Friday, 02 September 2016 00:00

Eco-mapping exhibited at UN Habitat III PrepCom

27–28 July 2016 – A project that teaches Indonesian school students how to handle environmental issues has been showcased at a meeting of world leaders drafting an international agreement on guidelines for the sustainable growth of cities for the next two decades.   Eco-mapping conducted by schools in the East Java city of Malang in cooperation with GIZ PAKLIM Work Area 3 on Climate Change Awareness and Education, was exhibited at the meeting held in the East Java capital of Surabaya over 27–28 July.   The Surabaya gathering was the third session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom3) for the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, known as Habitat III, which will take place in Quito, Ecuador, from 17–20 October 2016.   The UN Habitat Conference is held every 20 years with the twin aims of adequate shelter for all people and sustainable human settlements. Habitat I was held in Vancouver, Canada, in 1976, and Habitat II was held in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1996.   Ahead of Habitat III, the Preparatory Committee met in New York in September 2014 and in Nairobi in April 2015 to discuss sustainable urbanization and settlement with stakeholders and local authorities. These meetings were followed by PrepCom3 in Surabaya.   PrepCom 3 included several seminars and an exhibition. The seminars provided a platform for stakeholders to present research and projects on sustainable urban development topics, such as gender equality in urban development. The exhibition showcased projects, innovations and solutions from member states, communities and organizations working on housing and sustainable urban development.   The eco-mapping process was one of the environmental solutions showcased at the Malang local government’s booth. A short animated film showed how the environmental management system is applied in schools in Malang. The smart yet simple film highlighted the participatory and active learning undertaken by pupils.   The aim of this exposition of eco-mapping over the three-day exhibition was to provide urban planners and policymakers with insight into a student-led sustainable environment movement in schools.   Arina Marta, a graduate in urban planning from Surabaya’s Tenth of November Institute of Technology, said eco-mapping is important because it builds environmental awareness in children from a young age. “I think the good thing about this eco-mapping is that it involves moral education toward the environment for teachers, students and the whole school community,” she said.