Environment Awareness & Beach Cleanup
ENVIRONMENT AWARENESS PROGRAM
24th of July 2013, Raja School of Matriculation participated in the first of its kind nature awareness programme conducted by the team at Quest Expeditions Pvt. Ltd. on one of the beautiful beaches in Ramanad district.
The programme initiated by Swami Muktanand from the Swami Vivekananda memorial hall & Jehan Driver from Quest Expeditions Pvt. Ltd. in Pambam, was thought to be great success as the students of 10th & 11th Std spent time watching environment awareness videos and being part of an interactive session understanding their surrounding.
The team from Quest, Carried out the happenings of the day that started with addressing the students at school, creating awareness on plastic pollution and ill effects on bird & marine life. The possibilities of environmental friendly sports tourism in the region which could be a boon to the local environment.
The team also initiated 'The Seaweed Experiment', with some help from the experts in marine life. Seaweed known to have abundant minerals work as good manure for plants & trees. Students were requested to collect seaweed to test the same, they were also requested to collect plastic from the beach to understand the type of objects that wash up our shores. A visit to the Swami Vivekanada Memorial hall and the Marine life museum only added to the day.
We thank and wish Raja school and its students a bright future all the best for its future endeavours and can only hope to have many young nature enthusiasts.
AWARENESS IS KEY
The predominant cause of littering in this region is lack of Awareness. Mainly of the negative effects of Plastics. Historically the region is not used to plastic packaging or replacement of organic tools by plastic tools.
Plastic bags do not come with a warning “does not decompose”. Through this exercise we attempted to create awareness of how plastics accumulate and create pollution that destroys marine biodiversity. 90% of the plastics collected in sacks was fishing net & tow ropes used by the fishing community (plastic ropes were a replacement tool to jute ropes). In a period of 1 hour 25 students managed to collect 6 jute sacks full of plastic ropes. Slippers & Shoe soles also contributed to a large contributor to the non decomposing rubbish on the beach. 5 Jute sacks of dead sea weed were put into a composting for manure experiment later in the week.
Awareness is key, finding measures to create awareness about the nature of materials used in daily sustenance. Looking at the triple bottom line of Sustainability, Economic Sustainability requires attention first. The beautiful reefs & beaches in this region have been prey to over fishing, coral harvesting & stray nets causing death to Marine life (mainly turtles). Introducing alternative income & alternative vocation for the fishing community can reduce the immediate impact on the local environment.
SPORTS TOURISM TO THE RESCUE
Solution through Sports tourism, is something to think about & we are passionate about trying to bring about a change through sports like Kitesurfing, Surfing, Stand up Paddle boarding (SUP), Kayaking, Sailing & Snorkelling to name a few.
KITESURFING FOR INDIA
Sports based tourism attracts the right kind of traveller who is passionate about preserving the environment for the future. There is tremendous potential in creating a structured support system for the sports tourist which would fuel the change in Economic Sustainability of the resident fishing community. Residing in the region for a period of 2 months we have managed to create a strong network to bleed our expenses into the local village. Once we can stabilize the economic situation the next step is to push environmental awareness for the residents which will be essential as the USP of their project is a clean beach with great marine life.