Treasure Hunt in Venice for children to find out about water, the blue gold of the 21st century!

The Treasure Hunt in Venice has been launched with great success. This activity, inspired by the “H2Oooooh!” initiative, is part of UNESCO’s contribution to Venice to EXPO 2015 and features the Pet Pals and young Leonardo. The hunt, centering on water and its sustainable use, is promoted by the UNESCO Venice Office and Gruppo Alcuni, with the scientific support of the Secretary of the UN World Water Assessment Programme in Perugia (WWAP).

Map in hand, or guided by a fun new App, young participants eagerly embarked on an adventure around the Venetian streets to learn more about blue gold, a vital and limited resource. Water is, after all, the source of life.

Young people from primary and middle schools are invited to take part in the treasure hunt, which will last until 31 October. Map at the ready or using the App, they must reach all five stops in the order they prefer: the Museo di Storia Naturale, the Chiostro di San Salvador, Palazzo Zorzi, UNESCO’s premises in Venice, the Museo Navale and the Tesa 105 of the Arsenale.

A totem has been placed at each stop to indicate where to ask for the stamp (featuring the corresponding Pet Pal) to be placed on the treasure map. Once all 5 stamps have been collected, participants will receive a board game allowing them to continue to explore these topics from home.

Where is the largest reserve of fresh water on the planet located? How many people lack access to water in Africa? How do we consume most of the planet’s available freshwater? What percentage of freshwater found in the world is accessible? How much water do you think an average 8-minute shower consumes?

These questions, and many others, were developed by UNESCO and WWAP, the UN World Water Assessment Programme, set up in 2000 to monitor the state of the world’s water resources, publishing recommendations and proposals to enhance the assessment and decision-making capabilities of member states.

The Treasure Hunt and the board game represent an excellent opportunity to reach out to Venice’s younger visitors and encourage them to ask questions that are of the utmost importance for the future of the planet – How much of the world’s population will experience water scarcity by 2015? Is water a source of energy? Present and future water-related challenges require, above all, a collective effort to change our approach and behavior when it comes to this precious resource, which should be treated with extreme care.

The same aim is carried forward in the Parco degli Alberi Parlanti in Treviso. From May to October, visitors will have the chance to watch 13 new episodes of the Leonardo EXPO cartoons, featuring the boy genius and produced by Gruppo Alcuni and RAI fiction in cooperation with UNESCO, which will also be aired at EXPO 2015 in Milan at the UN multimedia installation points and in the Children’s Park. Visitors to the park in Treviso will also be able to view the H2Ooooh! cartoons with the Pet Pals and take part in a number of engaging activities on important subjects such as ecological footprints, water or energy saving.

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As well as contributing to the United Nations’ participation in Milan, “The Zero Hunger Challenge – United for a Sustainable World”, UNESCO will take part in the Venice to EXPO 2015 initiative with a broad programme of events in and around Venice and in UNESCO sites and territories throughout Italy.

UNESCO’s contribution to EXPO 2015 was made possible by the generous support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy).