Sandwatch in Portugal
Building Climate Change Resilience in the Natural Reserve of Ponta de São Lourenço
During the last years, within the framework of the Sandwatch project, our school, the Escola Básica do 2º e 3º Ciclos do Caniço has been involved in an educational process through which students, teachers and our local community are working together monitoring our coastal environment and developing sustainable approaches to address the problems found.
Throughout the process, a fundamental aspect enabling our actions has been the profuse collaboration between partners that goes far beyond our school walls.
Once again, our school has participated in an action promoted by the project LIFE Eco Compatível led by the Natural Park of Madeira, in collaboration with the Four Views Hotels (and their partners Quinta do Lorde Resort and Mbtravel) which took place at “Ponta de São Lourenço”.
Escola Básica dos 2º e 3º Ciclos do Caniço – Madeira
Madeira: Cleaning the "Levadas" and ensuring good quality coastal water
Madeira is an island of just 756 square kilometers, however, has a complex irrigation system consisting of a meandering channel network with over 1500 km. These channels are the “Levadas” which cross the steep topography of the island and are the result of an epic work that has been shaping the landscape for over five centuries.
The “Levadas” are an important part of the cultural heritage of the island of Madeira. The first ones were soon built at the beginning of colonization in the fifteenth century, in order to irrigate the land. The North side of the island is rich in vigorous springs but is on the South side that are the most fertile but dry land. The cultivation of cereals, sugar, vines and banana was only possible thanks to these water paths that through steep cliffs and the Forest of Laurissilva, carry the water from where it springs up to where is needed.
Sandwatch starts in Madeira, Portugal
The Escola Básica do 2º e 3º Ciclo do Caniço is taking the preservation of the island coastal environment very seriously. The beaches are interfaces for interaction between people and the sea and need to be preserved.
The Reis Magos Beach is located at about 4km from the Caniço School and deeply affects the life of the students. Since 2012, the beach and its surrounding have been cleaned by the school students. The proposal for this initiative came from the Parents Association and the Four Views Oasis Hotel, which addressed the school’s concerns about our students’ environmental and civic education.
This project aims to engage students and the community in cleaning and preserving a reference zone of the city and includes the participation of a wide range of local partners: our school (Escola Básica do 2º e 3º Ciclo do Caniço) a Portuguese ASPnet school, the Parents Association, the Four Views Oasis Hotel, the Municipality of Santa Cruz, the Junta de Freguesia (Parish Council), the Caniço’s Pharmacy and the teams from the Eco-Schools Project and UNESCO Project.
A sponsorship ceremony was held to celebrate the commitment about the continuity of the project on January 31, 2014, at the beach promenade. This event was intended as a way to formalize, for the general public, the already accepted commitment to keep the beach clean, alert the community to the need to protect the environment and biodiversity of the local maritime areas and also to the importance of recycling.
On January 9 of 2015, as part of the first birthday celebrations of the sponsorship of the Reis Magos Beachr by our school, an activity to clean three beaches: Reis Magos, Palmeira and Garajau was held. The activity was again the result of a broad partnership between a large number of institutions of our community, already mentioned.
This year other schools joined us in the initiative, the “Escola Básica do 2º e 3º Ciclos Dr. Alfredo Nóbrega Júnior” and the “Escola Básica e Secundária de Santa Cruz” and also the Natural Park of Madeira.
At Garajau, after cleaning the beach, the students received an explanation about diving by Mero Diving Center and the Around freedom company allowed the students to experience board paddling.
The activity was covered by local and national media: newspapers, radio and two TV stations, RTP Madeira and TVI.
In order to allow our activities to be present at the Sandwatch website I invite you to visit the school’s web page in the link below were you can find videos about the media coverage