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Education for Sustainable Development Background

Tools for Education for Sustainable Island Living

There are a number of outreach initiatives, some in progress for several years now, that seek to empower citizens, and especially youth, to act for positive environmental and social change. Among the successful tools that promote education for sustainable island living, particularly in small islands, are ones that focus on a practical approach to the measurement of environmental change by schools and communities, who then identify issues and problems and implement projects to address the identified issues. Such initiatives include the Sandwatch project (UNESCO-sponsored) that focuses on beaches, the River Care project (sponsored by Live and Learn Environmental Education Inc.) that focuses on rivers, and the Chemistry Outreach to Schools (COTS), University of the South Pacific initiative that focuses on weather and waste. Each of these initiatives has had successes in their local area, ranging from persuading a sugar factory to reduce the contaminants dumped in a river (River Care in Fiji) to involving a coastal community in the clearance of a blocked drain and beautification of a coastal area (Sandwatch in St. Vincent and the Grenadines) and to encouraging school science clubs to monitor weather and village communities to embark on a 'Clean X" project (COTS Program, USP, Fiji).

"Sandwatch takes you places you never dreamed of going and knowledge that will not be acquired on ordinary occasions. I have been able to impart new ideas into my classroom sessions. Sandwatch has encouraged participation from the community. Overall Sandwatch is an experience you will never want to forget." Marsha Gregg, Teacher, Bequia Community High School, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

It is through the development and expansion of tools such as these that Small Islands Voice is contributing directly to education for sustainable island living:



To get involved, contact :


Coastal Regions and Small Islands Platform
UNESCO, Paris, France
fax: +33 1 45 68 58 08

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