4 February 2021 | Victoria, Seychelles – Engaging students in seagrass meadows education – The Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust has launched two activity books on seagrass meadows on its website. The books have been developed under the Coastal Wetlands and Climate Change Project (aka Seagrass Meadows Project) which SeyCCAT is undertaking to assist the Government in pioneering research to quantify the carbon intake of seagrass meadows and to map out their distribution in our waters. This is directly linked to Seychelles’ commitment to the Paris Agreement in coming up with contributions to help mitigate the effects of climate change on our planet.
The two books, which can be downloaded freely and repeatedly, target two different categories; primary and secondary students. They both contain 20 pages of age-appropriate activities to provide a basic understanding of what seagrass meadows are and their role in the planet’s ecosystem. Prior to being finalised, the books have been tested out on students during some of SeyCCAT’s outreach activities during the latter half of last year. The activities developed factor in the age groups’ capacity to think concretely and abstractly. The main approach has been to make it an enjoyable experience, especially for the primary category, using the fact that children are often curious about and fascinated with the underwater world.
Seagrass meadows have yet to find their rightful place not only in our environmental policies but also in our appreciation of what nature has gifted us with. These flowering marine plants have been taking in carbon dioxide from our atmosphere and safely storing them away so that our planet stands a chance at recuperating from the damages, both natural and man-made it faces. Science has concluded that they are more critical, in terms of capacity, in taking in carbon than forests. Protecting them, which is the ultimate goal of the Coastal Wetlands and Climate Change project, is not just important, but in fact critical.
One important part of this process is societal awareness and the engagement of the general public, especially the youth. Generating a higher level of interest is one of the main aims of the activity books. They can be downloaded, printed, and be used at home where parents can also participate. Environmental groups and clubs can also use them to sensitize children and youth on seagrass meadows and the ecosystem which they are part of.
SeyCCAT hopes that the timing of the launch is helpful for parents with students who are looking for further educational engagement during the stay-at-home-period.