The Ministry of the Environment has published as the “Project of the month” in April 2017, the Project LIFE-GIOCONDA, coordinated by the CNR Clinical Physiology Institute in partnership with Regional Agency for the Protection of the Environment of Emilia Romagna (ARPAE), Regional Agency for the Protection of the Apulia (ARPAP), Municipality of Ravenna, Valdarno Inferiore Society of Health.
The priorities of the “Environmental Policy and Governance” component of the LIFE + program include the need to provide policy makers with accessible and effective information tools on the “environment and health” theme. A priority that coincides with the Parma Declaration (WHO, 2010), which encourages “to protect children and young people from environmental pollution“. GIOCONDA has assumed this priority by making available an instrument for assessing the state of the environment and health in several Italian areas, involving children and teenagers from the first and second grade secondary schools, between 11 and 17 years.
GIOCONDA has contributed to the integration of local environmental issues into health and urban environment management by gathering information on air quality and noise in the four areas where field work has been carried out: Ravenna, Taranto, Valdarno Inferiore and Naples. The systematic sampling methodology, developed with the coordination of ARPA Emilia-Romagna, is part of GIOCONDA’s methodological heritage and it is proposed to the competent authorities, who can repeat the experience in their cities and schools.
As GIOCONDA monitored air and noise outdoor and inside the schools, the students gathered information on the environment and health in their territories and completed questionnaires on risk perception and willingness to pay for interventions to improve the environment, that health economists use to measure the indirect costs of the interventions realized. Knowing the perception of risk, building a “mental map” in the classroom, and then with the questionnaire, it is possible to talk about science starting from the everyday experiences.
Today, an on-line platform is available on the GIOCONDA website, where all the Italian schools can find information about the territory and the environmental monitoring, fill in the questionnaires on risk perception, and upload their recommendations to the school administrators. Local administrators will be involved by schools or will be able to activate them on specific issues. The Emilia Romagna Region welcomed GIOCONDA among the tools available to promote environmental education in the Region. At the national level, the Ministry of the Environment has taken into account the work done in its guidelines for Environmental Education, in particular the topic of inclusive understanding and production of new knowledge trough co-creation processes.
In recent months, GIOCONDA methodology was implemented in the schools of Ferrara, Calcinaia, Gioia del Colle, Civitavecchia and many other municipalities, to present the commitments of students before the end of the 2016-2017 school year, together with the recommendations to manage the cities in a sustainable way, to improve the environment and health for the benefit of all communities.
For more details:
Published by the Ministry’s website: http://www.minambiente.it/
News on the website of the Ministry of Environment: http://www.minambiente.it/notizie/progetto-life-del-mese-di-aprile-2017-gioconda