia Natural, Lima
Restaurante Astrid y Gastón, Lima
Centro Ann Sullivan, Lima
Museo de Túcume, Lambayeque
Children’s Lands Abroad Pisco Elqui, La Serena, Chile Name: Pilar Aguirre Rojas, Founder of Tierra y Valle Place: Pisco Elqui, Small Community of Paihuano, region: Valle de Elqui-IV, Chile As a daughter of farmers in the Elqui Valley, having deep love for my roots, I grew up wondering why, in order to be someone in life, do we have to go to the city. It was the message we received at school. My grandparents were the ones who inspired me to love nature. As a child, in the orchard and in the mountain range, I saw with amazement and with joy how they communicated with plants, how they thanked them, and how they treated them with affection. I also remember with great sadness at the age of 14, how machines destroyed hectares of native forests on the banks of the Elqui River and to see dead fish. The same place where we had spent thousands of hours playing under the trees and fishing with family in the afternoons.
Pilar Aguirre with one of the children participating in the Children’s Land of Pisco Elqui. Opposite page: children and adults of the town are stakeholders of Tierra y Valle.
Leaving the valley helped me to observe the social and environmental problems that my community experiences. That was how, working in 2007 at the Herbarium of Peñalolen, in Santiago de Chile, I heard about ANIA’s Children’s Land methodology and my heart throbbed with emotion. In 2009, I traveled to Peru and trained as a Children’s Land promoter. Then, for six months, I traveled through that country to see different types of Children’s Lands. The Huacarpay Children’s Land was the one that impressed me most because of the teachers’ commitment and strength, and the positive impact that the Children’s Land had as a physical and emotional refuge for the many families that were affected by the 2010 flood. Thus, at the end of 2010, with my grandmother’s strength (she had had just passed away) and the spirit of the trees knocked down during my adolescence, I started the first Children’s Land in Pisco Elqui. With the goal for children to grow up in a healthy environment, I met with representatives of social organizations led by the neighborhood board and other actors, who joined to make a Children’s Land come true. I will never forget the moment when a friend returned from her mother’s funeral, with a check donated by her family on her mother’s behalf to contribute to the Children’s Land; or the story of the person who gave us the land, since her husband’s dream had always been to do something for the children and the environment.
The Children’s Land represented a community dream, where love, alliance, and, above all, conviction for children and their environment, mobilized us all. To make the Children’s Land viable, we founded the ‘Tierra y Valle’ organization. On the 1,200 m² piece of land that was given to us, we created the Children’s Club, which now counts 57 children, where they have individual Children’s Land as well as a collective one. In 2012, we were able to add half a hectare of land where we have implemented ‘La Montaña de Los Niños’ [The Children’s Mountain]. There, with community support, we planted over 500 native trees and we are building the first environmental education center in the Coquimbo region. We also joined the efforts of the Estero Derecho Agricultural Community, managing to protect 35,000 hectares of our mountain range as a nature sanctuary. Over 120 children have passed through Tierra y Valle, in a small community of 4,700 inhabitants. Many stories, like those of Pedrito, 10 years old, who won his first prize with us for being responsible. His parents’ tears moved us all, as it was the first time that their son was being recognized for something. Also his brother Diego, who always shared his father’s teachings since he was six years old, now that he’s 13 years old, he continues studying and is involved in community issues. Thanks to our efforts, we received several local and national recognitions. Since 2013, we are part of the Regional Education Board for Sustainability led by the Chilean Ministry of the Environment. Our goal is to become an educational center for sustainable development in alliance with various actors and ensure that our initiative is replicated in other parts of Chile. Today we make a difference in the little piece of land where we live now.
Six Nations, Grand River Territory, Canada Name: Jackie Ryan Place: Grand River Territory, Ontario, Canada For the past 20 years, I have lived and worked with indigenous people in Canada. In 2007, I had the vision of creating a school in which the spirit of each child would be honored, celebrated, and protected. A place where, through indigenous wisdom, children would learn to develop strong and lasting relationships with the natural world, and where they could share their hopes, dreams, and visions, protected and motivated by adults. I started working on this vision and spent almost a year learning about all the necessary requirements to open a school. I reviewed all the procedures, permits, obligations, bylaws, etc., and I spent a good part of my time in front of the computer, and very little time near children and nature.
Jackie Ryan shows children how wonderful nature is. Opposite page: pond created by Children’s Land’s members. Grand River Territory, Ontario, Canada.
In October 2009, Joaquin invited me to Peru to learn about Children’s Lands. I accepted and I was inspired by the children’s passion and the great impact that Children’s Lands were having in their communities. One of my last nights in Peru, I had a very real dream in which I was told “the school is not a building but a place where children can go and feel their spirit expand. Don’t think about building a school but rather bring children closer to the earth and the school will grow on its own.” Back in Canada, six months later, 46 acres of agricultural land was donated to us. Thus, a group of 20 families that used to regularly come to the area created the first Children’s Land in Canada. When the children met for the first time to start developing their vision, we didn’t restrict them. We simply told them, “If you would be given a piece of land and could do whatever you wanted in it, what would you do?” They could have asked for anything, however, they preferred to create gardens so that the animals could feed off of them, First Aid stations to heal injured animals. They asked for ponds so that the fish would freely swim and animals would have a place to drink. They wanted to plant trees so that animals and people had shade and shelter in the middle of the field. They were so focused on wanting so many things for nature that we had to remind them that they could also create fun things for themselves and their friends. Thus, they shaped their vision and desires for that piece of land, its animals and plants, and for the people who would come to visit it. Since then, we have seen many children’s projects and how they take on a life of their own when people believe in them and they work to make them real on their piece of land. We had a little girl who drew a forest and said she wanted to plant trees so that the deer could find a place to hide from coyotes, and for bumblebees and birds to find shelter.
She shared her vision with adults and, after a few weeks, a conservation authority in the country donated 6,500 trees to the children. They warned us that it would be difficult to get trees to survive without spraying pesticides that prevent weeds. However, the children decided to pray for their trees. They also prepared medicine and sang to the trees and painted stones that they put around them. After the first year, the trees had such a good survival rate that the conservation authority donated another 5,000 trees that are healthily growing today. Another child wanted to create a water garden. He researched aquatic plants to create a small pond that benefits the natural world. Once again, his wish was so inspiring for adults that one organization sponsored the creation of a half hectare of wetland. This youngster then gave a presentation on environmental issues to the class and this inspired some of his friends to help him research native aquatic plants that could benefit animals, birds, insects, and aquatic life. He presented his list of plants to another group of adults and organizations and many of the plants were donated by families and landowners. His wetland is now a place where many school children learn about habitat, plants, native species, and water purification. Hundreds of children have come to this land in recent years. The piece of land has become a place where children know that their ideas and desires will be honored, respected, and supported. They have told us countless times about the school childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s enthusiasm when they are on the bus on their way to the piece of land, and that they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to leave once they are there. Children realize how necessary they are to the world, that their perceptions and cooperation are valuable, as well as how powerful a dream can be when it benefits them, others, and nature.
Fuji, Japan Names: Maki, Rika, and Yuka Saionji In 2005, Joaquín came to Japan to share his Children’s Land project with the Byakko Shinko Organization on Mount Fuji. What inspired us most about this project was that it could be implemented anywhere in the world and by anyone. We had a beautiful plot of two hectares of virgin land, and we wanted to transform it into a Children’s Land. Thus “Sanktos Fuji” or simply “Sanktos”, a place where children gave a name and a purpose to each part of this piece of land, was born. For example, the “Land of Prayer” where you can pray for nature, and the “Land of Light” where you can play in. In Sanktos, children freely play in nature, they learn from it, feel, and love life. We do agricultural work, we climb trees, we learn to orient ourselves, we play games, we play with animals, and so on. We have fun and we appreciate nature and we protect it. Each time a child comes, new learnings are created that can be about nature, others or ourselves.
The Saionji sisters: Yuka, Maki and Rika, creators of the Children’s Land. Opposite page: girls and members of the Sanktos Children’s Land in the Peace Sanctuary in Fuji, Japan. Following pages: Children’s Land in different countries of the world.
We know that nature is very diverse, and that when we are in contact with it we open our hearts and we are able to also hold the diversity within us. We learned that nature has the power to heal us and that it is the best teacher that teaches us to see what we really want and to prioritize in order to achieve it. When children come for the first time, they do not appreciate the countryside, and some are afraid of bugs and prefer to stay inside. But when they are in contact with nature and have beautiful experiences they learn to appreciate it, and that it is part of them. Once, a girl saw a tree that was dying and felt very sad because it was a tree that many children had climbed and played around. The girl proposed to the other children to write a letter and put it on one of its branches, and they did so. These were girls who had never thought about communicating with a tree, but as they had been playing in nature they felt they could communicate with it. On another occasion, when they were performing agricultural tasks, the children were surprised by the amount of rocks they found under the ground. Then the parents came to their aid and the children were very proud of them when they saw a different side of their parents. Children love this place because no comparisons are made, anybody judges nobody, nor do people say that this or that person is better. Children are appreciated for being themselves. The confidence and responsibilities that each child receives from adults allows them to be independent and grow. That is why some children come from faraway places that can take up to three hours to get there. They want to come because they know there is not a place like this place near their homes. At first, the parents take them there because they ask for
it, but then it is the parents who want to come. They feel that Sanktos is not just a place for children but a space for learning and relaxation for everybody. A special place where they can free themselves of all their titles and be themselves, where the limit between children and adults disappears. Where they learn to enjoy children and do not have to think about what is expected of them, just enjoy the time of being together. Being ourselves, we realize that we have many things to offer children and the world. In Sanktos, children and adults realize the talent they have inside of them and of which they were previously unaware of. Some children discover music or they like to help people. Others simply love being in touch with nature and enjoying it or appreciating how important it is to share, and yet others, who have so much to give, become educators. Some adults realize that they have become more playful or that they have an artistic talent. Others realize that they were stressed or that they got annoyed with their children for small things. They also learned that the children know as much as they do. These are lessons that we cannot teach. They are lessons that nature gives us only when we are in contact with it. Children who have grown up nurturing Sanktos know where to return when they have problems or are confused. Sanktos has become a safe and protective space not only for nature but for the hearts of children and adults. Here everyone can unify their heart and mind and see again where they want to go to. We believe that there should be a Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Land in every country where children can have hope, feel safe being themselves, and can fully express their own beauty.
Seattle, Washington, USA
Reserva Natural Mbaracay, Paraguay
Itaparica, Bahia, Brasil
Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India
Since their inception, many Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lands have flourished and others have withered along the way. From them, we have learned how to make the initiative more resilient, allowing for it to be sustained, and to multiply it over time. This is thanks to, as John Quincy Adams says: â&#x20AC;&#x153;patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanishâ&#x20AC;?.
ACHIEVEMENTS AND RECOGNITIONS Next, and in chronological order, we share the achievements obtained since 2007 by the Children’s Land methodology. • In 2007, Radio Programas del Perú (RPP) [a Peruvian radio and TV news station] awarded ANIA the National Integration and Solidarity prize for its Children’s Land initiative. • In 2012, UNESCO recognized the Children’s Land methodology as an official activity within the framework of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.
The moment when José María “Chema” Salcedo from RPP, liaising Lima from Madre de Dios, Peru, announces the Children’s Land initiative as winner of the 2007 Integration and Solidarity Award.
• In 2013, the Peruvian Ministry of the Environment recognized the Children’s Land methodology as a good educational practice for Sustainable Development at the national level. • In 2014, the Peruvian Ministry of Education signed an agreement with ANIA to include the story of ‘El Gran Tesoro de la Naturaleza’ [Nature’s Great Treasure] as part of the Reading Plan and to distribute 127,000 copies in all primary public educational institutions. Thus, it was made accessible to over 2.5 million children in Peru. The story is the tool that inspires children to create a Children’s Land. • At the end of 2014, there were Children’s Lands in 15 departments of Peru¹9, in which over 20,000 children and youngsters actively participated in the restoration, utilization and care of over 2,000,000 m² of natural areas in homes, educational institutions, neighborhoods and communities. In addition, the Children’s Land methodology had expanded to more than 10 countries²0, where there are seed initiatives. • At the beginning of 2015, the Peruvian Ministry of Education signed a second agreement with ANIA so that it, as the owner of the Children’s Land methodology, would authorize the Ministry to use it without profit as a pedagogical resource to mainstream environmental issues in primary education institutions at the national level, and, thus, contribute to the improvement of Peru’s educational quality. Within the framework of this agreement, the following achievements are obtained:
19 Áncash, Amazonas, Ayacucho, Callao, Cusco, Ica, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Lima, Loreto, Madre de Dios, Pasco, Piura, San Martín, and Tumbes. 20 Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, USA, El Salvador, Scotland, India, Japan, Paraguay, Portugal, and Venezuela.
