After years living with problems related to electricity and hot water supply in their school in the Mbaracayú Forest Biosphere Reserve in Paraguay, a group of students set out to find a sustainable solution out of the region’s natural resources. Their innovative response, which includes solar panels, gravity lights and generators that work with a locally produced biodiesel, was recognized with the Zayed Sustainability Prize in the United Arab Emirates.
During the ceremony, three students from the school presented the details of the project to more than 3,400 people, including political, academic and business leaders at the National Exhibition Center of Abu Dhabi (UAE). For instance, they told about the plan to cultivate and plan Kupa’y trees, whose resin can be used for the production of biodiesel. When finalized, the system will produce a total of 10.8 kW of electric power and 51.5 kWh of hot water.
The cost of the project, which includes environmental education initiatives in the school and nearby areas, will be financed with USD 100,000 from the award and USD 20,200 from the school itself.
The Mbaracayú Educational Center, located in the Biosphere Reserve, offers a technical baccalaureate in Environmental Sciences with emphasis on Tourism for young indigenous women.