In Rome, an educational pathway to reach the Sustainable Development Goals
April 23rd, 2021
The G20 Green Garden project will take shape in the heart of Italy’s capital. This unique, high-impact educational and informational trail will come to life in one of the most important green areas of the city, thanks to the collaboration between FAO, the Municipality of Rome, the Lazio Region, and the Appia Antica Regional Park.
The project will be take place between June and October at the wonderful Caffarella Park. It will focus on protecting biodiversity and the achievement of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, which can only be made possible by the efforts of governments and the active participation of citizens.
The Caffarella Valley, crown jewel of the Appia Antica Regional Park, is a vast natural space of great environmental, social and cultural significance. Tradition and memory suggest that, in ancient times, this area hosted a sacred forest linked to the nearby Temple of Faustina and Ceres and the Nymphaeum of Egeria, within the larger Pago Triopio of Herodes Atticus.
A peperino stone stele will bear the text of the Lex Spoletina, an epigraphic document written in ancient Latin dating back to the last decades of the third century B.C. This represents one of the most important and ancient testimonies of forestry regulations, which were considered sacred. It was, indeed, the first existing law for the protection and conservation of forests. The pathway will therefore signify a natural continuation of the secular tradition of the forest in an immense green space connected to the ancient heart of the city of Rome.
The G20 Green Garden will open in June, simultaneously with the U20 (Urban20) Summit, the engagement group that involves important cities around the world starting from Rome and Milan.
Various initiatives within the framework of the Italian G20 presidency will spring to life over the months, culminating in the planting of new trees in October. This is also when the educational path on the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, geared towards schools, will be launched.
In this open-air museum, the forest, or ‘lucus’ will allow visitors, families, and students from all the relevant schools to understand the importance of building a sustainable future together – providing concrete examples of how each one of us can contribute.
In the words of the Director-General of FAO, Dr. Qu Dongyu, “The G20 Green Garden will be a tangible legacy and a contribution to the educational and environmental wellbeing of the youth, families and citizens of Rome”.
Embellishing the location of the G20 Green Garden are the iconic grounds of the Church of Saint Urban, situated at the entrance to the park. The original structure was a temple supposedly erected in honour of Ceres, the Goddess of Agriculture, and Faustina, wife of the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius. The building was later modified and consecrated as a church in the tenth century. The name, Urban, stems from the Latin term Urbanus, “inhabitant of the city”.
It is precisely in the space opposite the church that an iconic tree will be placed: a symbol of the values and objectives which must unite the international community and countries, commencing with the protection of biodiversity.
The commitment that the Green Garden G20 pathway aims to express is perfectly summed up in the wise words of Cicero: “Serit arbores, quae alteri saeclo prosint”. Plant trees, to serve another age.