07.07.2009 -


...understanding and protecting the coastal environment.

Sandwatch seeks to positively influence the lifestyle and habits of children, youth and adults on a community-wide basis, and to develop awareness of the fragile nature of the marine and coastal environment and the need to use it wisely.

Sandwatch is an educational process through which school students and community members learn and work together to critically evaluate the problems and conflicts facing their beach environments and to develop sustainable approaches to address these issues. With a strong field monitoring component, Sandwatch tries to make science 'live' yet remains inter-disciplinary with applications ranging from biology to woodwork and from poetry to mathematics.

Through the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014), Sandwatch provides a practical ‘hands-on’ approach to integrating the values inherent in sustainable development into all aspects of learning, thereby empowering citizens to act for positive environmental and social change.

Sandwatch also contributes to the further implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States.

A combined approach to climate change adaptation and education for sustainable development

Starting in 2009, in partnership with UNESCO’s Sciences and Society Section of the Division of Science Policy and Sustainable Development and with the financial support of the Government of Denmark, the Sandwatch Foundation is implementing a project entitled “Sandwatch: a combined approach to climate change adaptation and education for sustainable development”.

This project will design, test and implement ways to integrate climate change-related knowledge and activities into the Sandwatch programme. Phase 1 of the project focuses on the Caribbean region and subsequent phases will include other regions.


The key objective of the project is to develop and test an approach and provide a tool for children, youth, teachers, schools, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and communities to integrate knowledge and activities relating to climate change into the Sandwatch programme.

Specifically the project will:

- revise the 2005 Sandwatch Manual to integrate knowledge and new activities relating to climate change adaptation (March-April 2009);

- conduct a 4-day Sandwatch training workshop in the Bahamas, to test the revised manual with new and established Sandwatch groups from the Bahamas (New Providence and the Family Islands) as well as with Sandwatch group leaders/coordinators from four other Caribbean countries (June, 2009);

- Revise the manual based on the outcome of the workshop and the input from other national Sandwatch coordinators (July, 2009).

The project will be followed by further new Sandwatch activities scheduled for implementation during late 2009 and 2010.


H. Thulstrup, Programme Specialist, Small Islands and Indigenous Knowledge, UNESCO

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