According to the IPCC, the desertification brought by climate change in recent years has already extensively reduced agricultural productivity in many regions of the world.
Agriculture represent the 70% of freshwater use worldwide and the current population projections talks about an estimated increase up to 10 billion by the end of the century.
It is urgent, then, to find an alternative method of cultivation ecologically sustainable for our future.
In this scenario fits perfectly the Nemo’s Garden: the first underwater greenhouses of terrestrial plants in the world.
This completely self-sustainable project represent an alternative farming system particularly dedicated to those areas where environmental or geo-morphological conditions make the growth of plants almost impossible.
The microclimate and thermal conditions within the biospheres are optimal for plant growth and crop yields.
The plants are cultivated hydroponically using coconut fiber cones irrigated by the water obtained thanks to the condensation process that takes place on the biospheres inner walls, which transform the salt water into freshwater.
Self production of energy thanks to solar panels is used for powering all the utilities of the underwater lab, useful to check O2, CO2, humidity and temperature datas from the surface.
It is also proven through experiments conducted at the Pisa University, that plants grown in Nemo’s Garden have higher concentration of essential oils, over 31,5% higher antioxidant activity and 13,3% increase of polyphenols content that plant grown in the soil. These datas are particularly actionable in the pharmaceutical field especially for the production of vaccines.
The encouraging results of the last years, where more than 40 different species of plants have been successfully cultivated, give us hope that we have found a sustainable agricultural system that will help us to tackle the new challenges brought by climate change.
My approach wants to be positive so I have decided to document the innovative solutions that human being is pursuing in order to counteract the problematics arisen due to climate change. I believe that in this way, I can raise awareness about the critical status of our planet but at the same time without generating hopelessness. I have found this story after months of studies and researches. Attracted by this revolutionary idea I put myself in contact with the Ocean Reef Group team who explained me in the details the entire project capturing my attention. I have then followed this project during 7 months, documenting every facets of this pioneering project.
I believe this is an extremely important story to tell right now because we might be in front a new self-sustainable idea that could revolutionize the way we cultivate crops in our future.
I would use the Visura Grant to finance a part of my first long-term environmental project that I have begun in March 2022.
The project will be divided in several chapters representing the different geographic macro areas of the world.
The background will be the impact of climate change and the anthropogenic stressors on the world's coral reefs and marine ecosystem.
In order to underline the importance of marine ecosystem for our planet and create a stronger bond between nature and human being, I will explore also the social impact of this phenomenon, documenting how the loss of biodiversity affected the life of indigenous and coastal communities. The core of the project instead, will be on the pioneering experiments that the different scientific authorities of the world are undertaking to find a solution that helps to recover this ecosystem and minimize the risk of corals reefs extinction.