Poem written by a girl/boy for the Children’s Land in Santa Vicenta, Ica.
o The Ministry of Education officially recognizes the Children’s Land methodology as a good practice of environmental education and pedagogical resource for sustainable development applicable in urban and rural areas, and in educational institutions of Pre-K to 12 grade on a national level. o The Children’s Land methodology is studied, adapted, and institutionalized as an Integrated Environmental Education Project (PEAI in Spanish), called ‘Espacio de Vida’ [Living Space]. Through this, the created green areas and/or natural spaces within or outside the educational institutions are promoted as a pedagogical resource, with students as key players, to strengthen learning and environmental awareness, emphasizing the valuation and conservation of biodiversity, promoting the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycle), food security, and healthy eating. o The Integrated Environmental Education Project – Living Spaces is part of the guidelines of Peru’s National Policy on Environmental Education, the National Plan for Environmental Education, and the National Curriculum for Basic Education. It’s applied at all levels of the regular basic education system and in rural and urban areas. The area responsible for promoting the application of the environmental approach is the Environmental Education Unit (UEA), of the General Directorate of Regular Basic Education System (DGEBR). o During 2015 and 2016 the articulation of the Integrated Environmental Education Project – Living Space was carried out, mainly with the intervention of the Pedagogical Support Department of the Directorate of Primary Education of the General Directorate of Regular Basic Education System and the preparation of educational material for principals and teachers of Pre K- 12 grade levels began. In 2016, applying the environmental approach through the Integrated Environmental Education Project – Living Space was promoted in over 3,200 polyurban public educational institutions²¹, in 18 Regions of Peru. o In this process, Brenda Castrillon’s participation was highlighted. She is a member of the Environmental Education Unit and was responsible for the environmental education at the primary level. She had previously worked for several years as the national coordinator of the Children’s Land methodology at ANIA.
21 Public primary multigrade educational institutions in urban areas of the Peruvian coast, mountains, and jungle.
Parallel to the progress made through the Peruvian Ministry of Education with Living Space, ANIA managed to promote the Children’s Land methodology directly in over 140 educational institutions in various places in Peru, thanks to Nelly Paredes’s leadership and her team. It should be noted that at present, the Children’s Land methodology is part of the Integrated Environmental Education Project – Living Space. As part of this, the area where a Children’s Land is implemented is previously recognized through a directorate resolution such as Living Space.
In the years 2015 and 2016, the Children’s Land methodology was studied, adapted, and institutionalized by the Peruvian Ministry of Education as an Integrated Environmental Education Project (PEAI), called “Living Space”. During 2016, it was promoted in more than 3,200 public educational institutions in 18 regions of Peru.
SIGNS AND WISDOMS FOR A SUSTAINABLE WORLD One morning I read a critique that a person had written about me for saying that a flower in a pot made the difference. Thirty seconds later, before I started doubting myself, a hummingbird appeared and stopped in front of the only flower in the window, it looked around, drank its nectar, and went on its way.
“Suddenly I understood it. Because my life has always been like this. It has been full of small signs that come looking for me”. Margaret Mazzantini In the Andean-Amazonian worldview, wisdom comes from merging the knowledge of people, nature, and deities. The place where these wisdoms come together is in farms, forests, and waters. And it is through signs – those visible and invisible expressions – like a dream or the flight of a hummingbird that we learn to “read” nature and deities to “know how to do things”. During more than 20 years of ANIA’s institutional life, wisdom took on another dimension when we understood the meaning of reciprocal upbringing. The signs became more evident by being in contact with people (farm), nature (forest), our emotions (water) and by using our talents or special skills with affection to generate well-being for others people. Since then, the most immediate and regular sign has been the feeling of completeness and happiness. I remember the parable of a kitten who was circling around itself and trying to grab its tail without success, and an old cat interrupts it and tells it not to worry about its tail that its tail will is always follow it. Like the old cat, we learned that when we move forward with a purpose, happiness follows. We share different kinds of acquired wisdom to “know how to move towards a sustainable world”, generating well-being while doing so for children, youngsters, and the environment.
Sowing in the Children’s Land of the Astrid & Gaston restaurant, Lima, Peru.
With coherence and affection we are able to reduce indifference, lying, and violence. “Kids do not remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.”Jim Henson Coherence is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as “the quality or state of cohering, especially a logical, orderly, and aesthetically consistent relationship of parts”. If we follow this logic, we then can define incoherence as “the quality or state of lacking cohesion, connection, or harmony”. For us, to be coherent is to live aligned with our feelings, thoughts, words, and actions. The opposite is incoherence. We have learned that incoherence nourishes lying, indifference, and violence as well as corruption, extortion, human trafficking, drug trafficking, and so on. Lying happens when one feels and thinks something, and says and does something else. Indifference happens when one feels and thinks something, and says and does nothing. Violence happens when one feels one thing, thinks something else, says something else, and does another thing. When reason and hearts are clouded, one loses one’s sense of purpose, and frustration and hatred step in and take over. We have learned that coherence alone is not enough, because when it is driven by fear or hate, it becomes a negative and destructive force, as Adolf Hitler and Abimael Guzman [former leader of the Shining Path, a terrorist group in Peru] demonstrated. But when it is driven by love it becomes a positive and constructive force, as Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela demonstrated. When there is coherence and love is present, honesty, trust, courage, empathy, responsibility, and compassion are nurtured. We have learned that the individual and the level of collective coherence and the presence or absence of love and fear tell us where we are in relation to our reason for being. The more incoherence and fear there is, the further away we are from our reason for being, and the feeling of emptiness and helplessness to sustain life increases. On the contrary,
when there is more coherence and love, the closer we are to our reason of being and the feeling of completeness and the strength to sustain life increases.
Ese’eja Community, Tambopata, Madre de Dios, Peru.
When affection is present, vulnerability can be transformed into strength. “Men are made stronger on realization that the helping hand they need is at the end of their own arm”. Sidney J. Phillips One day I was walking in the forest with some Ese’eja children. They always went ahead, as their knowledge of the area, their nimbleness, balance and shortness allowed them to easily evade branches. I was walking slower, eating spider webs at every step. When I would come to a gorge, instead of crossing over the trunk that was acting as a bridge, I would go down and cross it on foot, getting wet and muddy. I did it because I suffer from height sickness and have poor balance. It was my secret. At one of the gorges, when I was about to go down to cross it, I heard someone say: “What are you doing?” They were the children who, from the other side, curiously looked at me. I had no choice but to laughingly tell them about my fear. Seconds later, a girl crossed over the trunk, took my hand, and guided me over to the other side with a big smile. At the next gorge, all of them wanted to help me cross it. They were fascinated by the fact that the “big shot” with an educational degree, technology and more, could not cross a trunk as they had done since they learned to walk. That day, the children taught me that when you show your vulnerability without fear, you empower others to act with affection. In this way we connected, complemented, and strengthened each other. This knowledge led us to a deeper reflection regarding violence. In many cultures and countries males who show that they are vulnerable are considered weak men. And although we are weak by nature, as our mothers and doctors know, our physical force and violence hides our vulnerability. Thus, we have learned that “male chauvinism” is an open door through which physical, mental, and emotional violence that proliferates today in the
world against all forms of life, children, women, animals, plants, and others walks through. It happens in homes, at schools, in workplaces, on the street and in various ecosystems. Male chauvinism is one of the causes of environmental degradation and climate change. Reducing and eliminating it is an urgent and pending task on everyone’s agenda. In that sense, the grandparents of the Six Nations tribe of Canada, tell us about a warrior called “Ayotte”. He was the biggest, the strongest, the fastest, the most agile, but also the noblest, the most patient, the most protective, the most caring, and the most loving one. His people named him the breeder of “good men” so that he teach children and youngsters by example to protect and honor girls and other boys, women, grandmothers and grandparents, the natural world, and ancestors. We have learned that in order to promote peace and stop violence and male chauvinism, it is crucial to raise empathic, protective, and self-confident children (male gender) without fear of showing their vulnerable side. For this, it is important to identify and value youngsters and adults with Ayotte’s qualities in each department, province, district, community, neighborhood, school, and family. We have learned that love gets activated and flows from less vulnerable to more vulnerable spaces through empathy. That showing our vulnerabilities without fear generates the spaces that allow us to connect and to relate, complementing each other to take care of ourselves and to sustain life. In Quechua, this form of coexistence is called “nanachinakuy”, which means “to protect and to be protected”. There is a good example of this in a children’s daycare center located inside a nursing home in Seattle, in the United States, called the “center of intergenerational learning”. There, in the presence of affection, the interaction between children and the elderly has been generating multiple benefits in both age groups, transforming one’s vulnerability into the strength of the other. For a person to contribute, he must first know that he can do it. “Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference”. Jane Goodall During a monitoring trip, we met Julissa, a girl who lived in Chavin de Huantar, Ancash, Peru, in a one-room house. She showed us her Children’s Land, which consisted of four containers that took up no more than one square meter, in which she grew plants for her mother, her little sister, her guinea pigs and herself. She had placed her Children’s Land next to the front door that was the only point of light in her house. I remember the sparkle in her eyes, her pride and joy when we visited her. A small self-managed initiative had given the same results as others of greater scope and cost.
We have learned thanks to Julissa that the indicator of change with children is not “how much they contribute”, but “whether they contribute or not”. Currently, there are many people who do not contribute because they feel that they are unable to do so. Either because they were told by children that they were useless, that as youngsters they were told that they needed a PhD, or because they feel that what they can contribute is insignificant, and will not make any difference in the face of the great global challenges we face.
Julissa with her Children’s Land home, Chavin de Huantar, Ancash, Peru.
We have learned that it is essential to create opportunities for children, first of all, so that they know that they can contribute. Then, knowing that they can contribute, we must motivate them and provide spaces, guidance, and recognize their efforts so that contributing to the environment becomes a habit in their lives. We have learned that when a child is aware that s/he can contribute, and is valued for it, s/he becomes more empathetic and proactive. On the contrary, when they do not get attention and their opinion is ignored, or worse, ridiculed, they isolate themselves, they become insecure and aggressive. As Mary Gordon says²², “lack of empathy leads to apathy, or worse, leads to cruelty and violence.” We have learned that the impact of an action is not only limited to the physical plane but also to the spiritual one, and that it transcends into others through inspiration. We have seen how children who went unnoticed, after creating a small Children’s Land, saw their feelings and creativity that were lodged in their being expressed, astonishing their families and teachers. Suddenly, that girl or boy ceased to be invisible, became valuable, and the adults expressed their affection and their support more towards her or him.
22 Canadian author of the “Roots of Empathy”.
We have learned that inclusion is essential, not only because it is an act of fairness and justice, but because we need other people to solve local and global problems and meet our goals. As Julissa and her mother taught us, who always supported her in her undertaking. Everything adds up. Everything contributes and everything matters. In an unsustainable environment, in order to move forward we must achieve more with less and less. “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” Albert Einstein
A girl from Palma Real, on the Heath River, Madre de Dios, Peru, as she takes care of her single pencil around her neck.
At the end of 2007, a global economic crisis was unleashed. Fortunately, the operational year was about to end and most companies and foundations had made their disbursements. As expected, in 2008, most financial sources cut their budgets and others closed their funds for social and environmental ventures. It was then that we decided to abandon the thought that to do more, we needed more people, more economic resources and more materials. We decided, instead of aspiring to be “a fleet of trucks”, with offices here and there, with a lot of personnel and a big budget, to become a compact, efficient and fast “Ferrari”. This would allow us to be flexible and fast in order to move forward, to back up, to turn around, and to accelerate to adapt and, in some cases, to anticipate change. We have learned that the 2008 economic crisis was another sign that our unsustainable lifestyle has reached a “global break point”, where the surplus resources of each country will be redirected more and more to address local problems generated by environmental degradation, climate change, violence, corruption and fear. In the same way, global resources for the common good will be redirected more and more to help rather than prevent. A growing challenge in a more unpredictable world will be how to do more with less. We have learned that, given this reality, our degree of individual and collective resilience will have to rapidly and considerably increase. For this, collaboration, trust, and solidarity will be indispensable, as will creativity and innovation. We decided that the best way to do it is by joining individuals and groups with similar vision and values, especially those led by young people. The result has been positive. Linked, each person from his/her reality and aware of his/her strengths and vulnerabilities, we are achieving more lasting changes in less time and with fewer resources, strengthening love and respect in the process among us, generating hope in our environment and in ourselves.
Just sowing does not create change. You have to make the person who destroys things stop doing it. “The difference between winning and losing is most often….. not quitting”. Walt Disney. In a town called Pacora, in northern Peru, we met a group of children called “La Casa de la Cultura” [The House of Culture]. Outraged that many people throw debris on the floor they tied a cardboard box to a post in the square that said “throw your trash here.” The next morning, they were surprised to find the box on the floor. They decided to tie it back to the post. The next day, it was on the ground again. And this also happened on the third, fourth, fifth, sixth ... eleventh, twelfth day and on the thirteenth day, they found the box on the post. What had happened? A group of youngsters had made it their mission to mess up the children’s entrepreneurship. One of the youngsters later recounted that the first time they all participated and everybody made fun of it. By day 6, half of them were still knocking down the box. By day 10, only two were left, and on day 13 the only one that continued knocking down the box was stopped by the rest. The Regional Governor of Lambayeque, Peru, learned about this story and ordered solid waste bins to be installed in the Pacora Square. Soon, that district was baptized as “the town of values.” The children of Pacora taught us that only if we persevere will we know if the next time is when everything changes. We have learned that we live in a “destruction mode” of implicit violence. We have witnessed countless times in Children’s Lands how, after a girl or boy plants a plant, the next act is that someone else destroys or steals it. Therefore, to make a plant grow, we must be mentally and emotionally prepared to plant several plants and take care of them until one lasts. And when that happens, it will be an indicator that a positive change in favor of life has occurred in the environment, that the person that was destroying things has stopped doing so. It is then that we enter into a “construction mode” and can accordingly plan. We have learned that to be perseverant we need to be patient and patience stays when there is purpose and affection. As the Sumaq Kawsay expresses: “It is difficult for someone to have patience if s/he does not care for what s/he does”.
