Sustainable Development Goals

SDGs Spotlight: Instituto Olho D’Agua

SDGs Spotlight: Instituto Olho D’Agua

The Olho D’Agua Institute (IODA) is a non-profit organization located in the municipality of Coronel Jose Dias, in the Piaui region of Brazil. It was born in 2013 out of the Scientific Project for the Cultural Environment, whose main goal is to include traditional scientific and everyday knowledge of the native settlers of the Serra da Capivara National Park area into modern environment and cultural heritage solutions. The Institute promotes community integration and the revitalization of culture by organizing and hosting diverse events, workshops and exhibitions, as well as contributing to research and recording of material and non-material culture. IODA strongly believes that these activities support the inclusion of the peoples of the Serra da Capivara into the community at large, and make available valuable knowledge for project management in the area. These ideas reflect those of the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular with goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, and goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The following projects outline how they have been able to achieve this. 

The exhibition Disusage and Transformation: The Material Culture of the People of Serra da Capivara showcases and outlines the production of various everyday objects at the Museum of Nature in Coronel José Dias. These objects and their purpose situate the peoples in a specific time and space, designating deeper meaning to quotidian life items. Visitors can not only appreciate how these people lived through these objects, but can also reflect on their relationship with their own  day to day gadgets. On the same not, the documentary Echoes from a recent prehistory: 1st episode: The Terens uses ethnoarcheology to reproduce traditional techniques, in this episode in specific of the making of “terens”, which include musical instruments, ceramic pots and liana baskets. Although obviously sustainable considering its digital character, the reproduction of knowledge is the most salient feature of the documentary. 

The Atelier and Library Dona Graca was created as a welcoming community space to the Serra da Capivara region. This is an interactive approach, employing reading, technology and arts to familiarize students and the community at large with the ways of life of the peoples. This has become a common space for a vulnerable community that desired mutual support. With the support of the municipality, it has brought attention to the rock art of the Serra da Capivara National Park, promoting scientific knowledge and cultural sustainability. 

These projects are in line with SDG 4 on education, which promotes acquiring knowledge and skills that advocate for sustainable development and lifestyles. The peoples of Serra da Capivara lived more in sync with their surroundings, transforming natural materials into useful objects and respecting crop and harvest natural cycles. Modern society can learn from this philosophy and techniques. Goal 11 focuses on making human settlements more inclusive, which involves “protect[ing] and safeguard[ing] the world’s cultural and natural heritage”. The activities of the Instituto are founded upon such principles.