Study shows pollution and erosion worry youth


13-May-2013

WCS members doing the survey


The WCS aimed to see how young Seychellois and their boundless energy can be harnessed for them to take a more active part in sustainable development.

An easy-to-answer questionnaire was distributed to some 300 youth and an impressive 260 responded in this random sampling survey, said the organisation.

“The main focus of the questionnaire was to map out Seychellois youth’s involvement in decision-making on environmental concerns. An additional component in the questionnaire sought to find out the role model of the youth in the island nation’s society,” it said.

Out of the 260 questionnaires collected, 58% of the respondents were female, 27% were male and 15% of those who took part in the survey did not state their gender. The ages of the respondents varied.

The survey gave the WCS the challenge to reach out and achieve gender parity and also bridge the age gap. 

“According to the responses, the greatest concern expressed was pollution. 120 youths named pollution without stating which type. Whereas 46 others felt concerned about air pollution, 24 about water pollution and 18 about noise pollution which means that 80% of those who took part in the survey felt pollution is a major concern. Second to pollution, was littering which is considered as pollution as well.

“Another related concern is the lack of litter bins in public places including beaches, poaching of sand, turtles and dolphins and the general lack of recycling initiatives. A concern on general clean-up activities was raised suggesting an on-going activity not limited to the annual Clean-up the World Day in September.

“Erosion is another issue that featured prominently. Twenty five out of the 65 respondents mentioned coastal erosion. New constructions along beaches which are limiting beach access also featured among the responses received as was deforestation and its links to erosion and landslides.”

The WCS said that as expected climate change and related issues such as global warming, sea level rise, tsunami, coral bleaching and loss of marine species and other wildlife in the various eco-systems did not feature strongly in the survey answers given.

“Other concerns worth mentioning are environmental degradation due to rampant construction. The issue of the revision of land use management policies and controlled development in biodiversity rich areas so as to safeguard species survival and biodiversity regeneration was raised. Emphasis on environmental protection and land reclamation also featured.

Among the solutions offered where deforestation, pollution and littering were concerned were reforestation, availability of litter bins in public places and better waste management. Strict enforcement of pollution related laws; public awareness programmes and regular clean-up campaigns were also suggested. Other solutions given included the rolling out of an effective waste management plan, better beach management, proper land use, relocation of the landfill and waste recycling initiatives. Eco-tourism should also be promoted, said the young people.

So who is the most trusted purveyor of information on sustainable environmental practices?

According to the answers, the person who is most trusted by the youth of Seychelles is an environmentalist on television, followed by a government environment officer. Third is a law enforcement officer. Teachers trailed on this survey, a pointer to the WCS to intensify its schools outreach programme.

The results of this far reaching survey will enable the WCS to effectively implement its environmental programmes for the school and the community as well as its Good Governance Project.

The survey was part of wildlife clubs of Seychelles winning award project under the Seychelles Governance Capacity Building Programme 10th European Development Fund /Small Grant Programme.

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