Environment Education & Awareness

The Ministry organises and implements environment education programs to sensitise  the population about environment issues. Activities are implemented by PECO, a section in the Ministry responsible for the coordination of all activities using the various media (TV, Radio & Local Newspapers) and the production of environmental programs for the national television and the local newspapers. PECO works closely with schools, environmental NGOs and the communities. You can follow us on Facebook.

The Ministry implements various educational programmes and projects with schools and youth clubs to intensify environment education at all level. It provides support to the Ministry of Education with the implementation of the Eco-school Programmes. Other programmes include;

Holiday camps

School holiday camp is a time when children coming from different schools with the same interest are grouped together to participate in fun yet learning activities. The activities can also complement what they have learn in formal classes during the term. Moreover, the limited time spent in class or ECA to discuss issues related to environment is not always enough to ensure in-depth understanding of specific issues. It has also been acknowledged by many, that knowledge alone does not always translate into change of behaviour. Eco-literacy is simply not enough to encourage that much needed change in behaviour. Moreover, the allure of indoor alternatives such as computer games, television, social networking, internet etc are curtailing children’s direct exposure to nature and this is happening a lot during school holidays.

School holiday camps provide children with valuable outdoor experiences which promote a good relationship with the environment and construct deep environmental knowledge and understanding of the world that surrounds them. Holiday camps provide these children another enjoyable and fun alternative where real life learning are based on real places, real issues, and authentic tasks. It helps to provide sensory engagement opportunities to explore the environment using all five senses. It provides children with time and environment for learning by doing and encourage them to be actively involved in hands-on exploration and investigation which are important in developing active environment stewardship. It offers children with experiential learning opportunities, which enables them to make connection and apply learning in the real world. It encourages transformative and action oriented learning, which is need to encourage positive behaviour change for active citizenship.

Objectives:

  • To develop a generation of eco-warriors who become active citizens, making lifelong informed environmentally sustainable decisions
  • To promote an appreciation and lifelong connectedness to the environment and eventually influence their interest in performing environmentally friendly behaviour
  • To develop young environment leaders who will eventually become active environment change agents in their respective schools and communities
  • To develop confidence and enhance social skills for active citizenships
  • To provide school children with alternative fun educational activities during school holidays

 

Different themes are chosen for holiday camps. Most of them are hands on activities such as recycling craft, nature walks, snorkeling and other outdoor action activities.

School rainwater harvesting project:   

The project started as a school project, driven by children and teachers.  Today the project is being implemented nationally.

Seychelles has two seasons, a rainy and a dry season. During the rainy season, water is lost through run-offs. And during the dry season, water is scarce and what has been collected for distribution is usually not enough to meet consumption demand.

Due to climate change, the country is experiencing low rainfall during dry season, whereas an extreme wet season during the rainy season. Moreover, due to increase economic and social development, as well as population growth, the demand for water consumption has increased tremendously. Water shortage during dry season, has therefore become an environmental, social and economic problem. The country has invested heavily in the construction of reservoirs and desalination plants, but still the problem persists. The use of desalination plants also increase the use of fossil fuel which again impact on the greenhouse effect.

Water conservation sensitization programmes in schools is on-going and recently a small pilot project has started in one secondary school for rainwater harvesting. Due to increase school population, and demand for water for sanitation and environment at school level, the demand for water at school level has increased remarkably. This is also putting pressure on the school budget due to increase water bills.

  • To harvest rainwater to meet the needs of selected schools and to reduce the cost of their water bills
  • To educate the school children on the impact of climate change on our water sources and methods used for adaptation
  • To raise awareness among the general public on climate change impacts on the Seychelles, and rain harvesting as a means of adaptation to water problems due to climate change
  • To share the schools’ experience on water harvesting with other organisations

Most school now is connected to the rainwater harvesting system. After constant awareness activities headed by schools involved, all new schools built now are connected to rainwater harvesting. It is in cooperated in the school building design. The government is also now encouraging general public to implement rainwater harvesting at their homes.

It is a project started in school, driven by children and teachers, and now at national implementation.

School Organic Garden

The School Organic Garden (SOG) project is an initiative of the Ministry of Environment Energy and Climate Change (MEECC) in partnership with the Environment Unit within of Ministry of Education, as part of the Eco-School Programme. The aim of the project is to deliver on government priorities around sustainable agriculture and finding new ways to make this policy work in every area of the school.  The project is also trying to send a message to decision makers of bringing back school vegetable gardens in schools.

