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Scientific journalism for sustainability: highlighting the food-water-energy nexus

Grant number: 17/18319-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Journalism
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2018
Effective date (End): December 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Communications - Journalism and Publishing
Principal Investigator:José Antônio Perrella Balestieri
Grantee:Eduardo Cruz Moraes
Host Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia (FEG). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Guaratinguetá. Guaratinguetá , SP, Brazil
Research place: Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Coordenadoria de Centros e Núcleos Disciplinares (COCEN). Núcleo de Desenvolvimento da Criatividade (NUDECRI), Brazil  


Minimizing the environmental impact caused by global warming, concomitant with population growth and its consequences (among them, globalization, middle class growth, urbanization, social inequalities, diversification of diets) is a subject of great worldwide concern nowadays. The challenge of ensuring the supply of essential natural resources (water, energy and food) in the present and for the future generations without compromising life quality, economic development and long-term ecosystem conservation is of great concern for developing countries such as Brazil, which faces high levels of poverty, malnutrition, food insecurity, drinking water shortages and land degradation. In this context, the food-water-energy nexus proposes a new approach to the management of natural resources and sustainability under the prism of interconnection, interdependence, synergy and trade-offs between these elements, including external factors (stakeholders and economic sectors) and different time and space scales. For example, the adoption of sugarcane as a renewable source of energy (sugar cane) should account for its impact on food production (erosion, leaching, expansion in areas dedicated to food production), water resources (sedimentation, eutrophication, contamination, irrigation, processing at the plant) and non-renewable energy sources (transportation, pumping of water for irrigation, plant equipment).Sustainability education proposes a break with the consumer society as structured today and the adoption of the concept of deep ecology (all life forms have the same rights and the same value of human life), the approximation of traditional knowledge to the Science and technology and capacity for dialogue and shared argumentation. Thus, the thematic project "(Re) Connecting the nexus: experiences and learnings of Brazilian young people on food-water-energy" proposes an unprecedented approach of the nexus in examining (on a large scale and using multiple methodological tools of the social sciences) how young people (between 10 and 24 years old) from the Metropolitan Region of the Paraíba Valley and the North Coast of the State of São Paulo understand, learn, experience and participate in the nexus in everyday life, addressing topics such as social inequality, access to resources, the resilience of society to environmental threats and catastrophes, and education for sustainability.The project aims to reach different strata of society through its actions, ranging from young schoolchildren to influential representatives of the public, private, third sector and community as a whole. The development of a journalistic research proposal in parallel to the project (Re)Connecting the nexus will create the necessary synergy so that the objectives of the project are achieved in an efficient way, also guaranteeing the promotion of a greater engagement of the public in the food-water-energy nexus and education for sustainability, strategic themes for the future of the country. The proposed activities include the elaboration of a communication plan that serves the interests of the project, with the production of journalistic content in various formats (texts, documentaries, interviews, podcasts) and aimed at different audiences, from the lay public to educators and teachers in the academic world, through collaborative work with researchers involved. This collaborative activity will allow the development of a range of skills and techniques of journalistic making aligned to the Specialization Course in Scientific Journalism (Labjor / UNICAMP), thus forming a professional specialized and qualified for scientific dissemination.

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