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Seychelles joins and judges UNESCO Sandwatch project

The UNESCO Sandwatch project is aimed at reducing the level of pollution along the participating countries' shorelines.

Seychelles, Palau and Cook Islands acted as judges in an environmental conservation competition held recently in Portsmouth, Dominica.

The contest that saw 17 countries take part was organised by UNESCO under a beach monitoring programme called "Sandwatch" which Seychelles has just joined.

The other countries that took part in the July event were Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, British Virgin Islands, Grenada, Guyana, Dominican Republic, Dominica, Netherlands Antilles, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.

Seychelles was represented by Ministry of Education and Youth environment education coordinator Jeanette Larue, who told Nation that Sandwatch is aimed at reducing the level of pollution in the sea along the participating countries' shorelines.

"One of the main objectives was to train school children in the specific observation and measurement of beaches," she said, adding that the programme is already under way in Seychelles.

"We assist the students with the help of their communities to apply the scientific data collected to the management of the regions' beaches," she said. Prior to the competition, a three-day workshop was organised in May 2001 during which teachers from 17 Caribbean territories were trained in simple beach monitoring techniques and provided with manuals and equipment. Upon return to their countries, they started to work with their students to monitor beaches near their schools, and to collect and analyse data gathered.

During the workshop held in Dominica last month, students involved in the project presented the results of their beach monitoring work through oral presentations and exhibits.

Dominica won the first prize in the primary school category while Cuba came out the winner in the secondary school category.

"While judging, we used the delivery and content of presentation; exhibition display; activities taken and methods used; quality of data and information; data analysis and involvement of other people," Miss Larue said.

She said participants also had the chance to visit a nature reserve, enjoy a boat trip and take part in a tree planting activity.

"On prize-giving day, participants displayed and had the chance to explain the symbolism of their national flags," she said, adding that the judging nations; Seychelles, Cook Islands and Palau had the opportunity to display material and make short presentations on their countries and give a brief on the environmental education work going on there, especially with regard to the marine environment.

She said Seychelles, which had just joined the project, was chosen as a judge partly because of its healthy track record of, and government's commitment to environmental conservation.

Seychelles Nation, 6th August, 2003


To get involved, contact :


National Co-ordinators
Mr Rolph Payet and Mr Alain De Comarmond
Ministry of Environment
PO Box 677, Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles
Tel: + 248 224 644
Fax: 248 322 945


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