On a global level, the project is contributing towards the implementation of the ambitious goals and commitment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the Education 2030 Agenda. Education plays a vital role in achieving the SDG, and goal 4 is dedicated to education, which states: “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.  This project is also implementing SDG 2, which is Zero Hunger, with the aim of ending hunger, achieving food security and improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture. It will be contributing towards the achievement UNESCO’s Education for Sustainable Development Goals.

The project will help students involved to evaluate and implement the actions mentioned above personally and locally to combat hunger and promote sustainable agriculture. It is also aimed at developing in students at a very young age, the interest in agriculture, and understand their role as an active citizen in the challenge of combating hunger.

An organic garden creates a wealth of opportunities for the school and the community. Students and teachers get to learn different sustainable approach that they can adopt at home. Revenue out of selling of the crops can be used for other environmental projects at the school.

Feedback received from school participating in the project have been very positive and have inspired and encouraged other schools to join in. Due to budget constraints, as it is financially supported by the Environment Education Section of the MEECC, every year only two schools can join the project. Teachers involved have reported that students who have difficulty in engaging in most classrooms-based activities often excel with growing and developing agricultural and horticultural skills. They have also observed it has help in reducing disruptive behaviors and timeouts, increase self-confidence, respect for school properties, and improve attendance and punctuality, and even their participation in other school activities. They have contributed towards the Eco-School Award, and participants of project have even been selected by their respective schools to participate in the Aldabra trip.

The project provide hands-on learning experiences which are vitally important and can contribute to greater success in the classroom. Team building and responsibility is another fundamental rule of school garden. If you do not water your garden, your plants will die. If you do not weed the garden, the weeds get worse and you have to work harder later to get the job done. Children learn how to be responsible by taking care of something. Gardens also provide a wealth of opportunities for teamwork. Students need to work together to prepare the soil, plant the seeds, water the plants and stay on top of the weeding. These opportunities take responsibility and work with others can build students’ self-esteem, and watching their garden grow is the sign of their success. Harvesting their vegetables and fruits from their garden can also help motivate them to work harder. It also helps the ‘handyman’ to feel more involved in school activities, as most of them get are actively involved in the project.

PECO also organises campaigns to intensify awareness over specific issues such as Save the turtles, National Park Day, etc. These activities are important to encourage members of the public to lead an environmental friendly lifestyle. A documentation centre is also available and located in the Botanical gardens, anyone can get access to information pertaining to Seychelles’ environment. It contains environment publications, periodicals and magazines. The service is free to members of the public and students on a daily basis (Monday to Friday – 8.00am to 4.00pm). The friendly staff can assist you to retrieve any information through the well organized database. Feel free to visit us at the Botanical Gardens in case you require any assistance for research, project or any other environmental related activities.

The Ministry also operates a Greenline service. The number to call is +248 2722111 and the line is open from 8:00 a.m to 9:00 p.m daily. In case you have any environment related complaints or concern, a responsible staff member will forward it to the responsible department for investigation and immediate action will be taken.

How We Celebrate Environmental UN Theme Days!

The Ministry supports the global environment community (e.g. UN, UNEP, FAO) by organising various programmes to commemorate specific environment theme days. The theme days are specific days approved by UN and other international organisation to depict specific issues. For example, the World Environment day is commemorated on the 5th of June every year and as a result, the global community gather to implement activities to celebrate the theme for the day. A series of activities are organized every year sensitize the people by using media sensitisation campaigns, rallies, marches, talks delivering, trail walks, field trips, exhibition mounting and display, competitions organized and much more.

Watch our calendars and also facebook page for upcoming events.

 

Event Dates
World Wetlands Day 2nd February
World Day for Water 22nd March
World Meteorological Day 23rd March
World Health Day 7th April
Earth Day 22nd April
International Biodiversity Day 22nd May
World Environment Day 5th June
Ocean Day 8th June
World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 17th June
Turtle festival August
International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer 16th September
Clean Up the World Mid September
Tree planting day 27th September
National small islands development states day October
World Habitat Day 4th October
International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction 13th October
World Energy Day  22nd October
Praslin Children’s marine education fun day November
Seychelles Ocean festival November
International Mountain Day 11th December

Feel free to join us and to look for updates and programmes on our webpage and our Facebook page.   Participation is open to everyone. In case you are also organising your activity, please feel free to contact us.

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