Sandwatch: A combined citizen science approach to climate change adaptation and education for sustainable development
This Sandwatch training workshop, entitled “Sandwatch: a combined approach to climate change adaption and education for sustainable development”, will bring together trainers of trainers, teachers, educators, curriculum officers, coastal management specialists, etc., from ten Caribbean countries.
The training workshop, organized by UNESCO, in collaboration with the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO, will discuss the role of citizen science in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and will provide training on the Sandwatch methodology on coastal monitoring.
It will address the role of citizen science in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and the participants in the Sandwatch methodology, on the preservation of beaches and coastal areas. The workshop will also take stock of the lessons learned from the project in the Caribbean region during the last 16 years of its implementation, in order to better consolidate and expand the scope and reach of the Sandwatch programme in the region, as well as strengthen the sharing of good practice between the islands in the Caribbean region and with other island regions where Sandwatch is active.
The overall goals of the workshop are:
• To enhance the knowledge base and develop capacity to respond to environmental change, shoreline and beach change, climate change and sustainable development among school, youth and community groups in the Caribbean.
• To stimulate the use of the online database for data entry and analysis of observations and measurements of shoreline and beach changes.
• To provide participants with the skills to set up Sandwatch activities and link new schools into the existing Sandwatch network.
• To engage curriculum developers in integrating Sandwatch in the national curricula, particularly in the context of education for sustainable development.
Sandwatch seeks to change the lifestyle and habits of children, youth and adults on a community wide basis, to adapt to climate change by building ecosystem resilience. The participatory approach adopted by the project thus helps to advance the awareness of the fragile nature of the marine and coastal environment and the need to use it wisely.
The Sandwatch methodology is based on the “MAST” approach: Monitoring, Analyzing, Sharing, Taking action. Sandwatch is science in action, applied in the real world in an interdisciplinary manner with applications ranging from geography to art, and from poetry to mathematics. It teaches students to apply their school-based learning to everyday life situations.
The project was initiated by UNESCO 16 years ago in the Caribbean, and it is now widespread around the world and forms a solid and active network, involving more than 50 countries in Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean and other coastal regions. For the implementation of the project globally and regionally, UNESCO works with an active corpus of partners around the world, which include National Commissions for UNESCO, primary, secondary and high schools, universities, training institutions, NGOs, including the Sandwatch Foundation, national and local authorities, ministries (education, environment, coastal management, etc.), other UN agencies, and many other partners.