Friday, 27 May 2011

Climate change education at work in the Seychelles

By Mona Ainu’u – Broadcasting Corporation of Niue

Apia, Samoa - One of the smallest groups of climate change victims lies in the Indian Oceans to the East Coast of the African Continent and to the South of both India and the Maldives.

The Seychelles, an archipelago consisting of over 100 islands, is also finding it difficult to address climate change. With challenges such as limited resources and piracy, they too face a similar fate with those in other Small Island Developing States.

Ms. Jeannette Larue, Director General Public education and community outreach division of the Department of Environment in the Seychelles said her country continues to support initiatives and the drive by the Small Island Developing States to tackle issues with climate change.

“When we work together, when we keep networking, we come a little closer. We are still working together to find the means and ways”.

The difficulties the Seychelles faces cannot be addressed with larger countries.

“We do a lot of workshops in the African region but to be frank, the small islands are lost in those meetings because our priorities are not the same as the African countries. They talk about deforestation, drought, poverty reduction in regards to climate change and this is top priority for them, where sea level rise is not priority for them”.

In the Seychelles, the bottom up approach is continuing with initiatives introduced into the Education sector. There is a lot of capacity building and education awareness on climate change done in schools, working with school children to help share information.

“Climate change education has become quite a priority in the school program. We have a unit for environment education and for the past five years and the next five years climate change is the first top priority for the unit. We educate our children and they take it back home. We notice in Seychelles its very effective using the children to bring the message back home, but we also use a lot of media to educate the people.”

In adding to the difficulties in the Seychelles, not only accessing finance contributes to the challenges but conflicts with receiving those resources are also a factor.

The Seychelles were represented at the Lessons for Future Action conference on climate change in Apia, Samoa 23 - 26 May, 2011.

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