For Media

Hotels for Press
Accommodation levels in Rio de Janeiro are anticipated to be at full occupancy during the conference. While it is not the responsibility of the United Nations to procure accommodation for the media, it should be noted that the Brazilian national organizing committee for Rio+20 has committed to blocking a minimum of 500 hotel rooms in Rio de Janeiro for media covering the conference. Costs must be covered by the media. For more details, visit: http://www.rio20.gov.br For information regarding room availability please contact: Terramar Travel Agency

Emails: reservas2@terramar.tur.br or reservas4@terramar.tur.br or reservas8@terramar.tur.br

Tel: (+55+21) 35120067 or (+55+11) 30142042 or (+55+19) 35145600

Media representatives must present their approval letter and copy rio20.hoteis@itamaraty.gov.br when requesting their accommodations.

Information

MyCOE Initiative Connects U.S., Overseas Youth to Develop Community-Based Projects
The My Community, Our Earth Global Connections and Exchanges Program, a new initiative from the Association of American Geographers, will use online technologies to connect secondary school teachers and students from different parts of the world to foster their understanding of each other?s countries. The students will also learn to use technology to identify and address issues in their communities related to sustainability and the environment.

Approximately 165 teachers and 3,068 students from 23 schools throughout the United States, Bolivia, Ghana, Nicaragua, and the Philippines will take part in the initiative over the next two years. The AAG was awarded a $425,000 grant from the U.S. Department of State to develop a program aimed at cultivating environmental, geographic, technological, and cultural literacies in youth so they can better implement community-based projects that address local challenges and build sustainable development.

The grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of State Global Connections and Exchange Program, part of the agency?s Youth Programs Division in the Office of Citizen Exchanges of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Youth Programs Division initiated the Global Connections and Exchange Program to encourage dialogue between teachers and students through secondary school Internet connectivity and curriculum development.

The projects created through the MyCOE GCE Program initiative will be showcased during Rio+20: United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil. The AAG will hold a digital videoconference during the conference to link the participating sites to Rio+20, giving the international partners an opportunity to engage in Rio+20 displays.

Teachers participating in MyCOE GCE Program will be trained over a 20-month period to use social networks, online maps, and course modules in their classrooms to engage students in computer-mediated dialogues and themed discussions with their international counterparts. They also will help develop leadership skills among the students.

The students will work with their teachers and mentors to apply what they have learned to develop projects on key themes such as climate change, food security, green economy, and leadership. Students will use their projects to raise questions about how their communities have changed over time, draw conclusions about the changes, and take action by engaging community leaders around their results. A ?GeoPortal,? or online portal and repository for the completed projects, will allow students to observe and analyze their project data. The portal is being developed with Esri, a geographic information services software company.

For more information about the MyCOE GCE Program initiative, visit www.aag.org/gce.
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