CEC member Faizal Jeeroburkhan, President of APEE, reports on activities carried out in 2010, including a nature trail in Mauritius, talks in schools and booklets on the Indian Ocean featuring art and essays by young people.
1. « Learning with Nature » on Ile aux Aigrettes
APEE collaborated with the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (MWF) for the setting up of a nature trail for college students on ‘L’ile aux Aigrettes’ off the south-east coast of Mauritius. This trail is about 1.5 kilometres long. It provides an immersive experience for students and teachers with regards to the endemic flora and fauna. It allows students to witness the restoration work undertaken by the MWF and to have a glimpse of the coastal vegetation as it existed before the arrival of Man (www.mauritian-wildlife.org).
The objectives of the nature trail are to enable the students to:
- Experience a natural coralline coastal ecosystem with the endemic flora and fauna
- Improve their knowledge and understanding of the non-living and the living resources and the way they interact with each other in the ecosystem
- Develop their basic scientific skills like observing, comparing, hypothesising etc.
- Develop awareness of the conservation needs and environment-friendly attitudes and behaviours
Specially trained guides accompany small groups of students for the visits. Hands-on activities are organised at stop-points all along the trail. Pre-visit and post-visit activities at the school level are proposed to the students to ensure the pedagogical effectiveness of the visits.
‘Learning with Nature’ forms part of the MWF Conservation Education Project. It has been developed with the collaboration and financial support of the Chester Zoo in UK and the financial support of the Rufford Foundation. It has been awarded the ‘Best Educational Project’ at the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquaria Awards 2009.
More than 3000 students have followed the nature trail free of charge in 2010 thanks to the financial support from local business companies.
2. Talks in schools
APEE collaborated with the British American Investment (BAI) for the Youth Engaged in Service (YES) programme, to deliver talks after school hours to students on the school premises. The program consisted of a series of weekly lectures and workshops on various community building themes including ‘Healing and Transforming our environment’. Discussions were organised on the needs to preserve our terrestrial and marine environment and to develop a more sustainable life style. The programme was spread over eight weeks with the participation of 12 colleges. The objectives of the YES programme are to enable the young people to:
- develop leadership skills and to participate effectively in community development
- adopt a life style which is compatible with sustainable development
- The programme was spread over eight weeks with the participation of 12 colleges.
3. Production of booklets for students
APEE collaborated with ReCoMap for the production of two booklets for schools. ReCoMap is a Regional Programme for the Sustainable Management of the Coastal Zones of the Indian Ocean countries. It is an initiative of the Indian Ocean Commission, funded by the European Union, and it works in seven countries of the region, namely the Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Somalia, the Seychelles and Tanzania (www.recomap-io.org)
A major objective of the programme is to raise awareness and understanding of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) issues among stakeholders, including the civil society. Children and youngsters of primary and secondary schools have therefore been sensitised through a school contest implemented from 2006 to 2009 in the focus countries, except Somalia.
The contest consisted in organising drawing, poster and essay competitions related to ICZM themes. Pupils and students from all the primary and secondary schools of Mauritius, Rodrigues, Comoros, Seychelles and Zanzibar have been able to enter the contest. But for Kenya, Madagascar and Tanzania, only students attending schools located in the coastal regions and districts were eligible to enter the contest.
The awarded drawings, posters and essays were compiled for a publication in English and in French. The compilation consisted in two educational booklets:
- A booklet for primary education: it consists in an analysis of drawings based on various tools (exercises, cartoons) and themes (biodiversity, waste management, pollution and integrated management)
- A booklet for secondary education: it consists in an analysis of posters and essays in the perspective of integrated management of coastal zones.
Both booklets have been designed and compiled by a team of specialists including pedagogues and a cartoonist as pedagogical tools to help teachers, supervisors, trainers and community/activity leaders to create awareness, knowledge and applications of coastal zone management. The booklets are innovative in the sense that they focus on the point of views and perceptions of young people.
For more information, contact Faizal Jeeroburkhan at firstname.lastname@example.org