Children from the Casa de la Cultura of Pacora, Lambayeque, Peru (2003).
We have learned that we need, as a reference, those resilient people who have persevered and found solutions in adverse conditions in order for them to inspire and guide us. In similar conditions to those that are coming as a result of environmental degradation, climate change and violence, let’s look for them and learn from them.
Girl in the Pukllasunchis School, Cusco, Peru..
To improve the external environment we must improve our internal environment. “The present ecological crisis is one small sign of the ethical, cultural, and spiritual crisis of modernity”. Pope Francis Once a girl asked me: Are the butterflies that I feel in my belly part of biodiversity? She helped me define the environment as the sum of our natural, social, and emotional surroundings. We have learned that the state of the planet is the true reflection of the state of our emotions and that in order to transform our natural and social environment we must also transform our emotional environment, since everything is interconnected. If the external environment is not well, the internal environment will not be well either. If the internal environment is not well, the external will also not be well. We have learned that to heal from the inside out both right and left hemispheres of our brain need to be considered important. The left hemisphere is the one where thinking, stating, and doing in society dominates. We must value and nurture the intuitive, holistic, concrete, playful, nonverbal, qualitative, sensory, imaginative, horizontal thinking, artistic sense, inspiration, creativity and spirituality, as well as that what is logical, that what is analytical, that what is abstract, that what is formal, that what is verbal, that what is quantitative, that what is intellectual and deductive, vertical thinking, numerical skills, reasoning, and science. By twinning the mind and the heart we can twin human beings with their nature, those of their species, and Mother Earth.
An action is sustainable when it transcends for the benefit of others. “It’s not what we get – but who we become, what we contribute… that gives meaning to our lives”. Tony Robbins
Pollination is a symbol of sustainability.
Five years had passed since the Children’s Forest in the Boca Amigo community had consolidated in the Amazon Region. This initiative had been promoted through various media channels and had been visited by people from different parts of Peru and other countries. It was not only our pride but the living proof of our work and vision. They deforested part of it, hunted animals, and contaminated the cocha [Quechua word meaning small extended water tank of little depth]. Soon, several homes housed a “prostibar” [bar that also has prostitutes] and music played there from 11 in the morning until dawn. Fortunately, most of the children we worked with went to primary and secondary schools in Puerto Maldonado, Madre de Dios, Peru. It was a moment of questioning, anguish, and sadness. Our model that had transcended had ceased to exist. We have learned that the only thing that is sustainable over time is change and that we must be prepared for it. Change is due to external factors that we do not control and other factors specific to our lives. We understood that a flower has a life cycle, the Children’s Forest had also had its. Of five seeds, one budded, grew, blossomed, its seeds were scattered, it withered, and returned to become part of the earth. Soon, new Children’s Lands sprung up on the coast and mountains of Peru and other countries such as Brazil and Bolivia. The Boca Amigo Children’s Forest had fulfilled its mission. We have learned that sustainability does not mean that it lasts forever, but as long as it exists it transcends for the benefit of others.
MAKERS OF A SUSTAINABLE WORLD We cannot endorse the change that each one of us has to make to contribute to a sustainable world to somebody else. As Edward Zinn says, “You can’t be neutral on a moving train.”
“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems”. Mahatma Gandhi The state of childhood and nature tells us if we are moving towards a sustainable world or not. Positive and regular contact of children with their natural environment is also important for them to grow up with values and attitudes in favor of life. It is crucial to reorient our lifestyles, beliefs, forms of production, and consumption to achieve a positive impact in these three aspects. Saying that you cannot do it is unacceptable. If Christopher Columbus managed to cross the abysses of the world to reach America and human ingenuity took us to set foot on the moon there is no doubt that we can. We just need to live with a purpose and the rest will happen if we act quickly. At a global level, the United Nations has already laid out a path to move towards a sustainable world called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which have been adopted by most countries in the world and have goals for the year 2030. There are 17 goals, including: eradicating poverty, ending hunger, ensuring a healthy life, inclusive and equitable education, achieving gender equality, guaranteeing water for all, access to sustainable energies, promoting inclusive economic growth and consumption and sustainable production, resilient infrastructure, combating climate change, caring for and taking advantage of marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and promoting peace and alliances for a more united and better world.
In 2012, the World Conservation Congress approved “the right of children to nature and a healthy environment”. This includes the inherent right of children to connect with nature in an appropriate way in their daily lives.
To measure progress towards these goals, indexes with specific indicators already exist that have been implemented in various countries of the world and that include social and environmental welfare. Among these, we highlight the “Genuine Progress Index” (GPI)²³ implemented in Canada and other regions, the “Gross National Happiness Index” (GNH)²4 implemented in Bhutan, and the “Better Life Index” (BLI)²5 promoted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development – OECD, in its member countries. The GPI measures and values unpaid market activities, such as child and elderly care, unpaid domestic work, and volunteering. It also includes the costs derived from environmental degradation and the loss of natural resources. The GNH measures and values psychological well-being, health, use of time, education, diversity, and cultural resistance, good governance, community vitality, diversity and ecological resilience, and living standards. The BLI measures and values employment, income, housing, community life, education, work-life balance, the environment, citizen participation, health, life satisfaction, and safety.
Genuine Progress Indicator. Gross National Happiness. 25 Better Life Index. 26 It is promoted by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
In order to include the children and youngsters as change agents for the compliance of Sustainable Development Goals there are already agreements and initiatives that we must activate. Among them is Article 6 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which recognizes education as a key element to “promote lifestyles, attitudes, and behaviors for sustainable development.” In this context, the Education for Sustainable Development promoted by UNESCO should take greater prominence. Also included is the Convention on the Rights of Children, adopted by 193 countries, which contains 54 articles and 5 principles: non-discrimination, the best interests of the child, the right to life, to play, survival and development, participation, and the right to be consulted on the issues that affect them and that their opinions are taken into account, and the right to decent housing and adequate spaces for their development. In relation specifically to the link of children with nature, in 2012, the World Conservation Congress²⁶, adopted “the right of children to nature and a healthy environment”. This includes the inherent right of children to connect with nature in an appropriate way in their daily lives, and to enjoy, to maintain, and to reinforce this connection through
direct and permanent experience with nature; the right to live in an environment that contributes to their health and well-being, and to ensure the conservation of nature for the benefit of present and future generations, and the right to have the skills and tools to face environmental challenges and to help to achieve a sustainable world where we value nature and live in harmony with it. Considering the Sustainable Development Goals as the guiding light to follow, the existing agreements and tools to include children as beneficiaries and change agents, and the studies and worldviews that support the importance of positive and regular contact with their natural environment so that they become healthy and good-hearted citizens, The challenge is to reorient the work of the various societal sectors to ensure that new generations grow in contact with nature and live in harmony with it. Below we share possible actions and our vision towards the year 2030.
Homes Homes are cradles of our affection, coherence, values, and unity. It is the safest place for childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mental, physical, emotional, and social development. We know that fathers, mothers, grandmothers, grandfathers, nurses or other adult guardian figures are the main references, and children will internalize and copy their figures, significantly influencing their personality. If fear, male chauvinism, apathy, domination, submission, abuse, lying, and violence prevail in the home, children will face the world with this. On the other hand, if love, empathy, good treatment, honesty, hospitality, and non-violence prevail, children will channel this into the world, contributing well-being to their social, natural, and emotional environment. For this to happen, we consider it important that: â&#x20AC;˘ Children can count on the regular presence of, at least, one loving and coherent person that provides them with physical and emotional security. To this effect, parents and seniors have a fundamental role that must be valued, recognized, and promoted.
ď&#x20AC;ľ Ecohome kit sheet. Opposite page: set of stickers from the same kit. 192
• Children have unstructured free play time in natural spaces where experience and imagination prevail, and that they can walk barefoot on the lawn or on the ground. They should also have a space within the home where they can play, read a book of their choice, and nurture their creativity. For this effect, it is important to measure the time they spend in structured activities and in front of a monitor. In this regard, the American Academy of Pediatrics²7 essentially recommends 60 minutes a day of unstructured free play for children’s physical and mental health. It also recommends that children older than two years are not to be exposed to be in front of screens or monitors over one or two hours a day. For children under three years of age, it is known that the longer they stay in front of a TV, the more prone they will be to having attention problems²8 and to being bullied²9 when they are in school. In summary, it is important to schedule time for having experiences, having direct and free contact with family, friends, and the natural environment. • Practices in favor of the environment and a sustainable lifestyle are implemented at home. If there are children that are especially interested in it, it would be ideal if they were motivated and recognized by their parents as “those in charge of the home environment”. This will empower and motivate them to investigate, summon, undertake, supervise, and manage resources so that plants are watered and fertilized, pets receive the necessary care, cloth bags are used, solid waste is separated, egg shell fertilizer is produced, eco-bricks are produced, energy and water are saved, people cook well and eat healthy, bans are respected, and people eat local and seasonal food, people walk and exercise more, so that family members play and read more as a family, among other viable and significant activities. • People can count on the presence of aromatic and dietary plants, pollinators, and other kinds of hosts in gardens and pots in terraces, patios, balconies, and windows for the multiple benefits they provide for the health and wellbeing of people and the ecosystem. In addition to not buying wild animals as pets, to avoid raising animals in cages, and to adopt a dog or cat before buying one.
Energy In Energy Out: Finding the Right Balance for Your Children. 2014 American Academy of Pediatrics. 28 D. Christakis et al., “Early Television Exposure and Subsequent Attentional Problems in Children”. Pediatrics 113, Nº 4 (2004): 708-13. 29F. Zimmerman et al., “Early Cognitive Stimulation, Emotional Support, Television Watching as Predictors of Subsequent Bullying among Grade School Children”. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine 159, Nº 4 (2005): 384-88.
Our vision to 2030 is that “ecohomes” have multiplied, that they receive incentives, and that they are valued and recognized as an indicator of sustainable development. Real estate companies and local governments promote them as part of their organizational culture and policy. Children’s Lands are part of the ecohomes.
To help achieve these recommendations, ANIA has created the notion of “Ecohomes”, defined as homes where its members adopt a sustainable lifestyle contributing to their emotional, social and natural environment. For that purpose, we have created a “kit” that guides and provides the family to carry out actions in favor of the environment in a playful way. The Children’s Land methodology applied in homes includes several activities that contribute to an Ecohome. We have also created “the piggy bank for a better world” that has three openings to place coins in: “for me”, “for others” and “for nature”, helping to develop from early childhood the principles of sustainability through of the use of money in children. Our vision for 2030 is that “ecohomes” should have multiplied, should have received incentives, and are valued and recognized as an indicator of sustainable development. Real estate companies and local governments promote them as part of their organizational culture and policy. Children’s Lands are part of ecohomes. Educational Institutions Complementing the home, educational institutions have the role of identifying and nurturing students’ talents and helping them develop skills so that they can be empathetic, productive, and peaceful citizens who generate well-being for themselves, other people, and nature. In Peru there is a route mapped to institutionalize Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). In this sense, the Ministry of Education relies on the “Política Nacional de Educación Ambiental” [National Environmental Education Policy] (Supreme Decree number 0172012-ED)³0 and the “Plan Nacional de Educación Ambiental – PLANEA [National Plan for
Environmental Education – PLANEA] (Supreme decree number 016-2016) that define the goals and guidelines in order to apply the environmental approach in Peru’s education system in an intra-sectoral and inter-sectoral manner. In order to move forward, we recommend the following actions: • Initiatives are promoted that are framed within the ESD principles and that the Peruvian Ministry of Education promotes through the Integrated Environmental Education Projects (PEAI): MARES (linked to solid waste management), GLOBE (linked to research and environmental science) ), VIVE (linked to the valuation of protected natural areas), FOOTPRINT (linked to carbon footprint and climate change reduction) and LIVING SPACE (linked to enhancing green areas created and/or natural spaces recovered or preserved and their valuation inside or outside the educational institution). • The educational infrastructure regulations include the minimum technical percentage that all educational institutions must have of green areas, properly distributed, as pedagogical, playful, healthy resources and as a refuge for local biodiversity; instructions to follow to implement green areas in existing educational institutions, especially those that do not have spaces for these purposes and decide to remove cement; instructions on how to surround the surrounding natural areas belonging to the educational institution so that they are not visually isolated from the members of the community and so that parents and other family members are allowed to access it so that they can continue to cooperate with their children and enjoy the place. Otherwise, the link and commitment of the members of the community regarding the maintenance and care of the natural area is likely to be weakened.
In ESD, nature is valued for its competence to raise good-hearted citizens.
The implementation of Peru’s “Política Nacional de Educación Ambiental” [National Environmental Education Policy] approved by SUPREME DECREE 0172012-ED, is mandatory for all educational institutions in the Peruvian territory and its main objective is to improve people’s quality of life, guaranteeing the existence of healthy, viable and functional environments; and the sustainable development of Peru, through the prevention, protection and recovery of the environment, conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, in a responsible and consistent manner with respect for the fundamental rights of people.
