Course: Water & forest – issues on community sustainable tourism and agroecology

This virtual exchange created a cooperative learning environment among student coming from two courses offered by the two partner universities: University of Padova: 

  • “Agroecology and ecosystem services” (Post Graduate course part of the Master Degree on natural Science) – embedded course
  • Universidad Federal di Para: “The Impacts of tourism on the management and use of water and forest” (undergraduate course part of the Bachelor on Tourism and others courses) – extracurricular course

This Virtual Exchange course intended to connect students from the Federal University of Pará (Brazil) and University of Padova (Italy) to host a cross-cultural learning experience about interconnections with tourism, agroecology for water and forest protection.  The course was carried out over seven weeks and used synchronous and asynchronous activities to let students examine case studies on different topics relating to the course material. With this base, the students co-created possible solutions to the cases that were jointly presented at the end of the course.

Two key issues of this course are to give a good context of the importance of

a) Tourism as an activity that converges towards environmental sustainability, towards the implementation of the Green Economy, community development achievement of the SDGs and helping to overcome the condition of exclusion in countries such as Brazil

b) Agroecology as opportunity for transition to food sovereignty, land sovereignty, ecosystem restoration, either with the indigenous and local communities of Amazon either with the citizens movement in a European Country like Italy

The course provided students with an opportunity of a cross-continental exchange of knowledge and culture, which enabled them to broaden their perspectives to different backgrounds and contexts. 

Specific learning goals

After having taken part in the cross-cultural learning experience, students will
  • Understand the interconnections between community tourism and water and forest environment system
  • Understand the role of Agroecology in sustainable natural resources management especially in the relations with water and forests
  • Be able to understand the importance of community-based tourism and agroecology as driver to reach SDGs
  • Be able to understand how complex is the relation between traditional populations and tourism as an economic alternative
  • Be able to understand the importance of agroecology in food, land sovereignty in the relation either with traditional populations either within urban context
  • Be able to discuss solutions to environmental wicked problems concerning solutions offered by community tourism and agroecology
  • Understand their role as a citizen to mitigate these wicked problems.

Course schedule

In total 7 week course:  

  • Week 1 (03/29/2022): Ice breaking – introduction to the course and case studies (synchronous session)
  • Week 2 (04/05/2022): Case study 1 – Urban Agroecology in Padova
  • Week 3 (04/12/2022): Case study 2 – lha da Cotijuba / Cotijuba Island: riberinhos community
  • Week 4 (04/26/2022): Preparing final presentation – Community led tourism and agroecology: handling wicked problems of sustainability
  • Week 5 (05/17/2022): Case Study 3 – Networks of farmers in sustainable food production in Italy –  El Tamiso
  • Week 6 (05/27/2022): Case study 4 – Community-based Tourism
  • Week 7 (06/07/2022): Final meeting, sharing emerging solutions to wicked problems (synchronous session)


Course completion

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