“GEA EDU – Ideas for the Future” rewards Italy’s best schools

Three teaching modules, over 2,200 students from 82 classes in 27 high schools in 13 Italian regions. These are the numbers of the “GEA EDU – Ideas for the Future” educational project, promoted by Fondazione Art.49, under the patronage of the Ministry for the Environment and Energy Security and Enea. The project was developed in collaboration with the European Parliament. The first year ended with an awards ceremony for the best proposals on the 2030 Agenda from three schools from all over Italy. Taking the podium were class 3D of the Liceo Russel in Garbagnate Milanese with “Ecological classification of urban gardens”; classes 4H and 5H of the IIS Patetta Cairo Montenotte in Savona with “The water road” and class 4C of the Scuola Bottega in Brescia with “Nothing is created, nothing is destroyed, everything is recycled”.

“Schools are a crucial place for shaping democratic awareness” – said Carlo Corazza Director of the Liaison Office of the EU Parliament in Italy during the award ceremony – “This initiative helps reaffirm the role of the European Parliament in this regard and the importance of young citizens in choosing who and how, through the upcoming elections, should lead Europe”.

The Environment and Energy Security Minister Gilberto Pichetto Fratin said:”This project has a twofold value. On the one hand, it concerns the attention that must be given to new generations as heirs to a social and economic model that must be transformed into a sustainable one. It is a question of responsibility. On the other, it concerns social awareness on the issues of climate change, decarbonisation, sustainable development, three aspects of a single mission: protection of the planet and its resources. All together, the need to create a real, shared acceptance of change, to become a further impetus for transformation, thanks to individual and collective actions. It is for this reason that the institutions’ willingness to engage in dialogue, especially with the younger generation, is one of the key elements for the success of the ongoing transition ”.

Fondazione Art.49 has also signed a memorandum of understanding with RomaNatura envisaging the supply and planting of 20 new trees for each year of the project. The chosen area is the Fosso della Cecchignola Natural Monument, 99 hectares between the Appia Antica Regional Park and the Laurentino-Acqua Acetosa Reserve, an ecological corridor rich in biodiversity in the Roman Countryside. “The Forest of Ideas of the Future” will welcome the new plants every 21 November, World Tree Day, as a symbolic representation of the boys and girls winning the “GEA EDU – ideas for the future” project contest in 2023-25.

This was also made possible thanks to support from the corporate world. The WITHUB ETS was supported by Federacciai, Nestlè, Coreve and IN’s. With school year 2023/2024, the second year of GEA EDU starts for the schools that took part this year and many more!