The mission of Green Map System (GMS) is to promote sustainability and community participation in the local, natural and built environment. Through a partnership with Fundacin GeoVida, a non-profit organization based in Colombia, GMS used Green Mapmaking to help youth express their concerns and hopes for the local environment to their peers, older community members and policy-makers. Children identified their own environments assets and liabilities, and put global environmental problems into a solution-oriented local scale. Through connecting the natural and the built environment with their school’s environment they gained a better understanding of the importance of conservation and rational use of resources for the long-term.
Students participating in the project came from a municipality located in the traditional coffee growing region of Risaralda. Their community, Pereira, has developed an industrial and commercial core and is facing rapid urban development, threatening the open and public spaces, polluting the air and water and fostering unsustainable land-use practices. Lesson plans in the curriculum included sustainable agriculture, food security, reforestation, recycling and waste management; eco-literacy, social responsibility, critical assessment, design and communications were all part of the lesson plan.