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April 2, 2018 at 9:43 am #1071Dr. Geeta Somaroo, University of Mauritius Dr. Sabrina Ramsamy-Iranah, University of Mauritius Miss Doorgha Ragoobur, University of Mauritius Reef Conservation
Eco-Schools Initiatives: Moving towards Green Education and Practices in Schools for promoting Sustainable Development
Eco-Schools is an international programme developed by FEE (Federation for Environmental Education) to encourage whole-school community environmental awareness, education and action for environmental sustainability in schools for students, teachers, non-teaching staff, parents, as well as, the local communities. This programme consists of learning resources, management tools and the Green Flag Award Scheme. The Eco-Schools Green Flag is awarded to schools who have fulfilled the criteria and passed the assessment. It is a recognised and respected eco-label for environmental education and performance. Over 50,000 schools from 68 different countries are part of the Eco-Schools programme and have taken the challenge to work towards improving their local and global environment through education and practical action. In Mauritius, 32 schools (primary and secondary) were part of the Pilot programme in 2015. Currently, 115 schools have voluntarily joined Eco-Schools both in Mauritius and Rodrigues. Reef Conservation is the affiliated FEE member and the National Operator of the Eco-schools Indian Ocean Programme. With the rapid socio-economic development of Mauritius, the amount of municipal solid wastes (MSW) has increased drastically and the sole Sanitary Landfill at Mare Chicose has almost reached its full capacity. The waste sector was reported to be the second largest emitter of GHGs from 2000 to 2006 and for 1,333 Gg CO2e representing 27.3 % of the total emissions in 2006 (National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report, 2010). There are different sustainable solid waste management and practices that can help in the reduction of CO2. The objectives of the ‘Eco-Schools Initiatives’project will be as follows: (i) to encourage source-separation of wastes and recycling of unused materials scraps into decorative crafts and functional products that can be creatively designed after research conducted; (ii) to implement composting activities that will offer numerous benefits to the environment as well as to the community; (iii) to set-up rain harvesting system, and (iv) to promote roof gardening. Hence, the aim of this project is to implement a sustainable waste management practices in selected primary and secondary Eco-Schools in Mauritius and in Rodrigues Island.
The targeted primary and secondary Eco-schools will be in the Urban and Rural regions in Mauritius, as well as, in Rodrigues Island. Waste characterization study will be initiated by providing different wastes bins for the separation of wastes being generated in the schools. The collaboration of the Ministry of Environment and Mission Verte will be sought for providing the different waste sorting bins. The wastes will be classified in terms of paper and cardboard, plastic, cans and organic wastes (food wastes and yard wastes). Students, teachers and caretakers at the schools will participate in the waste characterization study through activities such as educational workshops and sensitization campaigns. This project will also develop and apply creative and aesthetic approaches when handling different types of recyclable materials such as paper and plastics. The organic wastes will be composted in schools and the compost produced will be used for gardening. The project will also encourage roof-gardening and rain water harvesting in the schools.
The benefits of this project will be as follows:
Sensitization and educational campaigns on waste segregation and recycling in both rural and urban schools which is line with SDG 4 – Quality Education.
Collection of recyclable products by recycling companies which is in line with SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities and SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production.
Dissemination of sustainable waste management practices at school by the students to their families and communities.
Use of compost for cultivation in order to avoid application of chemical fertilisers and encouraging roof gardening. This is line with SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production.
Mitigation of Climate Change which is in line with SDG 13 – Climate Action.
Promotion of rain water harvesting which is in line with SDG 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation.0