Climathon for the Amazon region awards 4 social entrepreneurs

AuthorAmanda Lima and YCL Communications Team

At the beginning of October, Youth Climate Leaders (YCL) and UNLEASH held a tailormade innovation program with the main objective of mobilizing and empowering young people in the Amazon region to lead solutions that can tackle local bioeconomic challenges, promote justice, and forest conservation.

During the virtual Climathon, the groups participated in an immersive innovation process facilitated by YCL and UNLEASH alumni, and collaborated on solutions to the challenges of the bioeconomy in the Amazon. The marathon connected experts, researchers, social entrepreneurs, and climate leaders to prototype new ideas that positively impact people, the climate, and the conservation of biodiversity in the Amazon rainforest. Interested parties could apply as an Idea Leader or as an Idea Contributor. Leaders presented in the application a project or business idea to be prototyped as a team, which were formed by Collaborators with complementary skills. The selection process prioritized young people who were born and/or live in the Amazon region to support the growth of a network of changemakers for the bioeconomy in the region, catalyze innovative ideas, and accelerate local transformation.

The winning teams

After the innovation process, the solutions for the Amazon bioeconomy of 4 teams stood out from a total of 11 teams composed of over 40 Brazilian talents.

RevFood won 1st place with their pellicle made from fruit peel, which when poured over the surface of the food, forms a protective barrier capable of prolonging shelf life. Biomimetica Biotecnologic, through Revfood, combats food waste and the generation of organic residues. Revfood is an edible film made from fruit peel that significantly extends the shelf life of food, allowing you to double the shelf life of produce at room temperature.

EcoQuilombo won 2nd place with a digital platform that connects indigenous people from the Amazon Forest to boost community-based ecotourism in the region. The platform aims to activate the Amazon quilombo ecosystem by connecting indigenous communities to knowledge and partners that can help them to develop community-based tourism. The platform has two main objectives. First, to connect quilombos through the sharing of information and actions to develop their communities, enabling the exchange of experiences and demands between communities. Second, to connect these communities with possible partners to share information and create training opportunities for the implementation of economic community tourism activities.

Ka’pa Puyanawa team won 3rd place and was formed only by Puyanawa indigenous young people interested in rescuing the corn crop in their territory to diversify their community’s source of income. The project aims to rescue the memory and traditional knowledge of the Puyanawa Indigenous people regarding the cultivation of corn (hêki), through the narrative of the quatipuru (Ka’pa). Like many peoples of Acre, the Puyanawa suffered heavily from the colonization process triggered by the so-called rubber bosses. Through the planting of corn, we want to rescue aspects and elements of the Puyanawa culture, promote sustainable agriculture, food sovereignty, and income generation.

Vivá Coletivo won 4th place and took the legends of the Amazon through bio-jewels. Those who are buying are to become a guardian of the forest through conscious consumption. The project aims to increase the income of waste pickers with the sale of bio-jewels by Viva collective using a platform. With this, we will support the valorization of the work developed, and we will also make people contribute to the care of our rivers and the forest, becoming a guardian for collaborating with the purchase of bio-jewels and with this action encourage the transformation of plastic, preventing it from reaching the environment.

The prizes

The winning teams earned scholarships for the YCL course, mentoring from YCL, and partners for 6 weeks. Besides that, all talents will have access to the exclusive platform of the YCL and UNLEASH network for 1 year and an incentive to develop the idea.

The World Bioeconomy Forum

The World Bioeconomy Forum is a global platform for circular bioeconomy stakeholders to share ideas and promote bio-based solutions. This year, the Forum in Belém, the capital city of Pará State, Brazil. It ended with a firm declaration on the importance of the bioeconomy in relation to tropical forests. The hybrid event attracted delegates from across the globe with the Forum discussions including over 60 bioeconomy stakeholders, including keynote speakers, panelists, and experts.

Representatives from YCL and UNLEASH, the Climathon organizing teams, and the leaders of the winning solutions from the Climathon participated in the Forum. They discussed innovative initiatives to address climate change and stressed the importance of community building and a strong ecosystem to drive positive impact.

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