The 2015 Conservation and Fisheries Environmental Summer Programme has begun and it is placing special emphasis on natural marine and terrestrial habitat education and appreciation.
The theme for the summer programme is “Celebrating 25 Years of Environmental Education through Sustainable Development and Cultural Preservation,” which was the same theme used for 2015 Environment Month/Year celebrations.
Co-coordinator of the summer programme, Environmental Education Officer Mrs. Cynara Benjamin-Duncan said the programme utilises a combination of classroom sessions and field trips to areas such as the Dolphin Discovery, Sage Mountain National Park and the Jost Van Dyke beaches.
“Our children were able to learn of the importance of Virgin Islands turtles, fishing techniques and swimming and life-saving techniques. On top of all this, I believe I can say the young people are having a wonderful time and a whole lot of fun to go along with the learning and the appreciation,” Mrs. Benjamin-Duncan said.
She added, “Every year the department strives to create programmes and initiatives to build intrigue and enlighten children and young people in hopes of building a better Virgin Islands and this year is no different.”
Programme Co-coordinator and Environmental Education Officer, Mrs. Grenelvia Farrington is happy with the number of students who participated in the first session and she anticipates similar numbers for Group B which begins next Monday.
“The work that we have put into the curriculum is really based on department’s mandate to increase awareness and education on matters of environmental importance. The environment is one of our most treasured resources, as a small island. We have to protect it and teach the younger ones to cherish it, as early as possible,” Mrs. Farrington said.
The programme includes two separate sessions on Tortola, the first of which has been completed, with Tortola Group B scheduled to run from July 20 to 31. The programme fee is $75. Daily sessions are held between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
The deadline for registration is July 17. Registration forms can be collected and dropped off at the Conservation and Fisheries Department located on the second floor of the Quastisky Building. For registration forms or more information, persons should telephone the department at 468-2700.
The Government of the Virgin Islands seeks to ensure that the environment, the fishing industry and the resource base on which they depend are managed in a sustainable manner for the greatest possible benefit of the people of the Virgin Islands.