Centro Universitário Facens, Brazil


Smart Forests 2022 - Florestas Inteligentes

The Smart Forests Project brings together students from three educational institutions, FACENS, Newton Paiva, and CESUPA, with the aim of developing smart solutions with high sustainable impact to protect the forest and conserve its biodiversity, as well as to improve the quality of life of riverside communities in the Amazon, in Brazil.

Even though the riverside communities located in the Amazon, more specifically around the city of Belém, in the state of Pará, are on top of the world's largest hydrographic basin, over 95% of them do not have access to basic sanitation and potable water. The river waters are contaminated by the lack of sanitation and also by the high turnover of boats in the region, which disperse oils and fuels into the waters.

In order to obtain fresh water, local residents have to buy it from vendors without any proof of its quality, or travel 40 minutes by boat to buy water in the city, spending even more of the little money they have. Aware of this situation, FACENS, the most sustainable private university center in Brazil, according to the UI Greenmetric ranking, created the Smart Forests Project.

The project consists of using the transformative power of university students and the structure of their universities to solve challenges faced by forest communities using smart and sustainable technologies. The project aims to protect the forest and conserve its biodiversity, as well as to improve the quality of life of riverside communities in the Amazon, in Brazil.

What the Judges Thought

Brings students from 3 institutions to work together on biodiversity conservation using smart technology. Students learned to make a pitch to get a grant to do field work. The project received multi-national industry sponsorship. The positive outcomes were the unique student experience, the impact and transformation. One student took their career path towards sustainability as a result of this project.

What it Means to Win

"Our biggest mission is to foster students to become regenerative and sustainable professionals and human beings. Winning this Green Gown Award is a perfect symbol that we are on the right track, creating projects that go beyond the classrooms and generate real impact in people's lives and in our greatest natural patrimony, the Amazon Rainforest."

Fabiano Prado Marques, Dean 

Top 3 Learnings

  1. We learned that everyone has a unique story and experience that we can learn from.
  2. We saw that education outside of the classroom is often the most transformative and impactful.
  3. To truly solve a problem, we need to understand it from the perspective of those who are experiencing it.
1- No Poverty 3 - Good Health and Well-Being 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
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