Local schools’ project showcased at Durban climate change summit


19-December-2011

It was also the only school project selected and the only project which focuses on education for sustainable development or education for climate change.

The project was presented by a delegation of three people, comprising Jeanette Larue as the coordinator of the project, Franky Dupres of PUC who is the technical consultant of the project, and Sonam Tsultrim Gaytso, a student of Anse Boileau school who was actively involved in the project. Ms Tsultrim was in fact the only school child at the presentation.

The School Rainwater Harvesting Project (SRHP) was launched in 2009 in 10 schools in Seychelles: Anse Boileau primary, Baie Lazare, Takamaka, Anse Royale secondary, Belonie, Grand Anse Mahe, La Digue, Baie Ste Anne Praslin, Grand Anse Praslin primary, and Praslin secondary.

Coordinated by the Environmental Education Unit in the Department of Education, the project is aimed at raising awareness and sensitising people at harvesting rainwater as a means to adapt to climate change.

The project, which started in schools, are now being adapted by people in the community and has also brought a remarkable reduction on school water bills.

During the last drought which affected our country badly in the last few months, school taking part in the project have expressed that the water harvested and stored have helped their schools in coping with water needed for the daily functioning of their schools. 

The project is also getting the support of Environment Department, Public Utility Cooperation, Seychelles Islands Foundation, Sea Level Rise Foundation, Sustainability for Seychelles, the University of Seychelles and GOS-UNDP-GEF office in Seychelles.
 
The project, firstly nominated by the United Nations Environment Programme (Unep), which, through funding from the Danish Government, was the main sponsor of the project, was finally nominated amongst the best 10 by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). The basic criteria for selection were:

• Address climate change mitigation or adaptation, and benefit the urban poor in developing countries (particularly within Africa, Asia and Latin America)

• Be the result of collaboration between a public entity (national, sub-national or local government) and a private entity (private company, NGO, or civil society organisation)

• Have the potential to be both replicable and scaleable

• Be already implemented or under implementation, with concrete results achieved at the time of submission

• Generate impacts that are measurable, whether through emission reductions, improved living standards and resilience to climate change, or some other recognisable metric

Among other countries showcased at the Durban summit were projects from South Africa, Philippines, Uganda, China, Brazil, India, Kenya and Ethopia.

Apart from the Seychelles delegation who were at the Durban summit, the event was also attended by United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa.

Over the past five years the Environmental Education Unit has intensified its climate change education programme, and the SRHP has been part of the Unit’s programme which empower schools to take action to adapt to climate change.

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