Hi, I’m Valeria Sorgato! I’m here to tell you my story and how I ended up writing this article.
My journey began in one of the biggest islands of the Philippines when I was 5, and while I was playing I got to discover a narrow path through the dense forest that took me to one of most impressive places I have ever been. It was a huge crater covered by a blanket of intertwining leaves that served as roads for thousands of tiny ants marching like an army. It was in that moment of curiosity that I was amazed by the way these tiny creatures in the middle of these crater worked together to help each other achieve their goal.
This is the first clear memory about nature I hold and I can tell you that ever since I haven’t stopped enjoying its mesmerizing simplicity and wise greatness.
I was blessed with the opportunity to grow up living abroad, travelling from country to country, each one unique and beautiful on its own way and facing particular issues related to the impact of human activities on the environment. What started as curiosity became passion, the growing need to share with others all the wonders of nature and the challenges that we face to preserve it.
For the last six years of my life I have lived in Ecuador, my homeland. I have witnessed different realities, including the consequences of natural disasters, pollution, and poverty. I began to tackle the real world challenges of conservation and become more aware of how these problems are exacerbated by climate change, which also brings new issues to light.
So, I decided to study Environmental Communication to raise awareness about urgent environmental problems and the possible solutions that exist to not only fix them, but to help prevent them.
My first experience in the area was working on environmental education with communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon jungle, which showed me the importance of education to preserve nature and to co-exist harmoniously with it.
Later, I worked for two years in environmental journalism in the biggest newspaper of the country, El Comercio (http://www.elcomercio.com/). As a journalist I realized that communities where trapped in a non-scape circular system, in which they contributed to their own land contamination because they did not have the resources, opportunities and knowledge to find alternative ways for their development.
I also got to see how people struggled every day to provide for themselves and their families, finding difficult to even solve their basic needs due to the scarcity of environmental resources like water, wild animals to hunt or good farming land. All these resources that had been there for generations were now gone or in their way to disappear.
The urge to expose the local problematic and propose sustainable solutions within a “landscape approach” has brought me to Germany where I’m now studying my masters on Sustainable Resource Management at the Technical University of Munich.
Today I keep working to show the world the truth about our environmental challenges as I freelance at the renowned environmental platform “Mongabay” (https://es.mongabay.com/by/valeria-sorgato/). I’m convinced that raising awareness through communication is one of the main way that join us together in the challenging path of sustainability. It is like the leaves which intertwine and create a route for the ants to reach their nest.
Taking part in the “Global Landscape Forum” will be a great opportunity to share my experience and background with all of you as well as a big chance to bring home new perspectives and possible solutions to reach a greener future.
Name, nationality and age: Valeria Sorgato, Ecuador 26
Country in which you currently live: Germany
Which organization you work for, or which university you study at: Mongabay and Technical University of Munich
Your mother tongue: Spanish
Other languages you are fluent in: English, Italian