In a 5mÂ˛ area in the Manuel Bonilla Educational Institution in Miraflores, Lima (1), the workers of the Edificando Company extract cement (2). Students break small concrete blocks (3) to then enable space and create their Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Land (4).
In Peru there is a route mapped to institutionalize Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). In this sense, the Ministry of Education relies on the “Política Nacional de Educación Ambiental” and the “Plan Nacional de Educación Ambiental – PLANEA that define the goals and guidelines in order to apply the environmental approach in Peru’s education system in an intra-sectoral and inter-sectoral manner.
• The “Programa Nacional de Infraestructura Educativa” [National Educational Infrastructure Program] (PRONIED) has a specific budget for the creation and maintenance of green areas in educational institutions, that local governments, together with PRONIED, support the educational institutions in their jurisdiction with technical assistance, water, plants, fertilizer, and biological control of pests, among other things. • Within the framework of the curricular program, more initiatives are promoted that support coexistence which contribute to the development of values-based learning and reduce violence in educational institutions. Taking as an example the practice of capoeira in the educational institutions in Brazil, you can do the same with dance, street soccer, and cooking. In this sense, Vania Masias’s D1 “Strengthening of Fundamental Learning through Hip Hop Culture” initiative can contribute a lot. Also “street soccer”, promoted in Peru by the Ruwasunchis Association as a member of the Latin American Street Football Movement. Like these two initiatives, culinary arts are also being promoted by some Peruvian chefs and other entrepreneurs as a pedagogical resource for sustainable development. • The school curriculum is complemented with students’ sustainable life school curriculum³¹. In this curriculum, the actions they have undertaken since elementary school are voluntarily recorded at their educational institution, home or community in favor of their social and natural environment. When they graduate from high school they will have a certification that not only assesses the knowledge acquired but also the use of this knowledge with values. • The Colegios de Alto Rendimiento [High Performance Schools] (COAR) and any kind of service that aims to improve educational quality are a reference regarding good environmental management practices, operating with eco-efficiency and adequate technology, and their infrastructure and green areas reflect and value the local culture and ecosystem.
As part of the Children’s Land methodology in educational institutions, ANIA promotes the sustainable life school curriculum.
Our vision for 2030 is that educational institutions in Peru have institutionalized education for sustainable development, forming new generations of citizens who adopt sustainable lifestyles.
• Pedagogical institutes and universities with education faculties institutionalize the environmental approach, train teachers in sustainable development education, and operate with eco-efficiency. Special courses are also offered to older adults to help teachers and students in the development of values learned and provision of wise council and affection during the school day³². • Institutes of higher education have a course in the first semester of general university requirements called “Life Purpose”. This course inspires students to nurture and use their talents to contribute to a sustainable world. For that purpose, people living different realities are invited who, with love, coherence, and perseverance, have overcome various obstacles and transcended in well-being for themselves, other people, and nature.
Since 2016, The Regional Government of Ica, led by Engineer Fernando Cilloniz, has been promoting the “El Gran Amauta” initiative, through which adults transmit their knowledge to children and adolescents in various educational institutions in the region, and they are valued as change agents. 32
To help promote sustainable development education in Peru, ANIA has established an alliance with the Peruvian Ministry of Education. As a result, the story “El Gran Tesoro de la Naturaleza” [Nature’s Great Treasure] was included in classroom libraries and distributed in public educational institutions at primary level in Peru. The Children’s Land methodology has also been institutionalized as Living Spaces, which is promoted at the national level as a “Proyecto Educativo Ambiental Integrado” [Integrated Environmental Education Project] (PEAI). Our vision for 2030 is that educational institutions in Peru can count on institutionalized education for sustainable development, shaping new generations of citizens who adopt
Children’s Land in the Alto Laran educational institution, Chincha, Ica.
The type of companies that we require are those that are characterized by using the power of the market to provide solutions to society’s social and environmental problems. Today, this type of company is known as “Company B”.
sustainable lifestyles. The Children’s Lands promoted by ANIA and Living Spaces promoted by the Peruvian Ministry of Education are recognized for adding purpose and affection to the learning process and making it more relevant to the local culture and ecosystem, and to the needs of the students and their families. Companies Companies have a transcendental responsibility and opportunity to lead us towards a sustainable world. As Richard Brandson, Virgin’s founder and CEO, says, “In the past, people let the world’s problems get solved by politicians and social workers, and businesses only created jobs and wealth. I think that now many business leaders have realized that all companies must become a force for good.”
Unique logo aimed at children, unifying responsibility standards and seals with our social and natural environment. With such a logo, children are empowered to have an important influence on local and global responsible production and consumption.
Without the companies’ leadership it will be impossible to emerge from an unsustainable world and with it hope will be catalyzed. The type of companies that we require are those that are characterized by using the power of the market to provide solutions to society’s social and environmental problems. Today, this type of company is known as “Company B”, and its success is measured in triple profitability: economic, social, and environmental. The purpose of a B Company is not to be the best in the world, but to be the best for the world. Taking these as referents, we highlight the following actions for companies to actively promote the wellbeing of children and the environment: • To develop, institutionalize, and disseminate a playful universal logo that is adopted by companies and allows children to identify products and services that have already established production and distribution standards that contribute to social welfare and nature conservation. The goal is for this logo to group existing stamps and symbols such as FSC, Fair Market, Rainforest Alliance, Shade Grown, Cruelty Free, Bird Friendly, No Child Labor, among others; and to make it easier for children to choose products and services that contribute to their well-being and the environment. • To adopt the “Children’s Rights and Business Principles” promoted by UNICEF, Save
the Children, and the United Nations Global Compact. The first principle is integrating Children’s Rights that is transversal to the rest. The following three are related to the workplace and are: contributing to eradicate child labor, providing decent work to youngsters, workers, parents and caregivers; and ensuring children’s protection and security in all business activities and facilities. The next two are related to the market and are to ensure that products and services are safe and that through them children’s rights are promoted and that marketing and corporate advertising respect and support children’s rights. The last four are related to the community and the environment and include respecting and promoting children’s rights in relation to the environment and the acquisition and use of land. • To adapt the curriculum of institutes and business, administration and economics faculties to train professionals who lead and work in companies for the purpose of using the standards of the B Companies and Children’s Rights and Business Principles as referents. • Companies that have gardens or natural areas favor plants to grow which contributes to local biodiversity. Also, given the conditions, they enable spaces for children to interact with nature in those spaces³³. A good example in urban areas are some Chinese – Peruvian restaurants that have a pond with fish surrounded by roads, bridges, and gardens. In other cases, they can implement an outdoor daycare center, where the children of their workers are in positive and regular contact with nature and close to their mothers or guardians. • To invest, as part of social and environmental responsibility, in creating and improving natural spaces in educational institutions in the influence field of their operations by providing plants, fertilizer, tools, water, technical advice, volunteering, and cement extraction, among other actions.
An example is a Children’s Land created in the gardens of the Astrid & Gaston restaurant with the support of the Telefonica Company. 33
To facilitate companies developing actions in favor of children and the environment, ANIA has undertaken the Children’s Land methodology with them in the area of their operations, and in several cases with the participation of their workers through volunteering. Likewise, we have developed initiatives that promote the internal coherence of its managers and workers with the principles, social and environmental values that define the company. One of them was “ecohomes” and another one, the implementation of the “Sustainable Life Résumé”³4, where voluntary actions are registered that each worker develops in the welfare of their social and environmental environment.
Our vision for 2030 is that the standards that define a B Company are to be the trend in the corporate world as well as the implementation of business principles and children’s rights. Companies invest more and more in education for sustainable development. With their decisions and choices, children increase the demand for services and products that contribute to a sustainable world. The majority of young people aspire to channel their talent in ventures that help solve the world’s problems, generating economic, social, and environmental profitability. The economy has become a regenerative force of life, human relations, and harmony with the environment. The new “millionaire” is the one who manages to satisfy his/her needs by transforming lives, regenerating and conserving ecosystems, and environmental services that they provide. Local and Regional Governments A purposeful local or regional government aims to contribute to the sustainable development of their district or region and a central indicator of this is the state of children who reside, study, and travel there, and the presence and access to green and/or natural areas. Francisco Tonucci’s initiative called “the city of children” is a world reference in this area, because as he theorizes, a city that is good for children is good for everyone. With regard to children’s positive and regular contact with nature and their participation in the improvement of the environment, we suggest the following actions: •To encourage the creation, improvement and care of green and/or natural areas in sidewalks, parks, gardens, terraces, windows, roofs, balconies, patios, and other places in public and private areas, in homes and educational institutions, whereby different societal actors participate in. The green areas evolve from having decorative purposes to being “productive areas for life” where priority is given to planting native plants and species that have multiple purposes such as nourishing the soil, attracting pollinators, providing
Children’s Land at the Astrid & Gaston restaurant in San Isidro, Lima.
34 In its challenge to strengthen the sustainability component and good environmental practices, the Interoc Company in Peru has successfully developed the Sustainable Living curriculum among its employees. For more information go to their web page.
It is important that municipalities generate quality standards so that parks are safer places that encourage regular and positive contact of children with nature.
SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE, WE ARE PLAYING FOR YOU
medicine and food, and serving as a habitat for wildlife like birds. “The number of square meters per inhabitant of green areas productive for life” and “the number of square meters for free play in nature per child” are added to the indicator of the number of square meters per inhabitant of the World Health Organization (WHO)³5. • To include in the participatory children’s and adolescents’ budget a fund destined to improve the environment. Likewise, allocate a fund for the creation and improvement of green areas or natural spaces in educational institutions and neighborhoods that allows providing for them with technical assistance, water, plants, fertilizer, and biological pest control. • To generate standards for parks that are safer places, which encourage regular and positive contact of children with nature. For example, having live fences one meter high on the perimeter that borders streets; installing spring fences in areas of high pedestrian traffic at the entrance of parks; having trees to climb; ensuring that after an event there are no pins, plastic waste, and other dangerous and polluting elements left that allow for walking barefoot to those who wish to do so; using natural herbicides and pesticides; enabling spaces so that we can have fruit carts and healthy food, and elements that invite creative play, prohibiting bursting fire crackers, among other activities. Creating these standards should integrate the opinion of children, parents, and neighbors of the parks.
35 The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that a city should have at least between 8 and 12 square meters of green area per inhabitant distributed equally in relation to population density.
• To train the municipality’s gardening, cleaning, and security staff regarding the importance of regular and positive contact with nature and outdoor play for children’s well-being, and in general for the entire population. This, with the goal of accrediting them with a badge as environmental promoters and outdoor play facilitators. To do the same with older adults, nannies or other guardians of children interested in participating and promoting compliance with the standards of parks that are safe for children. • To enable municipal nurseries as environmental education centers where various species of plants, their functions, guidelines for their growing and technologies, and home ideas are exhibited to expand the green areas and sustain them by producing compost, among other related topics.
• To identify, value, and protect unique trees as natural monuments that serve as a point of local pride, environmental awareness, and ecotourism. A unique tree is one that stands out for its shape, size, and age or for being the main character of a story, myth or tradition³6. In this sense, in 2015, the Provincial Municipality of Mariscal Nieto, in Moquegua, Peru enacted an ordinance declaring a tree located in the center of Los Angeles, the Estuquiña sector as the first tree that serves as a natural monument in Peru. The “Molle Centenario” [Centennial Molle] as they call it, started off as a forgotten tree. It was then used as a urinal and dumpster, and turned into a place of “provincial interest for its protection and conservation by defending, caring, and disseminating the ecosystem services it provides”. Next to the molle, an elderly woman was also seen who added value to the initiative with her history and anecdotes of childhood and youth. Because of this, the local inhabitants baptized her as the “Lady of the Tree”. Just as the “Centennial Molle”, there are already other cases valuing unique trees such as the “Algarrobo Rey” [King Carob Tree] in Tambo Grande, Piura, and the inspiring story of the “Cedro de Huancapi” [Huancapi Cedar Tree], which today is the epicenter of the Square of that place in Ayacucho, Peru. We believe that the same can be done at different scales in parks, educational institutions, and streets, identifying unique trees by having neighbors, children, and older adults in the locality participate in the endeavor. To enable local and regional governments to promote sustainable development in their districts and regions, caring for and valuing children and their natural heritage, ANIA has undertaken five initiatives. The first is promoting trees as natural monuments together with the “Servicio Nacional Forestal y de Fauna Silvestre” [National Forestry and Wildlife Service] (SERFOR) and the “Sociedad Peruana de Derecho Ambiental” [the Peruvian Society of Environmental Law] (SPDA). The “Centennial Molle” was a product of it. Second, by promoting an ordinance that values and recognizes the contribution of people under 18 to sustainable development due to their protagonist and voluntary participation in the improvement of the environment in public and private spaces. The third and fourth initiatives are for municipalities to adopt as sustainability indicators the percentage of households that have been transformed into “ecohomes” and the percentage of educational
Mountain Molle in Moquegua, first tree declared as a natural monument in Peru; Deolinda Castro, 96 years old, whose stories contributed to value the “Molle Centenario” [Centennial Molle]. Opposite page: vision of a revalued space around a tree was declared a natural monument.
