Foraging for the SDGs

Kia Ora UC community,

My name is Zin South, and I am in my third and final year doing a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Management and Psychology. I am also interning for the UC Sustainability Office over the summer. I’m currently working on a collaborative project that is focussed on UC’s edible campus, and part of this is creating a virtual foraging map for our community to use and enjoy, and to provide an opportunity for people to learn more about our wonderful fruit trees that we have on our campus.

The fruit trees located all across our campus carry an important meaning and foraging is a great activity that is not only heaps of fun, but it also encompasses a range of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The beauty of the Global Goals is that everyone can contribute, and every contribution, big or small, makes a positive impact on our world. Here at the UC Sustainability Office, we have seen how the goals have shaped the work we do and the environment around us, for the better. You may not realise it, but by fruit foraging you help contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals of;

Goal 2: Zero Hunger

This goal aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition. Fruit trees and foraging contribute to reducing global hunger as they promote sustainable agriculture by providing a continuous source of locally sourced and managed food.

Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing

This goal aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Fruit trees encourage healthy eating and well-being as well as clean and provide fresh air to the surrounding community. 

Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

This goal aims to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Growing fruit trees encourages sustainable cities as they provide a continuous source of local food for communities to access with a low waste and carbon footprint.

Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

This goal aims to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. Fruit trees live for a very long time with minimal care, most fruits are perennial so they do not need to be replanted. Once a fruit tree starts producing fruit, they will continue producing and increasing production each year. Fruit foraging is also responsible as it promotes local consumption, this reduces your carbon footprint as food is not travelling as far to get to you. By growing and eating from your own fruit trees, you have more clarity over what’s in your food and where it’s come from, as well as the conditions and environment it is produced within.

Goal 13. Climate Action 

This goal aims to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Fruit trees absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, reducing harmful gasses in the air. Growing fruit trees also reduces waste as the fruit can be directly picked from trees as opposed to a shop where they are often bagged in plastics. Growing and eating locally also reduces your carbon footprint as the fruit has travelled less ‘food miles’ to where it’s consumed.

More information on these goals, as well as the others can be found on the Global Goals website

According to the Christchurch City Council, Christchurch aims to be the best edible garden city in the world, where all people have access to healthy, affordable and locally grown food to support healthy and active lifestyles. The fruit trees here at UC play a large part of this and myself and my internship partner, Ash, can’t wait to share the final project with you. If you have not yet read Ash’s first blog post about the wonderful fruit trees we have around campus, and our virtual edible campus map project, please do check it out here. 

In the meantime, if you want to get your foraging fix now – check out Christchurch City Council’s foraging map here!

Thanks,

Zin

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