Clean air. Good health. Nutritious food. These are all basic needs that should be guaranteed to every person on the planet. Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked out that way. Every day, millions of people across the world suffer from a lack of life’s most elemental necessities.
These are not simple issues and there are no simple solutions, but here in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, we are working towards providing some answers. And although we are a relatively small Faculty, we are having a big impact. Our research affects the health and well-being of not only Canadians, but people all over the world.
We are in countries like Rwanda, where malnourishment in children is heartbreakingly high, and in Nicaragua, working on watershed management projects that will improve land management and protect water supplies. Our researchers travel constantly, sharing their knowledge and helping to build capacity in foreign communities.
Here at home, we are actively working in Vancouver’s public school system to promote healthy and sustainable eating through the Think&EatGreen@School project. More than 400 UBC students participated in the project last year, helping to educate K-12 students on food and sustainability issues.
This kind of ground-level training is invaluable for our students. It’s an opportunity for them to develop the skills they will need when they graduate. Skills that will allow them to change the world.
One of our most valuable educational tools continues to be UBC Farm. As part of UBC’s Start an Evolution campaign, we will be focusing our fundraising efforts on building a Farm Centre. This Farm Centre will provide much-needed classrooms, dry and wet labs, offices and processing space, as well as an area for the farmer’s market, a café and student study spaces.
Investing in educational resources like UBC Farm is an investment in a healthier future. For all of us.
Murray B. Isman, Dean
Faculty of Land and Food Systems