The ESD Rice Project is a regional cooperation-based initiative that uses the example of rice farming methods to promote sustainable development education. The project, created in 2011 by the Asia-Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU), with the support of UNESCO, mobilizes schools involved in the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet) in six countries of the region.
Children visit the rice paddies and participate in various activities to discover the local fauna and flora, and to learn how to protect them. They also learn to farm by stirring the earth, sowing, weeding, harvesting, threshing and, finally, tasting the rice produced. Meanwhile, in the field, the young apprentices study food and live species, which raises their awareness on the natural richness of their environment.
Through this initiative, the ESD Rice Project addresses various sustainable development issues using the example of rice: consumption, production, biodiversity, prevention of natural risks, water, GMOs, etc.
Japan, the Republic of Korea, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and India also participate via a network of schools. This network shares information programmes on best practices for the production of rice, an essential grain for these countries, whether it be from a social, economic, nutritional or environmental perspective.
MAIN EDUCATIONAL INTERVENTIONS
- Teaching about sustainable rice production;
- Education in economic self-sufficiency and its applications to daily life;
- Good practices for the protection of the environment.
" I was happily surprised when I saw how involved the kids from Oonuki elementary school were with the rice project. The school is surrounded by rice fields and when I first arrived there, all the field were flooded, and reflected the clouds. This beautiful scenery inspired me a lot for filming and taking pictures of the kids, the farmer, the teacher and the people from the ESD Project. The way they decided to teach the students about farming and especially rice was really original and the kids were very dedicated to it ! "