July 09, 2024 #ChileSustentable

Digital environmental awareness: technology at the service of environmental conservation

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A video game set in the year 2035 that seeks to save an Antarctic territory affected by Climate Change, and a "Climate Academy", which offers online knowledge to young people from all over Latin America and records ecological actions, are examples of these initiatives.

Today's children and young people will have to deal with the most serious effects of climate change in the coming decades. Therefore, "the responsibility of Chilean scientists is to make knowledge accessible to all of society, especially if life as a whole is at risk," explains Andrea Valdivia, social anthropologist, academic at the University of Chile and researcher at the Cape Horn International Center (CHIC).

According to Valdivia, "these groups are a priority in efforts to generate environmental awareness, as they live key stages of human development to build connections of recognition and respect with the world around them, which is essential to change our relationship with the environment". Thus, in an environment of uncertain future and growing eco-anxiety, it is necessary to offer young people digital tools that bring them closer to sustainability and allow them to understand the importance of caring for the planet.

Which Chilean digital tools create environmental awareness?

The ideal are contents with quality information, based on scientific and community evidence, and that are platforms designed with an educational approach. In this sense, Andrea Valdivia highlighted how digital experiences promoted by activist organizations "have been key to make demands visible, generate alliances, and promote the participation of other young people, as well as inform and educate". According to the researcher, among the outstanding cases are the Academia Climáticas por Tremendas, LCOY Chile, Wechekeche ka Itrofillmongen or Viernes por el Futuro de Chile.

Antarctic Metaverse: An educational videogame

"Antarctic Metaverse" is a video game produced by the XR-LABS transdisciplinary laboratory, in collaboration with the Millennium Institute BASE, and funded by the Public Science program of the Ministry of Science. "We created a futuristic and open narrative universe, where the explorer builds his own reflections on biodiversity and respect for all living beings in times of climate change," says Victor Fajnzylber, PhD in Technology and director of XR-LABS at the University of Chile.

In this videogame, set in 2035, the player travels from Punta Arenas to the imaginary Molinari Island in Antarctica. There he will embark on a journey on foot, learning about ecosystems and scientific diving, seeking to understand the adaptation of species to the effects of climate change and human pollution.

The initiative was also supported by the Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH),
Cape Horn International Center (CHIC), Yagan usi Territorial Museum - Martín González Calderón, Puerto Williams Cultural Committee, National Youth Institute (INJUV), Tremendas Foundation, Municipality of Cerro Navia, ALGA, National Cultural Heritage Service in Los Ríos and the Universidad Austral de Chile (UACh). If you want to download the game, click here.

Climate Academy for Latin America

Tremendas, a group of around 2,000 girls and young activists from all over Latin America, organizes every year the Academia Climáticas initiative, a space that allows them to get closer to environmental contents and develop climate actions through projects. "Digital tools have helped us to break territorial boundaries, we work a lot through platforms such as Zoom or Google, which allow us to hold synchronous meetings, connecting girls from different countries," explains Rocio Sancha, executive director of Tremendas.

In addition, the Climate Academy has a personal action platform, similar to a social network, that connects participants and shows them everyday actions that can be sustainable and eco-friendly. Through a mathematical calculation, the platform translates these actions in terms of greenhouse gas emission reductions. If you want to learn more about the Climate Academy, click here.


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