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Eco-Citizen Programme : Urban Agriculture for Vulnerable Youth
an article by Marielza Cunha Horta

The city of Macaé is situated in the north of the state of Rio de Janeiro- Brazil, and has as its main economy the extraction of oil, which represents 85% of the national production.

The present population faces serious phenomena of environmental degradation and cultural and social exclusion.

In recent research done by the OEI - (Organização de Estados Iberoamericanos para a Educação, a Ciência e a Cultura), Macaé takes second place in violence in the state of Rio, with the biggest incidence of death of young people, between 15 and 24 years old, and the fifth in the entire country, with the record of 187 deaths of youngsters in a group 100.000 inhabitants.

The Eco Citizen Programme has been developing educational activities with young people of high social vulnerability living in areas of conflict and violence. The project stimulates critical thinking, shared responsability, and conscient and participative actions that can promote improvement in the quality of life.

Among the activities developed, we emphasize the practice of prevention and preservation on a day-by-day basis, such as urban agriculture through the planting of vegetable gardens and medicinal herbs which awakens new interests and perspectives for the youth.

Positive results can already be stated, the improvement of social relations between the groups involved, the learning of new understanding about nutrition, health, environmental quality and interest to plant, produce and consume healthy and nutritional food.

Further information on the Eco Citizen Programme may be found on our website at (in Portuguese).


Question(s) related to this article:

When you cultivate plants, do you cultivate peace?,

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Latest reader comment:

CPNN has just received the following message (see a rough English translation below):

CPNN vient de recevoir le message suivant:

Merci pour ces informations

D'ailleurs par rapport au climat , aujourd hui 11 Décembre est notre journée locale de l'arbre (pour le climat et la culture).

Nous avons planté des arbres fruitiers pour faire revivre nos traditions (notre culture) qui voulaient que la retraite des paysans s'assurait par les arbres fruitiers. Aussi la plante de MURINGA pour symboliser les plantes médicinales et fin une espéce sauvage d'arbre dont les feuilles sont mangées par les chenilles (comestibles à l homme).

C'est 2 ans que nous organisons cette journée et nous faisons des émissions à la radio et TV pour la vulgarisation de cette culture de la paix (manger, planter pour le générations futures et le climat du monde entier)

victor nzuzi
rd congo


CPNN has just received the following message which is translated here (see above for the original French version).

Thank you for the information.

With regards to climate change, today December 11 is our local "day of the tree" (for our climate and our culture).  We have planted fruit trees to revive our traditions (our culture), to assure with fruit trees the retirement of our local farmers .  Also the planting of MURINGA to symbolize medicinal plants, a wild species of tree whose leaves are food for caterpillars that we can eat.

It's been two years now that we organize this day and we broadcast radio and TV programs to popularize this culture of peace (eat and plant for future generations and for the climate of the whole world).

In solidarity,
Victor Nzuzi
Democratic Republic of the Congo

This report was posted on May 12, 2007.