Learning about the environment with SPREP

Samoa, Wednesday 22 March, 2017 - Year 6 students from Vaiala Beach School are now better equipped with knowledge on how to reduce Persistent Organic Pollutants following a visit to the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

The students spent a good part of their Wednesday morning hearing from presenters in the various divisions in SPREP, such as Biodiversity and Ecosystems Management, Climate Change and Waste Management and Pollution Control.
 
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Ms Amber Carvan of the PacWaste project presented on behalf of the WMPC division on Persistent Organic Pollutants and how they can enter our environment through the burning of rubbish. Students were taught of different ways in which rubbish can be disposed instead of burning, such as composting and recycling.

"We did prior learning about climate change, invasive species and waste in class and today's visit has really cemented the students' understanding of these topics," said Ms Jodie Saunders, a teacher of Vaiala Beach School.

"We will take everything we learned today back to the classroom where we will prepare a presentation for the entire school at our end of term school assembly,"

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SPREP's Climate Change Adviser, Mr Espen Ronneberg, spoke to the students about climate change, its causes and the impacts it has on the Earth, more specifically on small islands in the Pacific.

Students learned of adaptation methods being used in Tuvalu, who are facing water shortages as a result of the changes in climate, such as self-composting toilets which requires zero water usage.
 
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Invasive species was also one of the topics covered during the visit, with SPREP Invasive Species
Adviser, Mr David Moverley, explaining to the students the meaning of invasive species and the harm they can cause to our environment, and also encouraged them to join the fight against these species.

All lessons learnt will be shared with all students of Vaiala Beach School with a special presentation to be made – "we are very eager to share with the rest of the school the important lessons we learned here today," said Ms Saunders.

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