Dr. Ganies Riza Aristya, a lecturer at the UGM Faculty of Biology, has been honored with the Outstanding Flagship Project Award at the 2023 RCE Awards for Innovative Projects on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).
Dr. Aristya received this award for her project titled “Smart Integrated Education System of Agrotourism Community Services.”
Dr. Aristya and the UGM Community Service team she supervised highlighted the agricultural potential of Sendangsari and Sidomulyo Villages in Kulon Progo Regency to transform them into sustainable agriculture-based tourism villages.
This potential also presented a challenge as local products experienced a decline in both quality and quantity after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The support of technology and education to develop MSME products is a highlight in the development of villages whose communities still depend on the agricultural sector,” she explained.
This aligns with the Sustainable Development Goal of increasing decent work and economic growth for the community (SDG 8).
The lecturer also emphasized the involvement of Women Farmers’ Groups that play an active role in the processing and managing of agricultural products, supporting gender equality in rural economic development (SDG 5).
She explained that agrotourism is a concept that combines farming activities with environmentally friendly tourism and contributes to the local community’s economy.
The application of the Smart Integrated Education System in the development of agrotourism is aimed at uplifting the potential of the local community through various educational and training programs (SDG 4), community and stakeholder involvement, and the use of innovative technology.
In addition, the concept also supports awareness of conservation and sustainable agriculture for the local community and tourists (SDGs 14 and 15).
“This idea is expected to realize a sustainable agrotourism sector, increase awareness of environmental preservation, promote local culture, and provide economic benefits to the local community,” she stated.
The RCE Awards are presented by the Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCE on ESD), recognizing programs and projects that focus on education for sustainable development.
This contribution is a tangible manifestation of addressing sustainable development challenges in the region. Recognized programs involve transforming teaching and research, demonstrating active community contributions, and engaging partners and stakeholders.
Photo: Dr. Ganies Riza Aristya