GIS – 19 December 2013: The Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, organised a symbolic handing over of cheques of Rs 2 000 to all Secondary Schools for the promotion of School Environment Clubs, this morning at the Sir Harilal Vaghjee Hall, Port Louis.
In this context, a Memorandum of Understanding for this project was also signed between the two Ministries. The project is financed by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development to the tune of Rs 374 000.
The function was graced by the presence of the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr. Devanand Virahsawmy and the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Dr.Vasant Bunwaree.
In his address, Minister Bunwaree stated that these environment clubs come at a crucial moment when all stakeholders are engaged in Maurice Ile Durable (MID) project and their setting up in schools will enable youngsters to also participate in the MID project.
Nature should be preserved at all cost, he said, adding that having an environmental club at school is a great way to get students energised about taking care of the environment and helping their community while learning about some of the most important environmental issues facing the world.
Education should be the spearhead of society with regards to sustainable development, he stressed. Students, Dr. Bunwaree said, should also put in efforts in cleaning and greening Mauritius since the country as a Small Island Developing State, is vulnerable to the world’s environment degradation.
He also emphasised on the concept of Reuse, Reduce and Recycle and said that these eco-friendly habits should be part of students’ lifestyle.
For his part, Minister Virahsawmy stated that the setting up of such clubs help promote environmental literacy, shape a more informed population and encourage students to work towards the conservation and sustainability of their environment.
Moreover, he added that his Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Human Resources has implemented several projects for the protection of the environment, namely the School Endemic Garden Project, the Waste Segregation Project and the Tree Planting in Schools.
It is recalled that 145 schools embarked on the School Endemic Garden project which was launched in 2010, and which is about planting and taking care of some common endemic plants on a dedicated place in the school yard. Furthermore, since April 2013, some 1300 trees have been planted in 135 schools.
The Waste Segregation Project was launched in 2011 with the objective of inculcating the concept of waste sorting and recycling to school children, so as to turn them into eco-citizens. In this respect, labeled bins of different colours were provided to schools, both primary and secondary, and to tertiary institutions as well, for the segregation of wastes for recycling.