Outreach work with Fabiana
One of SUFICA’s key objectives is to make the projects’ findings widely available and to work in collaboration with non-academic partners. Fabiana Silva from the SUFICA project, has been working with local schools and university students in Brazil to increase pupils’ awareness of ecological issues and involvement in conservation.
In Brazil, the Ministry of Science and Technology coordinates a programme known as INCT (National Institutes for Science and Technology), which aims to bring research groups together to help secure sustainable development of the country. One theme within this programme concentrates on ecological matters, and is known as INC- IN-TREE (Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Studies of Ecology and Evolution), which aims to develop projects in ecology and evolution and communicate them to non-academic audiences. INC IN-TREE is also one of SUFICA’s partners.
Fabiana from the SUFICA project has been visiting local schools and universities to teach students about the importance of biodiversity and what we can all do to conserve it. One day Fabiana was involved in delivering a short course on insects, followed by a focus on pollinators. The students were taught about biodiversity friendly practices and delivered group presentations on economically viable agricultural practices as part of the short course.
An important aspect of INCT IN TREE is the involvement of non-academic public in research and Fabiana visited the Excellence Center 28 de Janeiro School, where students discussed citizen science projects and the ethical attitudes towards knowledge and conservation of biodiversity. This was delivered with the support of A.B.E.L.H.A.
This event was a preparatory action to engage students and other school members with a project titled “The protagonists of the Green School”, which will begin next year. The aim of this project is to create natural habitats for biodiversity within schools and to implement horticulture practices as teaching tools for high school students. This will be delivered with the support of INCT-IN-TREE, SUFICA project and A.B.E.L.H.A.
Fabiana coordinates a research group which aims to broadly communicate science and to increase the engagement of the general public with conservation to help Caatinga’s pollinator biodiversity. As part of this work, the SUFICA project was presented along with “Guardiões dos Sertões” during the Bioeconomy Territorial Week of Semiarid Sergipe, at the National Science and Technology Week 2019 (CNPq). SUFICA’s work was discussed to demonstrate that the goals of sustainable production with high yields and biodiversity conservation can be both simultaneously achieved through ecological intensification in semi-arid agro-ecosystems. This work was supported by A.B.E.L.H.A. and INCT-IN-TREE.
Fabiana ensures to involve students at various stages of their career in her projects, and earlier this year she watched a Master student, Cleverton da Silva, from UFS, present his work during the XI Brazilian Congress of Agroecology held in Sergipe. Cleverton presented the results of his work on a project which works with small farmers in irrigated areas in semi-arid Sergipe, which is coordinated by Fabiana Silva with the support of FAPITEC-SE.
To keep in touch with Fabiana’s and SUFICA’s outreach work, follow us on Twitter (@SUFICA_Caatinga and @Fabiana70039697).