This initiative is inspired by project “Trees, Living Legends” project, led by the organization Bosques sin Fronteras [Forests without Borders], in Spain.
A government with a purpose steers the country towards sustainability. A government that allows for children to be better is a government that allows all of us to be better.
institutions that have institutionalized “education for sustainable development”. The fifth initiative is promoting the installation of a statue of the ANIA character in various areas of life in Peru, dressed in the typical attire of each place and surrounded by native plant species. The idea is that she reminds us of the importance of having children be in regular and positive contact with nature. The Municipality of Miraflores, in Lima, Peru has been the first municipality to place an Ania sculpture in its district. Our vision for 2030 is that over 50% of local and regional governments in Peru actively promote the creation and conservation of natural areas in urban and rural spaces accessible to children and youngsters as spaces for playing, recreation and entrepreneurship. They also promote initiatives that allow for the participation of children and youngsters as change agents and to promote ecohomes and ESDs in educational institutions. Also, that there be at least one tree considered as a natural monument in each district³7 of Peru. Central Government A government with goals that steers the country towards sustainability. As the Bhutan Legal Code states since 1729: “If the government cannot create happiness for its people, there is no purpose for the government to exist.” For that effect, it is important to promote laws and initiatives that favor investment in the solution of social and environmental problems generating a life regenerative economy that creates wealth by reducing inequality, poverty, violence, and damage to nature. An indicator of this improvement is that every year there should be a significant improvement in relation to the previous year regarding the state of childhood, ecosystems, and the development of environmental citizenship. A government that makes the state of children better is a government that makes all of us better. For this effect, we consider the following important:
In the year 2016, there were 1,869 districts in Peru.
• That sustainability metrics be incorporated into the country’s welfare indicators, which also measure and value social and environmental aspects. The “Index for a Better Life” of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is a good reference to adopt, considering that it has already been applied in other Latin American countries
such as Brazil, Chile and Mexico. Indicators that are considered by this indicator and other similar indexes are: unpaid work, such as caring for children at home, the development of gardens and home gardens, and voluntary work in community welfare. • That the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), in addition to being a state policy on education, be integrated as a fundamental element in the national strategy of climate change adaptation and in compliance with global objectives of sustainable development by 2030. For this purpose, the ESD is included in Peru’s National Agreement, a multisectoral strategy is developed, and resources are assigned to be institutionalized and implemented in Peru. • That homes and families have become a focus of policies, investment, and public and private innovation with the purpose of creating the conditions that allow children to grow up with affection and respect, developing habits and customs in favor of a sustainable life. An indicator of this is that conditions improve for pregnant mothers and for the early childhood of their children; that the number of hours per day increases when children are accompanied by an adult who motivates and cares for them; that the number of hours that children play outdoors increases; that the productive green areas for life in homes are also increased; and that TV programs and the advertising industry regulate their content within the framework of children’s rights. • That there be a public-private land trust, to conserve natural areas in urban and rural areas adjacent to populated centers and educational institutions that allow children to be in regular and positive contact with nature and to participate in its restoration, use, and protection. That they also serve to produce food and where sustainable productive activities that contribute to the welfare of the children and youngsters can be developed. Families, communities, businesses, local governments, parishes, state institutions, and other actors donate and/or transfer plots of land to children’s land trusts, for which various incentives are developed. As a result, the number of hours and of children in contact with nature that freely play in it, learn, and participate in its conservation increases.
• That the “Servicio Ambiental por Valores y Educación” [Environmental Service for Values and Education] (SAVE) be valued and promoted, as a mechanism that helps education sustainability, the well-being of children and youngsters, and the conservation of nature. To this end, the valuation of a natural area will be based on the number of children who regularly access it and the characteristics of the place as a pedagogical resource, recreation space, and for the undertaking of sustainable activities. The premise is that children and youngsters who access a natural area in a regular and positive way, compared to those who do not, will develop greater knowledge, skills, and values in favor of life and nature. • That tax incentives be implemented for initiatives regarding nature conservation and the provision of environmental services, and that the creation and improvement of green areas or natural spaces in educational institutions and adjacent areas be included. In this sense, the “Sociedad Peruana de Derecho Ambiental [Peruvian Society of Environmental Law] (SPDA)³8 has phrased 10 legal proposals to the State of which we highlight the following two: to include the deduction of expenses associated with investment in conservation in Article 37 of the Income Tax Law; and to modify the Municipal Tax Law to exempt private conservation areas property tax. All of these proposals would significantly contribute to the sustainability of initiatives that allow for children to be in contact with nature. • That the Peruvian Ministry of the Environment can rely on a database of all the children’s groups in Peru that develop actions in favor of the environment in order to give them visibility, to identify leaders, to train them, to support their initiatives, to record their achievements, to link and to strengthen them. The goal is that there be at least one group consisting of young referents in each district of Peru³9 that serves as a vehicle to channel good practices in favor of the social and natural environment. Also, that there be a growing number of “Environmentally Active Population” that complement the “Economically Active Population” and thus we value the contribution that citizens make in social matters and in our natural environment.
38 SPDA. F iscal Conservation Incentives, 10 legal proposals ... (2015). 39 To this end, ANIA has created the NiNJA virtual platform: Children and youngsters for the environment.
• That the purpose of State institutions be reoriented towards sustainability and as a symbol of this, and of greater coherence and unity among the ministries, that they share the same surname: “sustainable development”. Then we would have: the “Ministry of Economy and Finance for Sustainable Development”, the “Ministry of Education for Sustainable Development”, the “Ministry of the Environment for Sustainable Development”, among other ministries. • That peace and unity in Peru be actively promoted. As a symbol of this, on Peruvian national holidays, complementing the national Independence Day parade or the exhibition of the country’s military power, a manifestation of equal importance with people and
demonstrations of endeavors that generate love and unity among Peruvians and give value to children, as well as towards our natural and cultural heritage, should take place. In 2016, in partnership with the CCERO40 Company, ANIA developed the “Bono SAVE” [SAVE bond]. The first case regarding this bond took place in a 20 hectare tropical Children’s Forest adjacent to an educational institution in a rural area of the Amazon, where 20 children study and two teachers work. An average of PEN 100 was estimated for each student which includes educational materials required annually and that the State does not provide for, in addition to a cap and a backpack; a PEN 50 bonus per month (for 10 months) per teacher who uses the forest as a pedagogical resource on a regular basis; and the annual cost of maintaining educational trails and signs in the forest. For this specific case, the value of the SAVE Bond is PEN 6,000 per year. By channeling the funds stemming from bonds, families, teachers, and other members of the community tangibly perceive nature as an ally in children’s upbringing and training, and therefore, they value it more and take care of it.
First bond issued by Servicios ambientales para valores y educación (SAVE). Opposite page: Children’s Forest of the Villa Primavera community, Tahuamanu, Madre de Dios, Peru.
The LATAM Company has been the first beneficiary and contributor of this bond to offset the carbon footprint of a portion of its land operations with CCERO, which allocates 33% of its income to ANIA to improve the quality of children’s education in Madre de Dios, Peru, through the Children’s Land initiative and SAVE bonds. The bond in question can also be directly contributed through ANIA by a company, family or individual that seeks to contribute to education for the sustainable development of Peru and increase their handprint. CCERO is a company that specializes in micro-marketing
Our vision to 2030 is that Peru a global reference in the implementation of policies and the promotion of innovative initiatives that ensure the wellbeing of children; that recognizes
of Christ, the Redeemer, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
children as change agents; and that facilitates their regular and positive contact with their natural environment, and so that they adopt sustainable lifestyles. It is also a benchmark in the valuation of nature as an ally in the improvement of health, education, poverty eradication, and other Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. The Catholic Church As a child I was told that the church was a place full of love. When I went I saw a man hanging on the wall with nails, and blood on his hands and feet, and more blood on his forehead and belly. I was afraid. Then, the man dressed in white who spoke in front of us told us that it was our fault that he was like that, and I did not like it because I had not done anything to him. In a context of escalating violence against life, where Peru is the third country most vulnerable to climate change and children the most vulnerable ones, Catholicism has an enormous responsibility and opportunity to approach new generations in a renewed way with concrete actions that contribute to our physical and emotional environment. The road has been mapped having as reference Saint Francis of Assisi and the Encyclical Letter Laudato Si by Pope Francis on “the care of the common house”. In this encyclical letter, he states: “that human beings destroy biological diversity in divine creation; that human beings degrade the integrity of the Earth, and contribute to climate change, stripping it of its natural forests or destroying its humid areas; that human beings contaminate the waters, the soil, and the air. All these are sins. Because a crime against nature is a crime against ourselves, and a sin against God”. For this purpose, we consider important the following: • That after over 2,000 years, the Catholic Church should fast forward three days and that it should no longer place itself in death but in resurrection, and replace fear with hope. As
“For human beings to destroy the biological diversity in divine creation; for human beings to degrade the integrity of the earth and to contribute to climate change, stripping the land of its natural forests or destroying its humid areas; for human beings to contaminate water, soil, and air. All those are sins.” Pope Francis.
a symbol of this, the crucified Christ needs to be changed for the risen Christ in churches and in necks emulating the “Christ the Redeemer” as the one in Rio de Janeiro. Let us also stop giving ourselves blows of guilt on the chest and give ourselves a hug for the positive things that we will do for others, for nature, and for ourselves. • That based on Pope Francis’s encyclical, Laudato Si, bishops, priests, deacons, nuns, sisters, and other members of the Catholic Church be trained on environmental issues and sustainable development. And as a result, they should adopt sustainable lifestyles and be referents on these subjects. This knowledge and attitude change should also transcend to lay schools and by getting the children ready for their first communion. • That when celebrating Mass, the parish priest should include in his speech the importance of taking care of our “common home” on a regular basis. He should allow for dialoguing with the faithful, and he should allow women to participate more as a sign of inclusion and of how important women are in order to achieve a more equitable, loving, and sustainable world. • That parishes have gardens that reflect a fragment of creation, where biodiversity is conserved and promoted, where children can play, and there is a sister or another member of the church that cares for them and guides them. Likewise, that in the land owned by the church, spaces are to be created for and with children and youngsters where they can practice on how to develop their lives and other initiatives that contribute to their wellbeing, that of other people, and nature. Our vision to 2030 is that Catholicism leads a revolution of love and hope generating changes in its actions and infrastructure that serve as inspiration to believers and nonbelievers on how to care for the “common house”. In that sense, the majority of parishes and church lands have productive green areas for life and spaces where children and
Our vision for 2030 is that most parishes and church lands have productive green areas for life and spaces where children and youngsters feel safe, play, and take initiatives for the benefit of their community.
youngsters feel safe, play, and take initiatives in favor of their community. Likewise, the members of the church, men and women, own up to nature’s defense, and include it in their preaching and daily actions.
Pursuits Yachaq, in the Quechua language, means a curious, skillful, and good thinking person who has specialized in a life subject for which s/he has a vocation and affection for. Vocation is called “mano” [hand]. There are hands for plants and animals, for healing humans, for fishing, for weaving, among other things, and it is with hands that it connects to environments and strengthens the bond with the ayllu [extensive family community originating in the Andean region where members real or supposedly descend from a common person. The ayllu collectively works on a territory that is common property]. For the yachaq, affection will always be more valuable than money, and his/her greatest desire is that his/her knowledge transcend others4¹. Living for a purpose and adopting a sustainable lifestyle is transcending others by using our talents. Dancing, cooking, sowing, harvesting, singing, restoring, painting, selling, recycling, cleaning, building, designing, scoring a goal, and other activities, when accompanied by purpose, affection, and coherence, add up and make a difference. Through our activities we can significantly contribute to children’s well-being, nature, and the contact between them. Here are some suggestions for those who are closer to children and who participate in or influence their upbringing:
Excerpts from the Sumaq Kawsay publication.
• Children’s parents and caregivers such as grandmothers, grandfathers, nurses or any kind of other person, can frequently take them to an accessible natural area and promote creative play, exercise, dance, and sports among other outdoor activities. They can also develop daily and significant activities favoring the environment such as buying seasonal fruit and vegetables, and taking them home in cloth bags, grow a plant, and take care of it, feed pets, among other activities. Strengthening skills of those who care for children through courses and workshops on the environment would help them to be better referents.
ď&#x20AC;ľ On a regular basis, pediatricians should prescribe that children contact nature.
ď&#x20AC;ľ FĂŠlix Mijahuanga, raised in Ayabaca, Piura, Peru, has been living in Lima since he was 22 years old, and today, he is a professional gardener and landscaper. He has also specialized in teaching children how to grow plants and take care of nature.
ď&#x20AC;ľ Mercedes Atoc, raised in Tarma, Junin, Peru, has been living in Lima since she was 17 years old. She is now a nanny. She adds value to her work environment as she has the skill to grow plants and breed animals, and to develop knowledge and empathy for nature in the children she cares for.
