Project Based Learning – Supporting SDGs implementation

Gaia Education’s Project Based Learning is a dynamic learning approach in which stakeholders acquire appropriate skills and analytical tools while actively exploring real-life solutions to the challenges of designing sustainable settlements.

We work with traditional and indigenous communities in the Global South to improve the way they manage their environments and villages, while addressing climate change vulnerabilities. Engaged communities benefit with more stable and fertile soil, secure supply of food and clean water and enhanced livelihoods.

Developing local food economies is a key element in Gaia Education and partners’ Project Based Learning programmes. Our projects promote integrated approaches to land management for healthier soils, nutritional yields and enhanced climate resilience. Furthermore we support communities to establish social enterprises and local small businesses, aiming to preserve their unique culture, foods and ecologies and to foster greater economic vitality and diversification.

Our collaborative projects are a direct and positive contribution to the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Have a look below to see what is currently happening in our projects across the world.

Current Project Based Activities

Youthful Herbal Chocolate

This project aims to build the capacity of these young women to begin a new life as they arrive in a region with the richest concentration of biodiversity in Europe, in terms of medicinal and aromatic herbs.
17th April 2018/by Ginny Gegg
Zambia PBL header

Milestones Year 1

Youth leaders are taking a Conservation Agricultural Training in Zambia. 2017 saw the beginning of this 3-year project in the districts of Chitambo, Serenje and Mkushi.
8th January 2018/by Ginny Gegg
zambian women giving empowering speech in classroom

Zambian Youth for Conservation, Agriculture and Livelihood Action (ZYCALA!)

A three-year project in the districts of Chitambo, Serenje and Mkushi in Central Province, Zambia. Funded by Scottish Government. Partners: WWF Zambia and YEFI.
23rd October 2017/by Jesper Conrad

Five-week Course Summer 2016

For migrants and Sicilian youth. 23 May - 24 Jun 2016 Dom Bosco 2000, Piazza Armerina, Sicily.
2nd October 2017/by Jesper Conrad

Five-week Course Fall 2016

For migrants, refugees and Sicilian youth. 17 Oct - 18 Nov 2016 at Comunale di Floridia, Viale Turati, Floridia, Sicily.
2nd October 2017/by Jesper Conrad

Implementation Methodologies

The project benefits from methodologies developed by best practices within the sustainability education, ecovillages, agroecology and Fair Trade movements.
2nd October 2017/by Jesper Conrad

The Context

Each year thousands of men, women and children attempt a dangerous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. Many of them end up in Sicily.
2nd October 2017/by Jesper Conrad

Milestones Year 3

250 families engage in the Grow Your Own Food Project, totalling 750 families in all. The average supplementary income was in the range of 6,000 to 9,000 Rupees.
19th September 2017/by Jesper Conrad

Milestones Year 2

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were introduced to the tribal women. They were able to associate each one of the Goals to their reality.
19th September 2017/by Jesper Conrad

Milestones Year 1

42 community, NGO and university student leaders took part in Transition Town Training and EDE Training with 77 villagers attended the ecological dimension at Jinjira village. These practical sessions have created a lasting impact on the village.
19th September 2017/by Jesper Conrad

Regenerative Strategies for Climate Justice in Odisha, India

Empowering and Building Capacity of Tribal Communities of Koraput District in Odisha to Increase Food Security, Strengthen Social Cohesion and Enhance Climate Resilience. Funded by Scottish Government and Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland. Partner: THREAD.
19th September 2017/by Jesper Conrad
Project Based Learning Senegal Podor Region

Increasing Food Security, Income Generation and Environmental Sustainability

A three-year project in the villages of Guede Chantier, Lahel, Mounduwaye and Diarra, Podor Region, Northern Senegal. Funded by UK AID. Partners: CIFAL Scotland and Le Partenariat.
18th September 2017/by Jesper Conrad

Milestones Year 3

Twenty new women have benefited by the creation of plots in a garden extension in Diarra and a new pipeline has been installed to carry water there.
18th September 2017/by Jesper Conrad

Milestones Year 2

Observing the outstanding results attained in four villages from using the permaculture and agroforestry knowledge gained during training.
18th September 2017/by Jesper Conrad

Milestones Year 1

Building skills in sustainable village design, permaculture and agroforestry to achieve sustainable food production for subsistence and income generation.
18th September 2017/by Jesper Conrad

Milestones Year 4

Developing sustainable agriculture and aquaculture techniques, while increasing female participation.
18th September 2017/by Jesper Conrad
Design for Sustainable Settlements Bangladesh (DSSB)

Milestones Year 3

Increasing varieties in crop production, preserving water and surpassing domestic requirements.
18th September 2017/by Jesper Conrad

Milestones Year 2

Further developing and growing new sites for food and water security, while strengthening communities’ resilience to climate change.
18th September 2017/by Jesper Conrad
woman standing by river with fish and lush green crops

Building Capacity and Empowering Communities towards Sustainable Agriculture, Aquaculture Development and Climate Change Adaptation Interventions

A four-year project in the districts of Khulna and Bagerhat, Southern Bangladesh. Funded by Scottish Government. Partners: BASD, CIFAL Scotland.
17th September 2017/by Jesper Conrad

Milestones Year 1

Delivering training courses in climate change awareness, Permaculture Design and Ecovillage Design.
17th September 2017/by Jesper Conrad
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Watch how we are maximising the Edges across the world with our Project Based Learning programmes here

Participatory Learning

Learning

We stress the importance of social learning as the most important process for sustainable development, where knowledge is produced by all actors and is constantly evolving. Our learning approaches ensure that project-based interventions involve full participation of local organisations while providing an empowering experience for all.

Technical support

Technical support is given by our global network of ecovillage educators, known as the GEESE, and constituted by experts from pioneering research and development centres for carbon-constrained lifestyles. Core technical support offered by the GEESE include:

  • participatory mapping of community forests, land and resource use areas
  • community capacity building and institutional development
  • engaging government, institutional stakeholders and policies
  • participatory village scenario planning and the design of project activities
  • baseline assessments of community livelihoods, governance and resource use.

Dissemination support

We take pride in being active in sharing lessons learned from project-based activities with several networks of movements for social transformation – amongst them Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), Transition Network (TN), and the European Network for Local, Community-based Action on Climate Change (ECOLISE).