Sustainable Favela Network Rio de janeiro, brazil

PROJECT OVERVIEW: Favelas represent an opportunity for sustainable development outside traditional, formal principles. The Sustainable Favela Network (SFN) is a grassroots network to recognize, strengthen, and multiply sustainability initiatives across Rio de Janeiro's favelas, ultimately realizing the potential of favelas as part of a sustainable urban future.

The SFN strengthens community programs promoting sustainability and resilience in Rio's favelas. It engages organizers in knowledge exchanges and supports the development of their projects into replicable models, based in Rio but in conversation with groups around the world. Through this program, we have produced an award-winning short film showcasing sustainable qualities of favelas, mapped the projects included in the network, promoted a series of exchanges between initiatives, organized network-wide capacity-building sessions, and implemented 7 working groups (solar, water and sewerage, waste, education, income generation, culture, and gardens).

CATEGORY: Civil Society SETTING: City STATUS: On-Going

BY: Catalytic Communities

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: The idea for the Network came about when we produced the short-film Favela as a Sustainable Model, which portrayed initiatives dealing with environmental sustainability and social resilience in Rio's favelas. Realizing these initiatives were all doing great work but were not in contact with each other, in 2017, we carried out an extensive mapping of sustainable initiatives in the favelas of Rio's Metropolitan Region, inviting projects and interested individuals to sign up. In 2018, we hosted vists and exchanges between select long-running initiatives, documented in the Weaving the Sustainable Favela Network short-film. We also hosted the Network's in-person launch, emboldening over 130 community organizers. Throughout 2019 we are hosting community-based knowledge transfer exchanges open to the public. We also have regular working group meetings along the themes of sanitation, water and sewerage, gardens, income generation, cultural preservation, solar energy, and environmental education. And the 2nd Sustainable Favela Network Grand Gathering, expected to be the largest Network event thus far, is set to happen this November. Meanwhile, we have also interviewed dozens of grassroots initiatives to have their profiles published on our community news website RioOnWatch.

PARTNERS: The Sustainable Favela Network is currently composed of over 600 people (community organizers, technical allies, public servants, and interested citizens) and over 120 initiatives.

Some of the initiatives we have published profiles for and/or hosted exhanges at include: Associação Cultural Quilombo do Camorim, Ateliê do Hadasha, Centro Comunitário Irmãos Kennedy, Cerro Corá Moradores em Movimento, Clube de Luta, Devas, ECCO Ponto Brasil Sustentável, Eco Rede do Alfazendo, Ecomuseu de Sepetiba, EDUCAP: Espaço Democrático e Abrangente do Alemão, EpiCentral, Favela Orgânica, Frutchá, Horta Inteligente, Movimento Pró-Saneamento da Baixada, Museu de Favela do Cantagalo e Pavão-Pavãozinho, Plantando Ideias, ReciclAção, RevoluSolar, Rocinha Histórica Tour, RONGO, Teatre-Se, Teto Verde Favela. The project is funded by the Heinrich Böll Foundation (Brazil Chapter). Technical aid is provided by Pomona College.