The Comoro Islands or Comoros (French Les Comores) form an archipelago of volcanic islands situated off the south-east coast of Africa, to the east of Mozambique and north-west of Madagascar. They are divided between the sovereign state of the Comoros and the French overseas department of Mayotte.
November 18th-24th, 2013, UNESCO`s "Climate Change Education Inside and Outside of the Classroom" workshop held in Praia in the Cape Verde Islands. Representatives from more than twelve (12) African nations, including Mr. Ben Anthoy, Prof Life Science and Earth at the Henri Matisse French School, Comoros attended the workshop were given an introduction to Sandwatch's MAST protocols (Measure, Analyze, Share Findings, Take Action) including a trip to Quebra Canela Beach to learn how Sandwatch surveys and lessons are conducted.
Representatives from twelve African nations attended the Cape Verde 2013 workshop
by Anthoy Ben Moussa, the author of this article, is a professor of life sciences and earth (SVT) at The Henri Matisse French School
Sandwatch starts at the Henri Matisse French School
After his training Sandwatch in Praia, Cape Verde in November 2013, Ben Anthoy professor of life science and earth is committed to continue its efforts to integrate Sandwatch as a learning tool with his students at the Henri Matisse French school (Photo1).
Sandwatch is a program that engages children, youth and adults to work together to monitor and scientifically evaluate the problems and conflicts facing their beach environment and develop sustainable methods for possible remedies, then design and implement the activities and projects to solve some of these problems while beautifying the environment of the beach and making it more resilient for climate change ecosystem.
Sandwatch is another way to teach climate change inside and outside the classroom. As a tool for beach monitoring in relation to climate change and human activities, Sandwatch contributes to the implementation of the national policy of the Comoros in the fight against climate change in general and fight against degradation of coastal areas in particular. It also addresses a major educational goal of the Comorian government. This objective relates to the integration of climate change into the curriculum of the country.
Integrating Sandwatch as an educational tool for Information, Education and Communication within the Henri Matisse French School, first went through a comprehensive public awareness campaign officials within the institution.
Ms. Roy-Morançais (photo2), headmaster and principal of the school thinks that "Sandwatch is a great tool for learning and allows students to clearly define the concept of climate change and its impact on the ground and in particular ranges beyond academic courses and also brings an awareness to students of environmental protection."
The second year class (Photo 3) was chosen to be the pilot class in the educational experience for a Sandwatch School in the Comoros in general and the Henri Matisse French School in particular. The reasons for this are many: - The level of study setting increases in second year, so this is the most mature and capable class to complete Sandwatch missions both inside and outside the classroom . - The teaching SVT program contains a part discussing the concept of climate change and its effects, global warming due to human activities and natural greenhouse effect, etc..
Before beginning the first Sandwatch school outing to Mbachilé Beach, located in the Bambao region of the Big Island, one of the most eroded beaches in the archipelago, the students first received information lessons on (Photo 4) what is Sandwatch, its objectives, its benefits and its approach based on monitoring, analysis, sharing and action for the preservation and protection of beaches.
The Sandwatch course received many positive reactions from students. Throughout the course, students showed great satisfaction that resulted in a strong motivation and a real involvement by participating collectively and asking various questions related to the topic.
At the end of the course, students each expressed the importance and integration of Sandwatch in their projects and goals. Without exception they all showed great interest in the practice and application of Sandwatch preparation and the rapid organization of educational output to Sandwatch practices on the ground. Xavier, a 2nd year student said, “I think Sandwatch is a great idea and allows the Comorian population to be aware of the danger associated with the degradation of the beaches ."
It is in this context that Sandwatch fits well into the national policy to fight against climate change on the one hand and on the other hand, in the curricula of schools present in the Comoros via the Henri Matisse French School, Moroni as a pilot project. "The integration of Sandwatch Comoros will be a guaranteed success because national authorities are aware of the vulnerability of coastal areas facing rising sea level “ said an officer responsible for the Adaptation to Climate Change at the Ministry of the Environment .
Nelson Mandela said, "Education is the most powerful that you can use to change the world weapon" and undoubtedly Sandwatch is one. So Sandwatch is a great learning and awareness tool that teaches study, mitigation and adaptation to climate change in coastal areas of the archipelago of the Comoros.
Article written by Ben Moussa Anthoy Professor of Life Sciences and Earth Henri Matisse French School Moroni, December 13, 2013