• Pediatricians can regularly prescribe, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, that children have at least one hour a day for unstructured play and for exercising outdoors. Also, this topic can be included in higher education pediatrics courses, and motivate students to do research and dissertations on it. • Teachers can focus their learning on nature, on what it offers us, on the problems generated by our activities and on solutions, promoting affection and positive and regular contact with nature in the process. They can promote the Children’s Land/Living Space initiative within the educational institution and in students’ homes. Teachers’ aides and tutors can reinforce teachers’ efforts of bringing children closer to nature. • Psychologists can recommend that children spend time outdoors with nature as it reduces stress, among other benefits. By also applying positive psychology, they may recommend that parents give opportunities to their children from their potential to contribute to improving the environment from homes. This topic could be included in higher education psychology courses to motivate students to do research and thesis work in it. • Parish priests, during mass, can make a call to care for creation. It can be done during the homily, the call to peace, communion, a song or praise, confession or at any another moment. Catechists can do the same through their parish groups. • Architects and engineers can design and build houses, apartments, condominiums, and residential areas that favor having a view of plants and that they grow properly in windows, terraces, patios, balconies, roofs, corridors, gardens, and other spaces. Also, spaces should be enabled where children can play freely in contact with nature. When the demand for properties with trees, shrubs, and green is the trend, and the supply responds to this demand, the mission will be fulfilled. A special mention for those people who are gardeners by nature. In Lima, Peru, many people who live on the outskirts of the city come from the countryside or spent their childhood there and have a natural affinity with plants. An indicator of this is the small green areas that they create in the environment around their homes or businesses. Some of these people have found an occupation in gardening and work as gardeners in public and private spaces. Others, regardless of their work, implement the growing of plants and the breeding of animals when they have the opportunity. For example, in my neighborhood there is a mechanic’s workshop whose owner has created a small garden in the berm where he takes care of his cats. Not far from there, there is a woman who has a warehouse for building materials and in the berm she has also created a garden with some 30 species of plants. My children’s nanny, a native of Tarma, Junin, Peru, where she has a farm, teaches
Our vision for 2030 is that there be a growing number of citizens who live with a purpose, and through their talents and activities, take on the commitment to contribute to the welfare of children and the environment.
us how to grow and care for plants that grow in pots in our home. Among the species of plants, we have the nettle4² which, with its mere presence, inspires respect, discipline, and a sense of humor in us. As a whole, gardeners by profession or dedication are an army of growers that must be valued and empowered to help us regenerate life with love and respect. Our vision to 2030 is that there is a growing number of citizens who live with a purpose, and through their talents and activities, take on the commitment to contribute to the well-being of children and the environment. Media The culture of discord and violence in which we live in in Peru is nourished and sustained in part because we demand it through the media and they do little to regulate program contents due to economic factors. The great challenge is how to replace hopelessness and apathy with our preferences for hope and empathy. Considering that up to 12 years of age we develop the peak moment of our values and attitudes, it is crucial that children are exposed to non-violent content and that we dosify what they read, watch, listen to, and what they interact with, so that the balance is in favor of that what is experiential, meaningful, constructive and affective. And just as it is important to spread the truth of the facts, it is also important that this truth be transmitted in a constructive and non-destructive way, since the latter justifies lying and nourishes indifference and violence. Nettle is the common name of plants of the genus Urtica, characterized by having stinging hairs that release an acid substance that stings and inflames skin. It is considered one of the plants with the most medicinal applications. 42
One piece of news that could serve as a turning point towards a culture of unity and love is to disseminate the complete and non-partial message of Charles Darwin, which concludes that the main engines of human evolution are not “the survival of the fittest” nor the “egocentric gene”, concepts that protect the culture of disunity and fear, but, on the contrary, “moral sensitivity, education, and love”43. Our vision for 2030 is that initiatives in favor of a sustainable world that we undertake from homes, educational institutions, businesses, local governments, the central government,
the Catholic Church, and as citizens are a trend in the media. Unity and love are greatly demanded topics by the new generations.
Initiatives that Already Stand Out The Australian aborigines have a rite of initiation called the “Walkabout”, through which adolescents begin a wandering journey that lasts months with the aim of following in the footsteps of their ancestors, connecting with the earth, with themselves, and with other populations. In the Western world, we lack this kind of initiation rite that helps us develop skills to live sustainable lives. However, there are important initiatives in various parts of the world that promote children to have regular and positive contact with nature, and through nature with their own nature, and the harmonious relationship with others. Below we share some of them.
Left: National Geographic cover with the Children’s Forest topic in 2012. Right: A child in his Children’s Land being filmed for the Brazilian documentary “A quien le importa” [To Whom Does it Matter], in 2009.
At the global level, there is the “Roots and Shoots” initiative, initiated by Jane Goodall in 1991, in Tanzania. You can find this initiative today in over 130 countries around the world. It promotes projects created by children and young people that have a positive impact on animals, on people, and the environment in general. In Germany, in 1968, the initiative of outdoor children’s schools was born, also known as “Waldkindergarten” or “Forest-schools”, where the classroom is nature, be it a forest, field or beach. Today, this initiative has multiplied in the world and it exists in several countries in Europe, Asia, and the USA. It is aimed at children between the ages of three and six, and the priority is to develop creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, self-confidence, empathy, language skills, among other things, in them through play, exploration, imagination, running, climbing, and being outdoors. In the USA, in 2006, motivated by Richard Louv’s book, “The Last Child in the Forest”, the Children and Nature Network44 was created, which today leads a movement to connect children, their families, and communities to the natural world. From there several initiatives have arisen, such as the coalition called “No child left inside”, which seeks to
43 The psychologist and evolutionary scientist David Loye has written several books on this subject based on what Darwin expressed in The Origin of Species. (The Descent of Man), the second publication that completes the first The Origin of Species.
The “Hazla por tu Playa” [Do It for Your Beach] initiative, by Conservamos por Naturaleza and Life out of Plastic (LOOP), which promotes volunteering for beach cleaning.
promote environmental education and the contact of school-age children with nature. As part of this, several states, cities, and protected areas have enacted a “Convention on the Rights of Children to Perform Outdoor Activities”45. The first state to do so was California, which states that all children have the right to splash in water, to play in a safe place, to camp under the stars, to explore nature, to learn to swim, to play on a team, to follow a trace, and to celebrate their cultural heritage, among other activities. In Chicago, USA, there is the initiative called the “Space to Grow” that aims to transform school playgrounds into green areas that provide students, families, and the community with a space to play in, to bond, to allow for physical activities, and to learn about the outdoor environment. These places are especially valuable in densely populated communities where there is a lack of green areas or spaces with nature. Another important program is the one promoted by the National Wildlife Federation called “Wildlife Habitats”. The program consists of promoting and certifying gardens or natural spaces in homes, educational institutions, and communities that provide suitable habitats for wildlife. To be certified these places must provide food, water, shelter, and a place where wild animals can nest.
44 Children & Nature Network. 45 Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights.
In Canada, we work with the organizations “Soul of the Mother” and “Planting Seeds of Hope”, which connect children and youngsters with nature using ancestral practices of the indigenous population of Six Nations. Similarly, in Fuji, Japan, we work with the Byakko Shinko organization that promotes a culture of peace and a life in harmony with nature. In Colombia, the “Organización para la educación y protección ambiental” [Organization for Education and Environmental Protection] (OPEPA) has existed since 1998. It seeks to reconnect children and youngsters with the Earth so that they can act in an environmentally responsible manner. It does this through expeditions, courses, projects, and other initiatives. Other ventures that we are familiar with in Latin America that
contact children and/or young people with nature are Herbarium, and Tierra y Valle, in Chile, GAIA in El Salvador, Ecoclubes and Educar Forestando in Argentina.
Climbing Therapy: Psychomotor therapy using climbing.
In Lima, Peru, Markham College has had an “Outdoor Education Program” for several years now, which includes trips and camps in different places in Peru to connect students between the ages of 9 and 15 year with nature, their culture to develop skills that allow them to contribute to their social and natural environment. Students attach great meaning to this program, as they consider it a “rite of passage” in their lives. Other organizations in Peru that contact children and/or youngsters with nature, and with whom we have a link, are: Conservados por Naturaleza [We Conserve by Nature] and their initiative “Hazla por tu Playa”[Do It for Your Beach], in partnership with Life Out of Plastic (LOOP) ; the “Centro de Rescate Amazónico” [Amazon Rescue Center] (CREA), in Loreto; the Tucume Museum, in Lambayeque; Ruwasunchis and Alto Peru, in Lima; Escalo – Therapie (initiative from France) in Arequipa, and the Kawsay program of the Pukllasunchis Association, in Cusco. In this region, the “Centro de Promoción del Saber Indígena” [Center for the Promotion of Indigenous Knowledge] (Ceprosi) and its project for children and biodiversity, which seeks to integrate the wisdom of the Quechua culture emphasizing reciprocal upbringing and the harmonious relationship with Mother Earth into the formal curriculum, also operates.
“In the end we will conserve only what we love….”
EL JARDÍN QUE THE GARDEN THAT WILL MAKE THE DIFFERENCE
In a village in the Peruvian Amazon, we were assessing the fruit trees that each child was growing in the Children’s Land. It was Liseth’s turn, a seven-year-old girl. Her plant had grown a lot and was taller than she. Then, a child said: “You see Liseth, your little plant grew because it eats a lot and you haven’t grown because you don’t eat much”, and she answered: “Do plants only grow because they eat? They also grow because of the love that one gives them.”
Green roof created with my wife in 2009, to give my daughter Eva the opportunity to grow in contact with nature.
The garden that will make the difference is that one where flowers and butterflies go to, it breeds a good heart. It is the one that hosts children, seeds, seedlings, baby birds, puppies, and other offspring in a safe and affectionate environment, fostering the upbringing and positive interaction between them, making them develop a symbiotic relationship, that they link together. It is that one that allows us to exercise our body, mind, and emotions in. We will develop empathy and experience happiness when contributing to others, understanding that if the other person is well, I will be better because we are all connected. It is the one that allows the healing energy of the Earth to flow through our being, it allows for nurturing with love, and emanates through our hands, activities, and decisions transformed into a regenerative force of life. It is the one that gives us a sense of purpose, the vision of a better world, and the confidence and hope that it is possible to embody it. A garden like this garden is what inspired the creation of ANIA, the Children’s Land methodology, the doll, the stories, ecohomes, SAVE bonds, among other initiatives. A place like this, whether it’s a garden, park, farm, field, river, lake, sea, forest, mountain, beach or other natural area, is where many people have been brought up, and then they have
contributed to others during their lives creating a halo of hope in their walk. Jane Goodall is an example of this in the world and Antonio Brack in Peru. And like them, there are those like them in every department, province, and district of Peru, nurturing and restoring life through their diverse talents and trades with affection and respect, honoring the affective bond with our Mother Earth. Considering that we have already damaged over 50% of the ecosystems, that the majority of children in the world are exposed to more and more violence, among other risks, and that we have less and less time to amend the course, it no longer matters what we have done, what only matters is what we will do. What matters is that we are aware that the economy is just one leg of the table and we need the other two that are the social and environmental factors to sustain us and grow equally and in harmony. Similarly, we need to equally nourish the left and right hemispheres of our brain to align the course and that knowledge is accompanied by affection and ethical technique. What greatly matters is to regenerate and to conserve nature, from a flowerpot to a forest, as a source and ally of life. What matters is to ensure that children have regular and positive contact with nature, they link with it, and participate in improving the environment. What matters is that there be adult referents who care for them, who inspire them, who guide them, and who value them together with young people as change agents, especially in homes and educational institutions. What matters is that we dosify children’s time in front of a screen. What matters is that male chauvinism be eradicated in all of society’s instances in order to reduce violence and with this, spiritual, material, and climatic degradation that today is being multiplied in the world. Knowledge, technology, and money will only serve to build a sustainable world if they are accompanied by values, and if these values bring us together and do not divide us. These will prevail if there are more and more citizens with a good heart and a purpose who live sustainable lifestyles, generating well-being for themselves, other people, and nature. In the state of childhood and of the ecosystems of Peru and the world, we will see the results of our decisions and actions. And let’s not doubt that the day will come when children, our children and grandchildren, barefoot on Mother Earth and our reflection in their eyes, will ask us what we did during our lifetime to build a better world. That day we will know if we have lived with a purpose and the kind of legacy we leave behind. And hopefully, as a prelude to the answer, we will see in front of a leafy tree, how butterflies rise, that we will listen to a birds’ song, and feel the warmth of the sun embrace our beings.
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EL CONTACTO DE LAS NIÑAS Y NIÑOS CON LA NATURALEZA
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OUR IMPACT ON THE PLANET
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Miller, J. (2005). Biodiversity, conservation and the extinction of experience. Trends in Ecology and evolution. N°20: 430-434 Nowak, R. (2004). Blame lifestyle for myopia, not genes. NewScientist, July 10, 2004, 12 Schoolyards green. (2016). Build a national movement for green schoolyards in every community. Children y Nature Network. Visitado desde: www.childrenandnature.org/wp-content/ uploads/2015/03/CNN_GSY_Report2016_Final.pdf OUR IMPACT ON HUMANITY Cohen, S. y Horm-Wingerg, D. (1993). Children and the environment: Ecological awareness among preschool children. Environment and Behavior, 25(1), 103-120.
