National Day Expo-Eco-Village – the site ‘with a difference’


15-July-2013

Government has over the years worked closely with other government organisations and agencies, as well as non-government organisations and the private sector to ensure that the population understands the importance of living in harmony with our natural environment, as well as understand the importance of sustainable development. A lot of effort and money is invested every year in both formal and informal education.  Both government and non-government organisations use maximum opportunities and medium to promote conservation and sustainable development awareness. 

This year’s National Day Expo was recognised as a major opportunity to reach out to the public and it did indeed proved correct.  Under the coordination of the Ministry of Environment and Energy, government and non-government organisations came together under one roof, named Eco-Village.

Eco-Village occupied the biggest area at the Expo, with about two 10m x 60m tent running pararell to each other with a 60m x 6m garden in between.  During the three days, the Eco-Village attracted thousands of people of all ages and walks of life.  The exhibitions were to educate the visitors not only about the conservation of national species, but also environmental laws and guidelines and most importantly good practices of sustainable development.  There were special sessions and workshops for children everyday on different environmental themes.  One activity which attracted many people was the trips in the marine parks.  On June 17, school children were also provided with the opportunity to explore the underwater life of Ste Anne Marine Park with special snorkeling trips organised for them.

The garden attracted many visitors and many came there not only to appreciate the landscaping skills displayed, but also to have a peaceful rest.  Ministry of Environment and Energy used this year’s Expo to bring back the School Garden Competitions which was popular during the National Horticultural Show in the past.

At primary level, there was the wheel barrow garden with La Rosiere winning first prize.
At secondary level, schools had to design a 5m x1½m garden, and there secondary students not only displayed beautiful plants, but also their recycling skills.  Belonie School was awarded the first prize.

A new category was introduced at post secondary level where SIT students (divided into two groups) had to build garden furnitures and accessories (benches, tables, fences etc).  These were done by two different groups of students.  The following day, two other groups from the School of Horticultural and Agriculture used the constructed furniture and accessories, and their own plants to create two gardens.  The National Botanical Garden Foundation also used this opportunity to design a garden made from endemic and medicinal plants which again attracted many visitors.

Every day there were questions and quiz which visitors could take part in and win prizes which were donated by participating organisations.  Overall the Eco-Village was a success and many visitors congratulated the effort the organisers and participants had invested it in. Many referred to it as the “most educational spot” or the site “with a difference”.

The Ministry of Environment and Energy would like to thank all participants of the Eco-Village for their support and hard work and count on that continued collaboration between government and non-government organisations in environment protection and sustainable development. Special mention also goes to all the visitors who made time to visit the different stalls and take part in the activities organised.
The accompanying photos show some of the stands which formed the Eco-Village.

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