Sandwatch Final Report



Association pour le Développement Durable (ADD)

ADD/CJ/UNESCO Sandwatch implementation in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education & Scientific Research and La Gaulette State Secondary School with the support of Currimjee Foundation

(January – July 2018)



Sandwatch activities were implemented at La Gaullette SSS from January to July 2018 by the Association pour le Développement Durable (ADD) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research (MOEHRTE) and with the support of the Currimjee Foundation (CF). Seven science students were selected to participate in the programme with field works at La Preneuse public beach. They were mostly from Grade 10 class. Five educators were involved in the process. Four field exercises were conducted to collect data on water quality from a portable multimeter, beach width and profile using a locally made instrument based on the principle that water always finds its own level, animals and plants and footprint of human activities along 4 transect lines. Three classroom sessions were organised to train students on the use UNESCO Database for data archival and analysis and to enter data collected and generate products. A closing ceremony was held on 13 July 2018 whereby students presented the results and achievements. Representatives for the MOEHRTE, CF and ADD attended the event.  Certificates of Achievements were awarded to the 7 students who participated in all activities and Certificates of Participation to 11 students who were involved in some initial activities. Students expressed interest to replicate the programme next year.  The School and especially the educators saw the value of the Programme and were prepared to participate in another similar exercise.     

1.      Background

Sandwatch is an educational process, developed by UNESCO in 1999, to encourage students and teachers to work together to monitor the coastal environment and develop sustainable approaches to address coastal issues. It was initially implemented in Mauritius in January 2007 at Flic en Flac and Le Morne villages whereby students and local communities were sensitized through hands-on activities to monitor the coastal environment and propose solutions to address coastal problems. However, no follow up took place after the termination of the project.

During the celebration of 10th ADD Anniversary (22 April 2017, De conti Hotel, Pointe aux Piments), ADD decided to reactivate the programme. This decision was motivated by the concern of ADD for the environment and its activities in coastal protection at Poudre d’Or Village and the plantation of 100 000 mangrove at Le Morne, Poudre d’Or, Case Noyale and at Quatre Soeurs. Also, marine science has been introduced at School Certificate and Higher School Certificate curricula. Moreover, the Government has targeted ocean economy as one the pillars for development.

ADD therefore decided to implement the Sandwatch programme during 2017/2018. A concept note was submitted to the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Sciences Research in December 2017. The Ministry gave its approval and selected La Gaulette SSS for a pilot project. Currimjee Foundation, on a request from ADD, agreed to provide funding to implement the programme under the CSR scheme.

2.      Implementation process

Following a meeting at La Gaulette SSS on 29 January 2018 with the Rector, Mr. M. Kim Currun and Educators, the Sandwatch programme and the modalities of its implementation were agreed upon. Mostly Grade 10 science students were to participate.

A first field exercise was held at La Preneuse beach. The focus was on acquainting the students with the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the beach. During the visit landmarks were identified and the data gathered were added to data sheets. Manuals from UNESCO on Sandwatch were distributed. Local inhabitants provided insights into the evolution of the beach.  Erosion had been very severe in the past decade. Over the last 5 years, the shoreline had moved almost 50 m inland.  About 3 years ago, rows of sandbags were placed along the beach to arrest coastal erosion.

During the subsequent three field exercises, 8 students were involved in making detailed observation along threes zones parallel to the shoreline. Beach profiles were drawn along 4 cross sections. Data entry into the UNESCO International Database was undertaken. The data collected enabled the estimation the slope of the beach profile, the animals and plants and water quality.


3.      Closing ceremony

At the closing ceremony the students presented the results of the Programme. Certificates of Achievement and Certificates of Participation were presented to the student. Mr. Kim Currun, in his closing remarks, thanked all the invitees present and the students for their considerable effort and perseverance.

4.      Experience gained and lessons learnt

Valuable data and information about La Preneuse Beach has been collected. These would prove useful for future studies and comparison. The educators took considerable interest in the Programme leading to the success of the activities. The students have benefited from the programme as they learnt more about the coastal environment and the application of science in daily life. They gained considerable experience in data and information collection and handling. The educators played a crucial role in sustaining the interest of the students and in mentoring them with a high degree of commitment.

The school gained more visibility within the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research. The UNESCO Database has been a valuable tool to archive the collected data on a permanent basis. Everyone involved in the Programme learned quite a lot on beach monitoring and protection.

5.      Concluding remarks

A photo mural of size 60cm by 84 cm printed on vinyl and fixed on a white teak board showing a narration of the implementation process through photos will be presented to the school.  

La Gaulette SSS appreciated the benefits accrued to the students and school. The participating students are now better aware of the fragility of the coast and to look for quantitative signs of its evolution. The Rector and the Educators have expressed interest to replicate the programme next year. La Prairie beach in the south has been proposed on account of its proximity and the prevailing severe coastal erosion problem it is facing.

6.      Acknowledgements

ADD is most grateful to the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research for providing the opportunity to implement the programme and making arrangements with La Gaullette SSS; the Rector, educators and students for their support and participation, and the Currimjee Foundation for providing funds and its encouragement throughout the design and implementation phases of the Programme.