Sharing of DiDEM's experiences in the framework of the 1st regional workshop of the RECOS project on environmental education in the countries of the Indian Ocean Commission

#IOC , #Mauritius , #RECOS , #Environmental education , #sharing of experiences , #coastal areas , #coastal erosion , #PAREO , #educational marine area , #participative sciences , #Comoros , #Participatory observatory

From February 22 to 24, 2023 in Mauritius, DiDEM was invited to the first regional workshop of exchanges and training on environmental education organized by the project "Résilience des Écosystèmes du Sud-Ouest de l’Océan Indien" (RECOS), supported by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) and co-financed by the French Development Agency (AFD) and the French Fund for the Global Environment (FFEM)

Group picture during the RECOS workshop, February 22-24th 2023, Mauritius @ IOC

The workshop brought together 25 participants from IOC countries including Comoros, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius and Reunion to exchange on international, regional and national programs and on environmental research and education tools in the coastal zone. The idea was to revitalize the UNESCO Sandwatch program starting with the development of a regional action plan through this workshop. 

Each country was asked to present the local context, objectives, progress, immediate results, challenges, and lessons learned from coastal research and/or environmental education programs. Each presentation was followed by a discussion to cross the critical and comparative views between these different programs and identify common needs.

DIDEM's contribution

DiDEM's contribution focused on its experiences in participatory and educational sciences in the Comoros in the framework of the participatory observatory of coastal erosion in Moheli and Anjouan and the upcoming establishment of a Marine Educational Area in Moheli.

During his presentation, the representative of DiDEM Comoros, Nourddine MIRHANI, emphasized that the main challenge in participatory sciences is to provide training and practical tools accessible to a public of all levels of education and different career paths. For this reason, DiDEM has implemented simplified and standardized data collection protocols in order to facilitate their acquisition by learners and ensure their reproducibility in various contexts such as awareness raising, environmental education and scientific research. The equipment mobilized for the training and the observatory was also chosen taking into account its usability by a wide audience, the economic and technological reality of the Comoros in particular and of developing countries in general.

Nourddine Mirhani presents the coastal erosion observatory at the RECOS @COI workshop

The common points between the methods deployed by DiDEM in Comoros and Sandwatch at the international level for coastal erosion monitoring were discussed. The proposals of the participants were taken into account by the RECOS project coordination in order to contribute to the revitalization and improvement of the Sandwatch program in the IOC countries.

The methodological protocols deployed by DiDEM in Comoros are practical and standard and can be implemented in other IOC countries through the regional RECOS project. Indeed, the two projects have a strong synergy, especially in the three scientific components of RECOS: the management of Marine Protected Areas; coastal zone management mechanisms (coastal observation and governance) and environmental education, which are part of DiDEM's main activities in Comoros.