Lovelock, J., y García, P. (2007). La venganza de la Tierra: Por qué la Tierra está rebelándose y cómo podemos todavía salvar a la humanidad. Barcelona: Planeta. Franciscus, Simonelli, C., y Elcograf,. (2015). Laudato si. Casale Monferrato. AL: Piemme CHILDREN’S AND YOUNGSTER’S LAND Hart, R. (1992). Children’s participation: from tokenism to citizenship. Innocenti essay. N° 4. International Child Development Centre, Florence. NACE ANIA Leguía, J. (2006). Ania y la voz del mundo. Lima: Asociación para la Niñez y su Ambiente. Leguía, J. (2006). Ania y el camino al Dorado. Lima: Asociación para la Niñez y su Ambiente.
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TIERRA DE NIÑAS, NIÑOS Y JOVENES - TiNi
Kellert, S. y Kahn, P., (2002) Experiencing nature: Affective, cognitive, and evaluative development. In: Kahn P, Kellert S, editors. Children and nature: Psychological, sociocultural, and evolutionary investigations. Cambridge: MIT Press.
TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE WORLD
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS “If I’ve seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Isaac Newton
What has been achieved is thanks to many people, moments, places, signs, knowledge, and emotions. In honor of all of this, and with the risk of not mentioning some people, we name those who, with their contribution, have created the giant that on their shoulders has allowed us to see further and move forward to fulfill our mission, starting with all the children and families with whom we have shared, learned, and have grown fond of. TO THOSE WHO HAVE WORKED AT AND WITH ANIA MATERIALIZING A COLLECTIVE DREAM Vanessa Frías, Úrsula Leyva, María del Carmen Arteaga, Juan Carlos Semino, Alfredo Suarez, Félix Mijahuanga, Jorge Ríos, Brenda Castrillón, Nelly Paredes, Anyela Gómez, Claudia Romero, Tanna Perez, Silvina Youle, Augusto Leguía, Martha Torres, Marcia Mendoza, Fanny Pacaya, Elizabeth Chulla, Tony Mejía, Anthony Toledo, Pierina Zlater, Zuleide Urizar, Myriam Yumbato, Rosario Ortiz, Meylin Zink, Angélica Portocarrero, Caterina Cárdenas, Vilma Arce, Tiago Rouxinol, Ana Route, David Gonzales, Luis Echegaray, “Carlitos” Loret de Mola, Natalia Mora, Vannesa Venini, Sayaka Ota, Jessica Sayritupac, Claudia Hernández, Lourdes Ccaypani, Rogelio Ramos, Laura Ramos, Susy Ruiz, Vania Farias, Pedro Balladares, María José Pizarro, Milytza Almeida, Diuliana Valdiviezo, Desyree Valdiviezo, Stefania Grimaldo, María Cecilia Almeyda, Víctor Campos, María Sonia Arenas, Niko Loli, Consuelo Borda, Yenny Cuenca, Ana Sotteccani, Narda Devescovi, Cristina Jancco, Victoria Bellido, Arístedes Gonzales, Miguel Ángel Carbajal, Bernarda Delgado, Alfredo Narváez, Ángel Sandoval, Saturnino Quispe, Yllari Briceño, Paula Flores, Miguel Huatuco, César Herrera, Mane Romero, Mercedes Ayarza, Nohelia Pasapera, Harold Farfán, César Dávila, Tula Alatrista, Samira Succar, Susy Caballero, Mariana Chirif, Chantal Le Bienvenu, Mariel Rentería, Jimena Cárdenas, Carmen Ortiz, Ángela Erribarri, Adriana Carrasco, Úrsula Ugarte, Christian Florencio, Luis Jerí, Ana María Loret de Mola, Camila Planas, Cristina Buse, Sandra Fernandini, Maria Pariona, Raquel Pariona, Karola Díaz, Alex Zenobio, Fiorella Briolo, Esperanza Valdivieso, Paolo Barrios, Jaime Stiglich, Javier Aliaga, Stephanie Kronenberg, Guillermo Vidal, Martín Picasso, Christel Scheske, María Elena Carbajal, Sergio García, María Elena Cariapaza, Fernando Soplopuco, Gabriela Tenicela, Julio Marcapiña; Javier Perla, Rafael Venegas, Fernando Pérez, Marcial Inuma, Leonardo Inuma, Lucio Cristóbal, Rosario Aráaoz, Miluska Huanca, Nancy Garay, Maria Sofia Chumpitaz, Erika Ismodes, Aima Molinari, Patricia Cerdeña, Iris Rohde, Marlis Ferreyros, Joaquin Randall, Javier Lambarri, Pio Vásquez de Velasco, Franco Neri, Magaly
Pestana, Daniela Méndez, Pedro Paucarcaja, Teresita Ruiz, Cristian Vélez, Javier Hernández, Bertha Medrano, Giorly Machuca, Pamela Montero, Sofía Rubio, Fernando Rubio, Ana Puerta, Ivonne Bocanegra, Gudrun Sperrer, Lucio Humberto Cristóbal, Leyda Rimarachín, Yeissy Sarmiento, Jessyca Roncal, Miguel Rodríguez, Víctor Ordinola, Gary Tarazona, Elsa Vilcanima, Clevis Canchero, Edith Ramos, Yadim Altamirano, Rosario Espinoza, Miguel Figueroa, Joseph Ortiz, Dante Abad, Benedikt Krietemeyer, Joshua Rinklin, Soledad Aráoz, Sandro Capcha, Iván López, Gabriela Valencia, Vera Reis, Ivanil, Adriana Muñiz, Clovis Sampaio, Maki Saionji, Rika Saionji, Yuka Saionji, Caroline Unchima, Jackie Ryan, Frank Manella, Marie Arana, Pilar Aguirre, Luis Calderón, Juan Virú, Carla Franchi, Viviana Salgado, Sol Ortega, Zinia Vásquez, Diana Borras, Daniel Proaño, Juan Fernando Reyes, Catalina Cock, Yurani Monsalve, Donna Hockaday, Anna Jetmore, Adam Mclane, Claudia Schwartz, Joaquín Sevillano, Claire Morgan, MJ Palazzo, Renata Terra, Juan Diego Calisto, Matías Ballón, Diego Villarán, Ángel Almada, Jacqueline Hurard, Irene Codas, Diego Sosa, Cristian Sosa, Carolina Fernández, Cristina Díaz, Lula Heikel, Sonia Sanabria, Annabel Michel, Beatriz Miranda, Kristina Laurenz, Katie Langenskiold, Félix Valentín Jacobs, Julian Matejek, Milena Monks, Connie Hüetchen, Sara Serrao, Margareth Vásquez, Diana Hernández, Cassie Sánchez, Gilda Rodríguez, Johan Gamarra, Lucero Flores, Gilberth Mozombite, Mónica Paredes, Valeria Hernández, Cicelhy Ocmin, Milagros Macedo, Karen Villalaz, Guillermo Chávez, Shota Tanaka, Shasha Rodríguez, María Babilonia y Alonso del Río. También gracias a los muchos voluntarios nacionales e internacionales que nos han apoyado con su tiempo y cariño. TO OUR PAST AND PRESENT FOUNDERS AND DIRECTORS WHO HAVE TRACED ANIA’S NORTH AND CARE FOR IT Fiorella Cerruti, Carmen Banchero, Pedro Péndola, Manuel Ugarte, Gonzalo Vidal, John Youle, Alejandro Camino, Vanessa Frias, Carlos Loret de Mola, Vasco Masías, Cecilia Noriega, Daniela Piaggio, Carlos Marsano, Frances Wu, María Paz Cigaran, Ernesto González, Roberto MacLean, Cayetana Aljovín, Vania Masías, Bruno Monteferri y Alvaro Valdez. TO TEACHERS WHO HAVE INNOVATED AND STAYED WITH US FOR A COMMON IDEAL Julián Ochoa, Isabel Yalico, Yanet Honor, Norma Cajigas, Juana Bendezú, Blanca Huanca, Silvia Munaylla, Susana Zabarburu, Mónica Sandoval, Leoncio Colonia, Armando Tolentino, Elena Gonzáles, Beth Villafane, Teodulfo Cruz, Vilma Diburcio, María López, Marcelina Luján, Mercedes Huerta, Elena Osccorima, Lelis Flores, Janis Durand, Rosa Romero, Magda Ríos, Pilar Fonseca, María Rímac, Eladia Leiva, Diana Bernaldo, José Rodríguez, Vilma Valencia, Rosa Jara, Eusebio Leiva, Jacqueline Villón, Juana Aguirre, Georgina Castillejo, Edelmira Villafuerte, Mercedes Iglesias, Carolina Jeri, Hubert Guerrero, Rosa Bravo, Amalia Acosta, Liliana Cárdenas, Maritza Ñañez, Miriam Huasasquiche, Ela Luján, María Huacaccolqui, María Mendoza, Nancy Peña, Eduardo Morales, Raquel Liñan, Gulliana Huamán, Clorinda Acevedo, Lucy Conde, María Ochoa, Licet Martínez, Edith Lam, Nancy Acevedo, Diosdado Gonzales, Enrique Napanga, Maribel Paucar, Bertha Ochoa, Edith Mendoza, Doris Mondalgo, Lilia Fernández, Fredy Mesías, Carmen Portilla, Adalí Jurado, Keimer, Claudia Melly, Angélica Noriega, Iris Conde, Juan de Dios Chumbislla, María Ramos, Roxana Panaifo, Raquel Moscoso, Eva Panaifo, Yurik Falcón, Mónica Madga, Miriam Salazar, Nicolás Chacaliaza y familia, Ysabel Ascencio Flores y familia. Gracias igualmente al resto de docentes de Ica,
Áncash, Piura, Cusco, Lima, Madre de Dios, Loreto y otros lugares del Perú que han puesto en práctica la metodología y con quienes hemos aprendido e innovado. También a todas las instituciones educativas públicas y privadas con las que hemos trabajado. TO THOSE WHO HAVE HELPED WITH RESOURCES, TIME, AND MORE María de Carmen Portillo, Bill Drayton, Stephen Schmidheiny, Patrick Matthiesen, Alberto Benavides, Carola Orezzoli, Jorge Jelicic, Oliver Whalley, Carmen Leguía, Mead Arnobitz, Tim Dobson, Carolina Pinillos, Inés Youle y familia, Olga Arana, Julio Noriega, Eileen Cabling, Jack Shee, Augusto Wiese, Penélope Alzamora, Patricia Li Carrillo, Lariza Vicich, Mariana Mindreau, Beli Fariña, Ety Feffer, Batistín Ísola, Giulia Sammarco, Cecilia Durand, Alejandro Cussianovich, Jorge Caillaux, Mariano Castro, Pedro Solano, Silvana Baldovino, Manuel Pulgar Vidal, Coalla Ferrari, Liliana Mayo, Jorge Recharte, Vilma Cavero, Ignacio Garnica, Danilo Balarín, Juana Loayza, José Carlos Espinoza, Augusto Baertl, Embajador Jaime Stiglich, Susana Watson, María Luisa Stiglich, Luis Antonio Aspíllaga y Claudia Martinez de Aspíllaga, Baltazar Caravedo, Estuardo Masías y Beatriz Málaga y familia, José Luis Canchaya, Roberto Salazar y familia, Betty Millán, Letty Salinas, César Arana, Gabriela Bertone, Patricia Iturregui, Carolina Llosa, Rosalía Arteaga, Claudia Arteaga, Andrea Pazmiño, Carmela Conde, Mark Hoffman, Carlos Rojas, Anna Zuccheti, Gunther Methzal, Cecilia Ramírez, Eliana Rojas, Jorge Muñoz, Ximena Giraldo, Laura Jurado, Pamela Bravo, Fernando Farah, Daniel Valle, Diego Valdeiglesias, Felipe Valencia, Humberto Cabrera, Alberto Paniagua, Fernando Berríos, Juan Diego de Lavalle, Fiorella Pugliesi, Carla Tosso, Javier García, Jaime García, Andrés Edery, Carlos Trinidad, Álvaro Henzler, Franco Mosso, Felipe Custer, Valmi Flor, Javier Salazar, Alfredo Gálvez, César Flores, Renán Valega, Nadine Freeman, Rocio Infante, María Gabriela Villalobos, Mary Ann Lynch, Elena Velaochaga, Clemencia Aramburú, Francesco Tonucci ‘Frato’, Micaela Rizo Patrón, Pedro Heredia, Alberto Servat, Renzo Mariátegui, Rocío Flores, Zeyda Sayago, Jaime Saavedra, Albina Ruiz, Maria Elena Foronda, Juan Infante, Nair Carrasco, Alan Viale, Víctor Becerra, Javier Aljovín y familia, Pamela Curtin, Andrea Mindreau, Carmen León, Mónica Echegaray, Carlos Ferreyros, Diego Loret de Mola, Adrian Forsyth, Enrique Ortiz, Avecita Chicchón, Adriana Amico, Aidan Crawley, Alejandro Balaguer, Alex Gallagher, Gonzalo Castro, Carmen Nonato, Carolina Gibu, Cecilia Mendiola, Jaime Delgado, Heinrich Helberg, Sofia Brutton, Alejandro Smith, Eloisa Trelles, César Morán, Carla Valla, José Vásquez, Christine Stayte, Claudia Sobrevilla, Karina Pinasco, Danielle Basto, Eduardo Nycander, Sarah Dupont y familia, Kurt Holle, Estuardo Masías, Evelyn Pérez, Fabiola Muñoz, Federico Cúneo, Irzio Pinasco, Héctor Colichón, Cristina Colichón, Claudia Banchero, Claudia Ferrari, Ernesto Raffo, Guillermo Velaochaga, Fernando Valdivia, Gabriela León, Guisella Sirlopu Facho, Hans Langenskioid y su familia, Roxana Pérez, Susana Imaña, Ivan Brehaut, Jorge Razeto, Henri Lebienvenu, Bartolomé Ríos, Miriam Cerdán, Jorge Arnais, Milo Bozovich, Jorge Recharte, Enrique Toledo, Gustavo Suárez de Freitas, Enrique Becerra, Liliana Zamalloa, Lionel Igersheim, Susana Luna, Lorena Ferreyros, Luciana Puente, Ernesto Galmez, Luis Campos, Mara Mourau, Marcela Olivas, Andrés Cabrerizo, María Fe Arteaga, Harry Hildebrand, Mariela Canepa, Mariella Matos, Marieve Lafontaine, Martín Saavedra, Maruchi Rodríguez-Mariátegui, Elizabeth Barthelmess, Gastón Acurio, Guadalupe Esteves, Lucero Villagarcia, Jose Martín de la Riva, Fabio Amanqui, Milagros Tazza, Mirko Chang, Oscar Montezuma, Paola Padilla, Manuel Silva, Mariana Caballero, Paola Narváez, Patricia Málaga, Patricia Fernández, Gabriela Vega, Enrique Zevallos, Pía Zevallos, Polo Macera,
