The Biosystems Network - a project promoted by the Club of Rome with the support of Ford Argentina - won the SAS PRIZE and the BBVA AND RACI SOCIAL INCLUSION PRIZE. The project develops actions to promote water, energy and food autonomy in schools and rural communities in the North of the country.
Ford Argentina and Club de Roma joined forces to develop projects to strengthen the adaptation and resilience of schools and rural communities to the effects of Climate Change and the socio-environmental crisis. They do this through the co-design and co-development of biosystems: an approach by which they integrate different technologies and processes, in a circular way, to guarantee access to safe water, the production of agroecological food and the generation of renewable energy, through the use of solar energy and the proper management of organic waste.
This year the project - which is being developed in 6 communities in Salta and Santiago del Estero - was awarded twice.
On the one hand, it was recognized in the second edition of the Annual Award for Social Inclusion organized by BBVA in alliance with the Argentine Network for International Cooperation (RACI), which recognizes the good practices that society organizations have undertaken in matters of inclusion. The project was awarded in the “end of poverty” category. On the other hand, on September 28, it also received the SAS Award (Sustainable Food Systems) that recognizes practices that promote sustainable food systems and/or improve food security, obtaining first prize in the “Food Production” category.
Both awards, in addition to recognition of the work carried out and the innovation of the proposed approach, provide an economic contribution that will strengthen and expand its scope and impact.
The project was born out of the need of millions of people in Argentina who live in rural areas without access to essential services, directly affecting the possibilities of socioeconomic and environmental development of the communities. During 2022, thanks to the support of Ford, the Foundation began the initiative, developing the first biosystems, defining these as semi-closed systems that function in a decentralized and circular way emulating natural ecosystems. Each of the biosystems developed seeks to integrate, under a circular operating logic, works of access to safe water through the development of plate cisterns, improvement of catchment areas, first water filters and plunger pumps, solar collectors, biodigesters, composters, agroecological gardens and incorporation of native trees, among other actions, contemplating throughout the process the training of community members in the use and maintenance of each of the technologies.
During 2023, the implementation of the project continued, strengthening new biosystems in the schools of the rural communities Vaca Human, Chira and Campo de Cejas, located in the Department of Salavina (Santiago del Estero) and in the Agrotechnical School 3160, which is located in the town of Rivadavia Banda Sur (Salta), benefiting more than 400 families.
To learn more about the project, go here.
FORD AND CLUB ROME
For more than 10 years, Ford Argentina and the Ford Fund have supported the Club Roma Argentina Foundation in the development of ecosystem and circular projects that increase the food, water and energy self-sufficiency of rural institutions and communities in the north of the country. Since 2014, they have jointly developed 18 safe water projects in rural and vulnerable areas in the provinces of Santiago del Estero and Salta. In turn, Ford Argentina actively participates with concrete actions, such as making several trips with Ford volunteers to help build cistern tanks, the development of the Bosque Nativo project within the Pacheco neighborhood in 2021, among others.
For next year, they set new goals that cover the development of new microenterprises in beneficiary communities (a native plant nursery, a wild honey beekeeping enterprise, and a project for the production of sweet and savory preserves), the development of new biosystems and promoting its growth by strengthening the Biosystems Network.
Ford Argentina encourages an inclusive, equitable and sustainable future, and in order to build it, it carries out concrete and sustained actions with various foundations in line with its purpose of helping to build a better world, where each person is free to move and pursue their dreams.