Collection of case studies
On this page you’ll find case study reviews of the development process and implementation of each VAMOS Virtual Exchange course.
Water, forests and people
This VE project aimed to enable students to begin understanding the complex relationship between forests and water and the resulting benefits for the population in terms of sustaining watershed ecosystems. Issues such as population growth and land use, together with a changing climate, mean that forest and water management has become a significant challenge. A challenge that requires new approaches, models, and good management practices, but above all, the comprehension and active involvement of all stakeholders.
This collaboration sought to provide students who are not experts in these topics, with the knowledge, skills and tools to actively engage in an intercultural dialogue and an international experience centred on wicked problems and the UN’s SDGs, in particular regarding forests and water; enhancing critical thinking abilities within an international and interdisciplinary debate. It aimed to complement their academic curriculum by addressing a topic of current interest and global significance, in line with the UN SDGs.
Sustainable Tourism in Coastal Areas
he course aimed at developing and strengthening students’ cross-cultural and linguistic competences, to manage tourism in a sustainable way within the framework of an international, multicultural and multidisciplinary virtual teaching and learning environment, with a focus on Sustainable Tourism and the UN SDG. It was delivered through an International Virtual Classroom with 32 working hours and had the specific learning goals of enabling students to:
- understand global and local tourism trades, networks and communities and identify the main stakeholders and their roles in the pursuit of sustainable tourism;
- recognise how to assess the impact of ongoing or future tourism projects from an environmental, social and economic perspective through a cross cultural lens;
- come up with tourism initiatives that will have positive environmental, social and economic effects on the community in which it takes place.
- trigger social responsibility and green awareness as well as acquire soft skills as an integral part of citizenship competences embedded throughout the programme.
- foster change and individual commitment towards the UN SDGs.
Sustainable Cities & Communities
he main objective of our VE course was to train students and tutors to work in a multidisciplinary, international and collaborative environment in order to address common wicked problems related to Sustainable Development Goal 11, namely “Sustainable Cities and Communities”. An extra variable was added, in the sense that the issues addressed were identified following a consultation and listening to the demands of real people from a local vulnerable community in the city of Curitiba, capital of the State of Paraná in southern Brazil. In our VE, graduate and postgraduate students were organised into heterogeneous working subgroups as they came from various disciplines and were asked to address those above mentioned demands, and propose viable solutions.
Water and forests issues on community sustainable tourism and agroecology
This VE course was aimed at connecting students from the Federal University of Pará (Brazil) and University of Padua (Italy) to host a cross-cultural learning experience about interconnections with tourism, agroecology for water and forest protection.
The course content addressed more general issues such as the discussion of the Anthropocene epoch and its relationship with Wicked Problems; the conceptualisation of Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). And then it turned to sustainable tourism and agroecology, based on two main perspectives:
- Tourism as an activity that converges towards environmental sustainability, permits the implementation of the Green Economy, helps to address the UN’s SDGs and overcome exclusion in developing countries such as Brazil
- Agroecology as an opportunity for transition to food sovereignty, land sovereignty, ecosystem restoration, together with the indigenous and local communities of the Amazon or with the citizen movements in a European country like Italy.
Protected Area Management and Agroforestry Systems and their relation to the Sustainable Development Goals
The course was divided into two parts: one aspect related to agroforestry systems and the other aspect related to the structure and management of protected areas (conservation units) for ecotourism.
The first part, relating to agroforestry systems, aimed to identify the steps involved in setting up a forestry business, starting from the initial idea, via collecting all relevant information and engaging in the developmental process. This was carried out by focusing on agroforestry systems and ecotourism in coordination with national and international partners. The project was implemented in the buffer zone within the “Montecillos” Biological Reserve and included an outreach element that focused on food production on small farms; it also included a special focus on rural sustainable energy in Natural Areas and agroforestry systems. The second part regarding the structure and management of protected areas (conservation units) for ecotourism, consisted in an introduction to the history of protected areas with particular reference to the context of the Brazilian National System of Protected Areas (PA – Conservation Units). This was followed by a discussion, in the Amazon context, on achievements and challenges regarding the SDGs.
The final part focused on conflicts between local populations and fully protected PAs in the Amazon. This section related in particular, to a case study on the Utinga State Park, which is connected to SDG 6, because it involves wicked problems in connection to urban clean water supplies and sanitation. In addition, it also involves tourism and illegal activities in the Utinga Park.