Maite Cigaran, Pilar Matzumura, Rocío Miyashiro, Rafo León, Sandra Masías, José Koechlin, Adrian Lee, Alan Nocker, José de la Torre, Steven Botts, Vanessa Salas, Vanessa Verau, Verónica de Haaker, Mercedes Cardozo, Viviana Isoa, Silvana Rizo Patrón, Isabel Glaser, Mónica Sánchez, Miguel Iza, Mónica Rossi, José San Miguel, Lucia Lora, Gloria de los Rios, Ricardo Velásquez, Javier Echevarría, Christian Thorsen, Marina Tejada, Pipo Gallo, Jorge Mesarina, el equipo de Joe Quispe, la familia Hassinger, Micaela de Las Casas y familia, Fritz Du Bois, Gabriela Vega, María Jesús Gosalvez y familia, Medalith Rubio, Ana Gabriela Bazo, Malu Viana, Kike Becerra, Teresa Boullon y Jack Lo, Mercedes Atoc, Cristina Appenzeller, José María “Chema” Salcedo, Boris Gamarra, Vania Gamarra, Ana María Schindler, Norma Pérez, Sybil Caballero, Nadia Goncalves, Gianni y familia, Diego Garcia Montufar, Paco Arjona, Mariana Navarro, Naedge Perrin, Jennifer Geist, Maggie Chumbley, Donna Goodman, Jimmy Cáceres, César Ipenza, Luis Alberto Camargo, Sabina Carpio, Guillermo Leguía, Nick Mccaffrey, Juan Stoessel, Luis Alfaro, Paloma Roldán, José Roldán, Johanna Flores, Isabella Hope Mannella, Tonja Clark y familia, Nancy Meyer, Taunya Paquette, Monique Lavallee y Ketmanee Pradabsri. TO PRIVATE AND PUBLIC ORGANIZATIONS THAT PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Embajada de los Países Bajos, ASHOKA, AVINA, Fundación Matthiesen, ACCA, Save The Children, Pronaturaleza, APECO, Ayuda en Acción, Biblioteca Abraham Valdelomar, Acorema, Annenberg Foundation, Caritas Graciosas, D1 Asociación cultural, Casa de la Cultura de Pacora, Centro Ann Sullivan del Perú-CASP, CEPROSI, Ciudad Saludable, Conservamos por Naturaleza, CREES, CREA-IIAP, SERFOR, SERNARP, Libélula, AlbaCare, AMPA, Shiwi, GAIA EL Salvador, Fondo Mundial para el Ambiente-GEF, Kapievi, ACEER, The Royal Botanic GardensKEW, PROFONANPE, Asociación Pukllasunchis, Asociación Atocongo, Fondebosque, Ruwasunchis, Planting Seeds of Hope, Soul the Mother, Sociedad Peruana de Derecho Ambiental-SPDA, SUMBI, Sociedad Zoológica de Frankfurt, Conservación Internacional, WWF, Terra do Meio, Tierra y Valle de los Niños, Un Millón de Niños Lectores, UNDP, UNESCO, World Peace Prayer Society, YachayWasi, Fundación Amigos del Choco-AMICHOCO, IDMA, Fondo de las Américas-FONDAM, UNICEF, OIT, Selvámonos, Global Explorers, Enseña Perú, Bosques Sin Fronteras, GAIA Portugal, Tree for Cities, Aire Cultura Urbana, Alto Perú, Vacas Felices, Sadhana Forest-Auroville, LOOP, Sembrando Juntos, Huellas de Rescate, “En Bici al Cole”, GIZ Perú, IE Emilia Barcia Boniffati, ASPEC, Juventud que se Mueve, Global Infancia, Tierra Nuestra, Guyra Paraguay, Estación A, Centro para el Desarrollo de la Inteligencia, Fundación Moisés Bertoni, AMPA, Ministerio del Ambiente (MINAM), Ministerio de Educación (MINEDU), WCS, Gatia, Simbiosis, DRE Madre de Dios, DRE Ica, UGEL Tahuamanu, UGEL Chincha, Familias en Acción, Parque Nacional Yanachaga-Chemillén, Embajada de Australia, UGEL Pisco, DUHEM, Cooperación Técnica Belga, Asociación Áncash, SUCEDE, Blue Moon Fund, BYAKKO International, ONG Gente Viva, Creadores de Esperanza, GOI PEACE Foundation, HERBARIUM, Herencia, Taller de Niños, Fundación FIDAL, Kuntur, Arte y Alma, Niwasa, Perú 2021, Escalo-therapie, Radio Ucamaru, Grupo Kumbarikira, General Electric Power y la Asociación de Promotores de Educación Inicial Perú-Apeip. TO COMPANIES THAT HAVE GIVEN US THE AIR TO INNOVATE, TO MOVE FORWARD, AND TO MULTIPLY OUR IMPACT RPP, 4Kids Corporation, Telefónica, Cooperativa de Ahorro y Crédito-ABACO, América TV, Antamina, Cargill, Casa Andina, San Luis, Atracciones Coney Island, Discovery, JP Morgan, Consultandes, Grupo El Comercio, Electroandes, Estudio Miranda & Amado Abogados, Minsur, Veterinaria SOS, Estudio Vidal Layseca, Edificando, Los Portales, Industrial Papelera Atlas,
Inkaterra, Grupo La Calera, LATAM, Líder Inversiones y Proyectos, Malika, MI-SWACO, Pacífico Grupo Asegurador, Petróleos del Perú, Rainforest Expeditions, Refolasa, Red de Energía del Perú-REP, Role Model Consulting, Samaca Productos Orgánicos, Interoc, Asociación SAVIA, Scotiabank, Textimax, World Textile, Agrícola Chapi, CLARO, Wust Ediciones, Astrid & Gastón, XSTRATA, IBM del Perú, La Guía Inmobiliaria, Rumbos, Viajeros, Sumaq Hallpa, Semillita Sol, Tulp & Mezcla, Kumaru, CCERO, Maderacre, Maderija, Amazon Redd Project, MUKMU, Green Multimedia, Language Link, Teleandes, Kazoo, Spinaca, Mckinsley, Club Sporting Cristal, SNCLAVALIN y Terminales Portuarios Euroandinos. TO UNIVERSITIES AND MUSEUMS THAT HAVE PROVIDED US WITH SAFE SPACES AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT TO GROW Museo Nacional Chavín, Museo de Historia Natural de la Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (UNMSM), Museo de Sitio de Túcume, Universidad Federal de Acre, Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina (UNALM), Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú-Clima de Cambios, Universidad Nacional San Antonio Abad del Cusco (UNSAAC), Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (UPC), Universidad Nacional de la Amazonía Peruana y Universidad de Yale. TO LOCAL AND REGIONAL GOVERNMENTS AND COMMUNITIES WITH WHOM OUR WORK TRANSCENDED Gobierno Regional de Ica, Gobierno Regional de Ucayali, Municipalidad Distrital de Alto Larán-Ica, Municipalidad Distrital de Chavín de Huántar-Áncash, Municipalidad Distrital de Santiago-Ica, Municipalidad Distrital de Miraflores-Lima, Municipalidad Distrital de San Isidro-Lima, Municipalidad Distrital de San Borja-Lima, Municipalidad Distrital de Magdalena del Mar, Municipalidad de Paita y Municipalidad de Mariscal Nieto, comunidad de Sonene, Puerto Pardo, Palma Real, Boca Amigo, Florida Baja y Villa Primavera en Madre de Dios, Puerto Prado y Padre Cocha en Loreto, Pacífico de San Juan de Miraflores en Lima, Villa Clorinda y El Mirador de Año Nuevo de Comas en Lima, Pesquero de Pachacútec y Comunidad de Niños “Sagrada Familia” de Ventanilla en el Callao. AND IN A PERSONAL WAY TO Jane Goodall, William Burch, Masami, Hiro, Maki, Rika y Yuka Saionji, Diane Longboat, Jackie Ryan, Frank Manella, Cindy White, Vivi Silverstein, Terry Gallagher, las niñas y niños y familias de la etnia Shibibo en Yarinacocha-Ucayali, Mataco-Nocten en Tarija-Bolivia y Ese’eja en Madre de Dios Perú. Carlos Ponce, Manuel Ríos, Antonio Brack, Cecilia Mendiola, Carlos Mora, Baltazar Caravedo, Carlos Loret de Mola, Elena Pardo, Patrick Matthiesen, Javier Domínguez, Abraham Cardozo, John Youle, mi padre Joaquín Leguía Gálvez, mi madre Carola Orezzoli, mi hermana Ximena, mis sobrinos Steven y Tamara, mi esposa María Luisa Stiglich y su familia, mi hija Eva, mi hijo Nicolás, mis amigos, a quienes me han acompañado, a quienes han cuidado de nosotros, a mis ancestros, a quienes aún no han nacido, a quienes se fueron temprano, a las plantas y animales que me han criado y siguen haciéndolo, a la Madre Tierra con sus aires, aguas y suelos y al Creador por brindarnos la oportunidad de vivir y materializar nuestros sueños y ayudar a que otros cumplan los suyos.
... And to you, my brother, for taking care of me and nurturing my magic and hopeful being, and teaching me that we all come with a special skill to improve the world.
The Missing Link for a Sustainable World Author: ©Joaquín Leguía Orezzoli Edition: ©Asociación para la Niñez y su Ambiente (ANIA) Jr. Dos de Mayo N° 237, Barranco Lima, Peru Office phone number: (511) 628-7948 www.aniaorg.pe Editorial Board Abraham Cardozo María Paz Cigaran Juan Diego Calisto Carlos Loret de Mola Contributors Editorial Production Wust Ediciones Executive Edition and Graphic Design Gabriel Herrera IllustrationsJuan Carlos Semino, Alfredo Suárez, Francesco Tonucci, Claudia Romero, Andres Edery, David Guzmán Photography ANIA Complimentary Photography Desyree Valdiviezo, Walter Wust, Anyela Gomez, Claudia Romero, Chris Jordan, Lyza Danger, Arte y Alma, Enrique Cuneo, Silvina Youle, Conservamos por Naturaleza, Centro de Rescate Amazónico (CREA), Tierra y Valle, Seeds of Hope, The Language Link, Fundación Moisés Bertoni, Sadhana Forest, Allanton World Peace Sanctuary, Tierra do meio, Doug McMain, Shutterstrock, Istock Editorial Assistance Nelly Paredes, Anyela Gomez, Claudia Romero First Edition: March 2017 Print Run: 1,000 copies Legal deposit performed at the Biblioteca Nacional del Perú N° 2017-01625 Editorial Project Registration: 31501041700401 ISBN: N° 978-612-47001-4-9 Barcode: N° 978-612-47001-4-9 Printed at Gráfica Biblos S.A Jr. Morococha 152, Surquillo Lima 34, Peru March 2017 Total or partial reproduction of this publication is prohibited without express authorization of the editors. All rights reserved according to Peruvian Decree Law number 822 (The Copyright Law).
This publication has offset its carbon emissions with CCERO bonds, coming from the Peruvian Amazon in Madre de Dios. By offsetting the carbon footprint with CCERO, it helps: • To keep Amazon natural forests standing • To protect biodiversity •To educate future generations in the sustainable management of natural resources in Madre de Dios, Peru • To promote sustainable lifestyles in cities
• Mixed FSC means that at least 70% of the wood in the product comes from FSC® certified material or recycled material; and 30% is controlled wood. Although not fully certified by FSC®, controlled wood may not have been: • Used illegally. • Exploited in violation of traditional and civil rights. • Harnessed in forests in which High Conservation Values are threatened. • Harvested in forests converted into plantations or non-forest uses. • Harnessed in forests where genetically modified trees are planted.
The Missing Link for a Sustainable World JoaquĂn LeguĂa Orezzoli
The capacity of Mother Earth to raise healthy citizens, with values and attitudes in favor of life and nature, when we grow in regular and positive contact with it.