Guardians Environmental Education Campaign 2020

Guardian Campaign implementation from Lefaga district primary schools to Safata district primary schools…the journey continues.

Lefaga to Safata – 28th September – 16th October

Integrated firmly into the recently launched Samoa Ocean Strategy developed by Government of Samoa and partners, is the Development and Refinement of Learning Resources with focus on a Sustainable Pacific through the Guardians Environmental Education Campaign.

Partners work together to develop the learning resources for primary schools for a sustainable Pacific and roll out implementation of the  environmental education program affectionately known as the Guardians – Tausi Lou Fa’asinomaga or know and preserve your identity.  The Guardians is all about fun and interactive lessons and field trips that emphasize empowering the youth of our communities with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to inspire environmentally sustainable behavior in the current context of climate change. Important for a sustainable future.

Following a few weeks of preparations from partner’s workshop and Training of Trainer workshops earlier in September, Guardians implementation started with success! The Guardians, which was in Lefaga district from 28th September to 2nd October now spent this past week inspiring the youth in Safata!

In Lefaga, based at the Faleaseela Catholic compound, the campaign made a lasting impact on both the students and the teachers of the district. Salamumu,  Matautu, Safaato’a, Savaia,  Faleaseela, and Saanapu primary schools all took part in the 4 day “hands on” education program. The interactive environmental education modules covered themes that are most relevant to our communities for sustainable living in the light of climate change. This week the campaign targeted the school communities of Mulivai, Tafitoala, Vaie’e, Lotofaga, Sataoa, Sa’anapu, Fusi, and Samamumu.

The five modules taught in these community visits included; Wise Fishers – learning different aspects/life cycles/foodchains of marine life, Samoan Voyagers – learning about our proud voyaging history – why Samoa was known as heart of Polynesia, how we navigated and traversed the open seas, Coral Champions learning coral biology and the many roles of our coral reefs, Tree Guardians – why we need to protect our trees and mangroves; and Trash Star – lessons on how destructive different types of rubbish can be to our environment, and what we can do about it. The Guardians team, employed various unique interactive and hands on teaching tools to understand environmental principles. Students were snorkelling and identifying live and dead coral, exploring the Gaualofa – and learning how to sail,  exploring biodiversity in the mangroves, various environmental influenced games and songs, environment chants/jingles and much much more. All taught in relation to climate change, and practical things we can do to build our community resilience.

The primary goal of a campaign of this nature is to increase the environmental literacy of Samoan communities through their youth. This is done with the use Samoa’s traditional voyaging canoe, the Gaualofa, as a floating classroom hub to bring these messages and remind our youth of Samoa’s proud voyaging history in the region, and what wise environmental ‘Guardians’ and stewards our ancestors were in order to thrive and expand regionally for many millennia. This program and its integration into the Samoa national curriculum will provide an important education and outreach component of the national Samoa Ocean Strategy in which the government has developed and launched to ensure better management and sustainability of our natural resources in Samoa.

The Guardians project is huge in scope and only made possible through genuine and durable partnerships, which have committed to make it what it is today, ensuring its ongoing development and reach. Developing and refining the learning resources for a sustainable pacific in the Guardians teaching is made possible with support from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)  Japanese Fund in Trust (JFIT) Education for Sustainable Development Program in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture. Overall coordination and Implementation of Guardians in our communities is led by Conservation International and the Samoa Voyaging Society with direct support of Samoa’s Civil Society Support Program. MNRE, MAF, Youth Climate Action Network and Samoa Conservation Society also continue to support this strong partnership program.

For more information visit www.mesc.gov.ws
For further comments, contact Tuiloma Inipene Simanu email i.simanu@mesc.gov.ws or Schannel van Dijken svandijken@conservation.org

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