RCE Bogota - 2019

How urban youth can be an engine to achieve low- carbon sustainable lifestyles: beginning in Bogota
Basic Information
Title of project : 
How urban youth can be an engine to achieve low- carbon sustainable lifestyles: beginning in Bogota
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Bogota
Contributing organization(s) : 
El Bosque University, National Environment Youth Network, Colombian Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Environment Office of the Municipality, Piloto University, Libre University, Pedagogic University.
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Diana Carolina Páez Moreno
Organizational Affiliation: 
El Bosque University
Format of project: 
Power point - audiovisual
Language of project: 
Spanish – English
Date of submission:
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Additional resources: 
Social networks: Instagram @modoaccionsostenible Facebook @modoaccionsostenible Twitter @modosostenible
Local Environmental Education Policy
At what level is the policy operating?: 
National Sustainable Consumption and Production Policy, National Environmental Education Policy, National Climate Change Policy.
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Av. Cra. 9 No. 131 A – 02
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
Bogota city is the capital of Colombia and the biggest city in the country. It is located at an altitude of 2.600 meters above sea level and has approximately 8 million citizens. The city is characterized by its richness in water producing ecosystems and a mountain range system that provides the city with water and suitable soils for agriculture. It is negatively known by its problems with traffic, waste management and pollution in water streams and rivers, generating an opportunity for innovative projects to address these issues.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
Due to the actual consumption patterns and current lifestyles of people in urban areas such as Bogota, challenges to achieve sustainability are growing. The project has sought to involve urban youth, as a social group ad portas of gaining purchasing power to empower them in the search for a more sustainable city in order to address issues like pollution in land and water streams, air pollution due to mobility and the consumption of disposable materials and sustainable food systems and environmental education, framed in SDGs 4, 11 and 12 and sustainable lifestyles domains: food, mobility, housing, consumer goods and leisure.
July, 2017
The understanding of the power of the citizens to change certain patterns has to be addressed in a way that people understand how their daily actions and habits have an impact, not only in the environment but also in their lives and health. When people begin to connect actions with impacts, they can be empowered to change behaviors and drive the markets towards sustainability. Education has to be the tool by which people could make informed decisions on how to consume. This has to be aligned with local and national policies that seek to achieve global goals such as Paris Agreement and 2030 agenda.

The purpose of the project is to contribute to the consolidation of a sustainable society, through young people who replicate models and initiatives on sustainable lifestyles in their communities, through the development of daily activities, workshops and exemplary behaviors. The expected result is to articulate initiatives so that young people in Bogotá understand and appropriate the concepts of sustainable lifestyles that allow them to reduce their carbon footprint, through the participatory identification of priority actions and definition of replication models.
The 2 to 3 billion middle class consumers, especially the young, and their lifestyle choices, which will define the sustainability of development. What is sought is to empower social groups to change their habits and lifestyle can help reduce pressures on the environment measured in indicators such as carbon footprint. For this reason, the project in question seeks to enhance the understanding of the opportunities to develop sustainable low carbon lifestyles for the urban youth of Bogotá and thus, facilitate their adoption and inclusion in urban policies.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
The project used a strategy that addresses different issues in order to ensure the greatest possible impact, contemplated in the following factors:
1. Recruitment of initiatives: the project launched a call for projects, entrepreneurs and initiatives that promote sustainable lifestyles of the city of Bogotá around the five domains contemplated (mobility, food, housing, goods of consumption and leisure).
2. Communications strategy - In Action Mode, Live Simple, Live Happy: Three social networks were opened as mechanisms of disclosure and linking of young people to it. Likewise, two mobile applications were developed, based on the theoretical basis of the Sustainable Lifestyles.
3. Strategic alliances: alliances were established with public and private entities to ensure more scope.
4. Academic research: 3 undergraduate environmental engineering research projects and a sustainability workshop for young leaders.
5. Participation and organization of events: 25 events throughout 2018 were part of the strategy to engage audience.
Size of academic audience: 
A reach of more than 7,000 followers has been achieved between Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, of which approximately 600 have participated in the questionnaires. More than 1000 people attended to the 25 events throughout 2018.
In the Evaluation and Follow-up phase, an initial and final survey was conducted to obtain data on the impact of the project. The following was found:
Mobility: 62% of young people changed their way of moving in the last year, towards a more sustainable one and the carbon footprint of the private car decreased by 24% and taxi by 17%.
Food: 62% of young people decreased their consumption of meat, given the environmental impacts that it has and the carbon footprint decreased in all the studied food sources.
Consumer goods: 76% have changed the way of buying.
Leisure: 95% of young people have become more aware of the environmental impacts of their leisure activities during this year.
Housing: 78% of young people began to separate their waste this year or already did.
Replication Model: a document that resumes how to develop the project in other cities of the region.
Lessons learned: 
Changing one’s lifestyle towards a more sustainable one on a long term requires constant involvement and communication. The project has found that the adoption of sustainable lifestyles is linked to the enabling conditions offered by the city and personal purchase capacity, as well as to cultural and traditional family habits. It supposes a challenge in the way that a constant awareness campaign with trustworthy information has to be developed in order to ensure that people will understand how personal choices and lifestyles have environmental and social impacts, as well as how they could mitigate those impacts by changing their habits.
Key messages: 
Changing current lifestyles could be determinant to change consumption patterns in the search for sustainability, mitigating environmental problems and improving the quality of life of citizens that may not know how their habits and behaviors affects their health and the natural resources around them.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
The project was financed by a Japanese Trust Fund, in partnership with the Ministry of Environment of Japan and Sweden, these resources were allocated for projects under the 10-year framework for sustainable production and consumption, specifically the Sustainable Lifestyles and Education Program developed by UN Environment.


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon photo1.jpg (314.52 KB) Young leaders in the closing event of the project on December, 2018. Daniela Murcia
Image icon photo2.jpg (372.46 KB) Launching event of the project on May, 2018. Sustainability initiatives showcasing their projects. Daniela Murcia
Image icon photo3.jpg (1.06 MB) Young leaders receiving certificates for developing the Sustainability Workshop and working with the project throughout the year. December, 2018. Daniela Murcia
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Building capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Empowering and mobilizing youth 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level