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Bel Ombre primary students learn more about climate change | 16 March 2020

Bel Ombre primary students learn more about climate change

The pupils listening to the presentations (Photo: Joena Meme)

Members of Bel Ombre primary school’s heritage club, from P1 to P3, on Friday had the opportunity to learn more about the impact of climate change on our heritage.

They did so through an interactive and educational talk organised by the Seychelles Heritage Foundation (SHF) as part of their calendar of activities for Commonwealth Day, which was observed on Monday, March 9.

To commence the event, senior heritage and communications officer of the SHF, Myriam Cesar, addressed the students, emphasising the need to preserve our cultural and natural heritage, and introduced the two speakers for the session – herbarium curator of the Seychelles Natural History Museum Charles Morel and conservationist Lindsay Chong-Seng.

Mr Morel, through an interactive quiz session, tested the children’s knowledge as to the Seychellois heritage, noting the importance of preserving the environment and acting in an environmentally-conscious manner so as to protect the natural heritage for future generations.

Similarly, Mr Chong-Seng interacted with the students talking them through the importance of natural resources which are often overlooked, and the necessity to protect such resources.

He questioned the students as to how many of them have air-conditioning at home, a car at their disposal as well as other habits which leave a carbon footprint.

Focusing on marine life, Mr Chong-Seng noted the important role that sand and corals contribute towards the marine eco-system, warning the students of rising sea temperatures and the adverse implications on corals.

“In past year, we would hear about El Niño or La Niña once in a while but over recent times, such occurrences are more frequent. Ideally, the ocean temperature should be 28 degrees but sometimes, due to climate change, the temperature becomes warmer and goes up to 30 degrees Celsius leading to coral bleaching and eventually, the corals die, destroying habitats for marine creatures.”

“How about sea turtles? Well, rising water temperatures have an adverse effect on sea turtles too, as water temperature is a determining factor in the sex of the species,” he said, explaining that there is an 80 to 100 percent chance that the hatchlings will be female in water temperatures exceeding 26 degrees while there is a possibility of all the hatchlings being male in temperatures less than 26 degrees, and encouraging them to be more responsible in their actions, while also passing on the message to their family members and friends.

Mr Morel further elaborated on the key biodiversity areas and endemic species in Seychelles, all of which form part of the rich heritage of the small island nation and which future generations should have an opportunity to enjoy, also as an important part of their heritage.

 

Laura Pillay

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