The Sustainability Laboratory


In December 2018, The Lab’s Sustainability Prize at EARTH University was awarded to the team of Mariana da Cruz Albertazzi and Raphael Loubert for the project: Agrosilvopastoral system with free range laying hens. The $10,000 prize is awarded annually to the student project that best exemplifies The Lab’s five core principles of sustainability, and the team will use the proceeds to implement a scale-up of their pilot project.

2018 prizewinners Raphael Loubert and Mariana da Cruz Albertazzi
2018 prizewinners Raphael Loubert and Mariana da Cruz Albertazzi

This project features an agrosilvopastoral system, which is a type of agricultural system that incorporates crops, forestry, and the pasturage of animals. Through their pilot project, Da Cruz Albertazzi and Loubert showed that poultry under pasturage results in weed control, higher soil nutrient content, and economic gains from egg production. They proposed to scale up their project on a parcel of land located in Bajos del Toro in central Costa Rica, which consists of 2 hectares of pasture land and 0.5 hectares of primary forest. The team plans to develop an integrated, sustainable farm that consists of various interconnected elements, including the pasturage of poultry, the production of agricultural and forestry products, the cultivation of food products, and agro-eco tourism.

Prizewinners at EARTH University
Prizewinners with Irene Alvarado, Professor at EARTH University; Yasmine Chan Blanco, Dean of Academic Affairs at EARTH University; Michael Ben-Eli, Lab founder; and Arturo Condo, President of EARTH University

We look forward to seeing how the prizewinners move forward with this project, and we extend a special thank you to Ivor and Barbara Freeman and Joshua Arnow and Elyse Arnow-Brill for their continued support of The Lab’s Sustainability Prize at EARTH University.

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