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Commonwealth of Learning delegation visits the Blue Economy Research Institute |25 May 2022

Commonwealth of Learning delegation visits the Blue Economy Research Institute

The delegation of Commonwealth of Learning (COL) led by Minister for Education Justin Valentin yesterday visited the James Michel Blue Economy Research Institute at the University of Seychelles (UniSey), Anse Royale.

The aim of the visit was for the delegation, which included the education ministers of the Maldives and of Trinidad and Tobago, Aishath Ali and Nyan Gadsby Dolly respectively, among other COL members and senior representatives of the Ministry of Education, to review the curriculum of proposed course on Climate Literacy.

After being met by vice-chancellor Joëlle Perreau and senior staff of UniSey, the delegation was given a tour of the three research laboratories of the institute which was followed by a discussion in the university’s theatre 2, on the proposed Climate Literacy curriculum courses.

It was the director of the institute, Sylvanna Antha, who opened the discussion after presenting the delegation with an insight on the activities taking place at the institute.

During the discussion, Asha Kanwar, president and chief executive of COL, stated that as everybody is aware on the Blue economy concept, apart from revising some of the courses, the way forward is to find ways to develop skills in the Blue Economy that will be translated into livelihood while COL will continue to provide its support to the institute.

According to Ms Antha in her overview presentation, the Blue Economy Research Institute (BERI) at the UniSey creates an enabling environment for trans-disciplinary research, provides support and knowledge for policy development, to decision-makers as well as play an advisory role, for an informed, fair and sustainable Blue Economy.

It focuses on five core research areas which include; Climate Change Adaptation & Mitigation/ Disaster Risk Reduction, Blue Economy & Natural Resource Economics, including sustainable tourism in Seychelles, Blue Financing and Blue Carbon, and Ocean Governance, Oceanography (Chemical/Physical), Acidification and Water Quality, Aquaculture & Fisheries Science with focus on artisanal/subsistence fisheries sector, Coral Ecology & genetics, and Coral Reef Restoration.

BERI has worked with the Commonwealth of Learning to develop and deliver four massive open online courses (MOOCs) on the Blue Economy and these include; sustainability, innovation and our ocean, creating an enabling environment, blue resources and the blue space.

It is also keen to work with COL on the development of Blue Skills Courses, which are competency and sector based. Through its collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Energy, the institute continues to provide support and develop research that would contribute to ocean literacy and climate literacy.

After their visit to BERI, the COL delegation who were on a retreat in the country to finalise a report for Commonwealth education ministers on climate change and education, ended their retreat in the country yesterday afternoon with a tree-planting activity at the Seychelles National Biodiversity Centre, Barbarons, where they planted 13 Rothmannia annea (Wright) keay (Bois citron) trees.

The delegation left the country last night.

The accompanying photos show some highlights of the visit to the James Michel Blue Economy Research Institute (photos by Louis Toussaint) and the tree-planting ceremony at the Biodiversity Centre at Barbarons (photos contributed by Tool Box).


Patrick Joubert

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