Captain Polo's International Climate-friendly Cook Book for Kids

Concept note for an exciting new climate awareness and action project involving the participation of schools worldwide.

After attending a UN Food Summit immediately after COP26 I had an idea: I should create a climate-friendly cook book full of recipes promoting a healthy diet based on sustainable food production and ecologically responsible consumption. The special sauce: all recipes are to be provided by school children, under a collaborative and participative framework involving schools from all over the world. 

This concept note lays out the foundations for this exciting new project involving my comic book character Captain Polo and his side-kick Penguin (who is quite the chef when he's not too busy rescuing Polo from villainous oil tycoons and trying to get back home to the Antarctic*). 

I'm looking to spread this project around in search of suitable partners in the education, conservation and /or food sectors. 

* See 'The Adventures of Captain Polo: Pole to Pole'

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Go to the profile of Lara Reden
about 1 year ago

I love this idea! What are you trying to accomplish within your partnerships? Can you expand on your project goals and who might be able to help? 

Go to the profile of Alan J. Hesse
about 1 year ago

Thanks Lara! My idea of partnerships is still quite open, since this project is very much in it's infancy. The most obvious partnership is with individual schools or school networks such as GEMS or Orbital, whereby the book is built ground-up to fit with existing or incoming curricula on climate change, sustainability and environment, arts and crafts etc. Many schools have baking and cooking within their curriculum, and an increasing number are starting to incorporate climate specifically, so there is scope here for strengthening a transversal presence of climate education. 

However other partnerships may include private sector companies (e.g. those promoting sustainable food chain practices) willing to sponsor part of the process, public sector agencies such as ministries of education in specific countries, climate action agencies and think tanks, the list goes on. This is all potential. 

My goal is to offer educational institutions an engaging tool to help them install climate and sustainability education in their teaching in a way that is participative, engaging, dynamic and scalable. My character Captain Polo is the driver behind the entertainment aspect, and I think it might be an efficient way to also attract attention to my climate change graphic novels. 

I have no idea if there is anyone on WildHub who might be able to help, but initially I'm looking for access to teachers (particularly head teachers), education decision-makers and environmental educators, anyone who combines a career or presence in conservation with food systems, and decision-makers in the climate change world, e.g. environmental government personnel who see an opportunity to partner up and pilot this approach in their countries. As you see, a very broad set! At the UN Food Summit I mention in my description the Egyptian Minister of Environment said that food systems have the potential to unify climate action and that she will strive to put the spotlight on this subject at the next COP, which will be in Egypt. 

Having said all the above, the project is still very malleable and can go in different directions, and it can have several parallel versions running at the same time. E.g. where I live in Ecuador I am partnering with the local British School to pilot an edition exclusive to them, for which we are seeking corporate sponsorship within Ecuador, while in parallel I am creating a completely separate, non-exclusive edition with content provided by several schools internationally, so far 5 in the UAE and potentially one in the US and a bunch more from other countries. It's all in the making so pretty much anything is possible, but the beauty of this is that there is scope for pretty much endless replication and adaptation as more and more schools and/or other partners come on board.