New educational itinerary on the Sustainable Development Goals launched at Rome’s G20 Garden

FAO Director-General and Italian Education Minister were joined by local students to inaugurate new educational resources

16 September 2021, Rome - The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, QU Dongyu, and Italian Minister of Education, Patrizio Bianchi, today inaugurated a new educational itinerary on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the G20 Green Garden in Rome.

The G20 Green Garden in Rome’s famous Appia Antica Park is a multi-partner initiative launched on 10 June 2021 amid the Italian current Presidency of the G20. This open-air museum celebrates biodiversity, nature and the city’s ancient heritage while calling for global solidarity to create a sustainable future for ‘People, Planet, Prosperity.’

Over 100 students from Rome’s national and international schools attended the ceremony, interacting with the FAO Director-General and the Minister of Education through lessons about the SDGs and the Ministry of Education’s Piano RiGenerazione Scuola (Re-Generation School Plan). The Director-General engaged with students on a personal level, sharing details of his life’s journey from a small village in China to becoming the head of FAO.

“We have nine agricultural seasons - less than 10 years! - to reach the Sustainable Development Goals, and we are off track!” said Qu at the event. “We are facing multiple challenges due to the impacts of the climate crisis, conflicts and the pandemic. But if we work together and accelerate action, it is still possible to turn the situation around.”

The new educational itinerary, which is open to students and the general public, was inaugurated with the unveiling of 17 new QR codes that encourage young people to learn how to help achieve the SDGs and to be future changemakers.

“The SDGs are symbolic of how we can grow together by learning. FAO is a centre of professional knowledge. We work towards ensuring that information and resources are accessible to all, by facilitating the exchange of experiences and ideas”.

“These are values FAO shares with Italy’s Ministry of Education,” Qu added, extending his thanks to the Italian Minister of Education for his cooperation and dedication to the joint initiative.

Patrizio Bianchi, Italian Minister of Education, said that the park “represents a unique heritage for all of us: biodiversity.”

“Learning from an early age - even at school - to recognize and respect the infinite diversities that exist in nature is essential to preserve the health of our planet. Let's do it all together, let us learn how to take care of the resources of our Earth,” he finished.  

The event was also attended by Barbara Floridia, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Romina Gori, Gruppo Guardia del Parco, and Mario Tozzi, President of the Appia Antica Regional Park. Teachers and students attended from the Istituto Tecnico Agrario “Giuseppe Garibaldi”, Istituto di Istruzione Superiore “Via delle Sette Chiese” and the Istituto Comprensivo Mommsen.

The educational itinerary is also accessible virtually with a web App, which is available for download on FAO’s World Food Day website. Today’s inauguration was the first one in a series of events leading up to World Food Day 2021, which will have the theme: “Our actions are our future. Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life.”

The campaign makes a special call to youth with a range of activities and events including the Junior World Food Day at the World Food Forum. Other notable events include the Food Systems Summit in New York on 23 September.

Photo: ©FAO/Pier Paolo Cito
The new educational itinerary was inaugurated with the unveiling of 17 new QR codes that encourage young people to learn how to help achieve the SDGs and to be future changemakers.