GIOCONDA was created in partnership with the Regional Agency for the Protection of the Environment of Emilia Romagna (ARPAE), the Regional Agency for the Protection of the Environment of Puglia (ARPAP), the Municipality of Ravenna and the Lower Valdarno Health Society. The four pilot cities were Ravenna, Taranto, San Miniato and Naples. The online platform test was carried out in Ferrara, Montopoli, Bitonto, Calcinaia.
Among the priorities of the “Environmental Policy and Governance” component of the LIFE + program is the need to provide policy makers with accessible and effective information tools on the topic of “environment and health”. A priority that coincides with the Parma Declaration (WHO, 2010) which encourages “protecting children and young people from environmental pollution”. GIOCONDA has made this priority its own, offering a tool to assess the state of the environment and of health in various Italian areas, involving children and young people from lower and upper secondary schools, between 11 and 17 years of age.
GIOCONDA contributed to the resolution of local environmental problems with policies on health and management of urban environments by collecting information on air quality and noise in the 4 areas where the field work was 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 has been proposed to the competent authorities, who can repeat the experience in their cities and schools.
While air and noise were monitored outside and inside the schools, the children collected information on the environment and health in their territories and filled out the questionnaires on risk perception and “willingness-to-pay” for interventions of environmental improvement, which health economists use to measure the indirect costs of the interventions that are carried out. Understanding the perception of risk, first with the construction of a “mental map” on the subject of risk in the classroom and then with the questionnaire, once again allows us to talk about science starting from our own life and everyday experiences.
Today an online platform is available, where all Italian schools can find information on the territory and environmental monitoring, have school children fill out the
questionnaire on risk perception, and upload their recommendations. Local administrators will be involved by schools or will be able to activate them on specific issues. The Emilia Romagna Region has accepted GIOCONDA among the tools available to promote environmental education and, 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.
At the end of the pilot project we worked in the schools of Ferrara, Calcinaia, Gioia del Colle, Civitavecchia, and many other municipalities to present the children’s proposals and the most useful recommendations for managing cities in a sustainable way before the end of the school year, and to improve the environment and health for the benefit of all communities.
For more details on the project and on the scientific activities carried out by the Project:
-news on the website of the Ministry of the Environment: http://www.minambiente.it/notizie/progetto-life-del-mese-di-aprile-2017-gioconda