FAS promotes the largest sustainability festival in Latin America in Manaus, the Virada Sustentável
Imagine a city that recycles and reuses what it consumes. Imagine a city where mobility is guaranteed and sustainable, with more bike lanes and less traffic. Now imagine that this city is in the center of the Amazon and takes advantage of the potential that the native biodiversity brings, with parks and green leisure spaces, clean rivers and streams. In Manaus, this imaginative exercise takes shape and is taken to the streets every year with the Virada Sustentável. FAS is responsible for promoting in the capital city of Amazonas the largest sustainability festival in Latin America.
In Brazil, Virada Sustentável completes more than a decade of a movement that aggregates and engages individuals and institutions of the organized civil society, universities and schools, culture and art groups, companies and local governments in a free and diverse programming that disseminates ways of doing and thinking about sustainability in urban environments. Since 2015, the initiative arrived in Manaus, through a network of volunteers and organizations and with local organization by FAS.
“Supporting the Virada for us means giving organicity to a huge set of initiatives that have been happening in the city of Manaus, but that until then occurred in a dispersed manner and with little visibility. It means to dream together, to share a dream for a better, healthier and more sustainable Manaus,” summarizes Virgilio Viana, general superintendent of FAS.
“In 2015, which was the first Virada in Manaus, we went to watch it and found a reality different from ours. And that’s when everything happened. We turned our lives around and today in our project, REUSA, we work exclusively on the Sustainable Brazil Tour, with the materials that sustainability offers us within our community”.
Cristina Pereira, member of the RipART REUSA project
Watch the video about the event in 2022:
The conception of the Virada Sustentável is guided by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (UN), among them the search for gender equality, poverty eradication, clean and affordable energy, and the defense of life on land and water. These are the same principles that guide the Foundation for Amazon Sustainability in its systemic approach and actions in the Amazon region with a focus on environmental conservation and improvement of the quality of life, in the forests and in the cities.
Manaus is an Amazonian metropolis, with a population of over 2 million inhabitants, and large-scale problems, such as the deficient basic sanitation coverage (according to Info Amazônia, 9 out of 10 residents do not have access to the sewage system in the city), accumulation of garbage in the streets, and pollution of water sources. Virada Sustentável proposes a broad and democratic dialogue with society, about what future is desired for the citizens of Manaus and the place where they live.
The free programming covers all zones of Manaus, from the center to the peripheral areas, with activities for all ages and, sports, leisure, science, education, art, and culture, all focused on sustainable practices and examples that can be incorporated into the city’s life.
“A single person cannot change society, but Virada Sustentável showed that if we are united, reality can be transformed, without a doubt. This is a mission for everyone: government, civil society, and private initiative. The next step is to repeat the feat and implement a culture concerned with sustainable development, which benefits everyone”, says Cristine Rescarolli, supervisor of the Sustainable Cities Coordination of FAS and coordinator of the Virada Sustentável Manaus.
“Held in other cities in the country, such as São Paulo and Porto Alegre, the manauara version of the Virada Sustentável stands out for the warm way in which it was received by the population, which manifests itself in the growing numbers of participants and registrations for volunteering”.
“We have worked with volunteers since the first edition of the Virada Sustentável, and this year we had more than 300 registrations in record time,” says producer Giselle Mascarenhas, in reference to the 8th and most recent local edition, held in 2022. “The volunteers make the Virada, they embrace the cause and make a point of participating in the festival. They have a lot of strength and courage, and we are very grateful to them.
“It is impressive to see the level of organization and engagement of the Virada Sustentável in Manaus. I think that, compared to other cities, it is certainly, proportionally speaking, the biggest that exists”, points out journalist André Palhano, one of the founders of Virada Sustentável. “I think this shows how much we can achieve when we bring together good, committed people and make this a joyful, festive, positive meeting, without obviously losing the seriousness that the themes and challenges impose.
In 8 editions held in the capital of the state of Amazonas, Virada Sustentável has mobilized more than 70 thousand people in more than 1,200 face-to-face and online activities (because of the pandemic, in 2020, a virtual version of the festival was organized), citizens and sustainable care for Manaus. Coordinated by FAS, the initiative is strengthened over the years by a hundred organizations, such as the Casas Bahia Foundation, the municipal and state government, and volunteers.
“For me, participating in the Virada Sustentável is to commune with society and nature”, says yoga instructor, Ianeza Wanzeller. Member of the Transformation Group, which promotes education, culture and art activities in the Redemption neighborhood, West Zone of Manaus, Rohmas Mascarenhas considers that “the Virada Sustentável is the union of forces and hearts, showing that we can indeed give up this selfish vision and think more in others, think more on the planet, in our home”.