Updated: May 20, 2021
The global society confronts a socio-ecosystemic crisis without precedents. To a large extent, this is due to the current development model based on exacerbated consumption, linear thinking of the production processes and alarming codification of nature. This translates to a linear economy that extracts, transforms, distributes, consumes, and discards finite resources that, in many cases, cannot be reinserted into natural cycles, reduces the management and conservation of natural goods and services, and it postpones their access to the most vulnerable rural and urban sectors.
Climate change and its impact present and future- which includes the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID- are part of their direct consequences.
Since the foundation of Club of Rome in Argentina, we have worked for several years on diverse projects with systemic approaches, among which we can mention the development of biosystems in informal settlements and rural communities, and also the development of our own Biosystem Model and Native Plant Nursery located in the town of Escobar, a province of Buenos Aires.
Biosystems are semi-closed systems that operate in a decentralized and circular form, promoting energy autonomy, access to water, food and waste management of institutions and community spaces, thereby strengthening their resilience.
From the emulation of the natural ecosystems and the integration of different technologies and processes waste is converted into inputs and nutrients, moving from resource-consuming and environmentally-impact societies to clean-energy and food-producing communities. That is to say, this form of design and development allows waste to be transformed into inputs to generate new products and/or processes with greater added value.
From 2018 to the present, through institutional alliances and a joint work with the communities, we developed four biosystems directly benefitting more than 1000 people and, indirectly, more than 3500, and training more than 300 people.
In the case of the Urban Biosystems that we developed in the last 5 years in Villa 12 and Villa 21-24, the circular functioning of nature was emulated for the design, development and operation of three community canteens that receive more than a thousand people daily. Among the interventions we carried out, we can mention the incorporation of vegetable gardens, hydroponics, and edible fungi from waste, the use of composteras and biodigesters for waste treatment and biogas and biofertilizers, and the installation of solar collectors, accompanied by sensitization workshops and community training.
Currently, we are developing our first Model and Native Biosystem. The Biosystem Model and Native Plant Nursery of the Club of Rome Argentina is an educational and productive project in which we articulate, in circular form, different technologies and processes for the production of native trees and organic foods. The project seeks to research, design, develop, and disseminate alternative modes of production and consumption, in which the generation of waste not assimilable by natural systems is minimized or eliminated. The production of native trees and shrubs of the biosystem nursery are destined for donations or afforestation actions in the framework of the Tree Week campaign, a national campaign of planting, adoption, and donation of natives that we have promoted since 2012.
The biosystem includes the following interventions and technologies: A native tree nursery, an organic vegetable garden, a vegetable mushroom garden from the use of green remains, apiculture, a mobile hen house for organic egg production, soil fertilization and biological management of pests and insects, an insect hotel for pollination and biological pest management, a hydroponic orchard a solar dryer, the use of renewable energy, solar thermal energy to minimize costs associated with food production and sanitary uses; solar photovoltaic energy for solar lighting and solar pumping; and biomanagement systems for biogas production (biomethane) to reduce consumption of packaged gas, among other actions and technologies.
These interventions are added to community education and awareness-raising actions through graphic and audiovisual pieces, workshops and training, to disseminate the project and its benefits in society.
We have already made progress with the assembly of the native tree and plant nursery and the organic garden, the assembly of the seed tables and the dryer with ecological plates of T-Plak and the incorporation of the first biodigester. In addition, we already have our first beehives of melifera apis - and studying the introduction of meliponas - to produce honey and increase the zonal pollination and the hotel of insects to develop and install niches that can promote insects beneficial to the pollination and biological pest management.
We still have a long way to go. If you want to support the project by making a donation, visit the space or learn more about the experience, write to firstname.lastname@example.org