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Students and teachers from the Wildlife Clubs on Mahe Island visit with the crew on the Odyssey.
Photo: Chris Johnson

August 20, 2002
Wildlife Clubs of the Seychelles
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Log Transcript

This is Genevieve Johnson speaking to you from the Odyssey in the Seychelles.

Conservation through education is a leading priority among the Seychelles community. What is most impressive is that school children, with the support of teachers, parents and community volunteers, initiate and undertake 'action orientated' projects around the archipelago.

Today, students and teachers from the 'Wildlife Clubs of Seychelles' toured the R.V. Odyssey. Terence Vel of Nature Seychelles talks about the role of the clubs in schools and the wider community.

Terence Vel - Nature Seychelles

    "The Wildlife Clubs started in 1994. We have our own 35 clubs all over Mahe and Praslin [islands]. We need to have those kinds of tools, those kinds of resources to educate our children. The ocean in the Seychelles is quite vast. We have quite a number of animals in the ocean. We need people like you on the Odyssey, to bring all of that information to us. I have seen today that the children are quite happy here and are very excited about the trip. That's a good sign."
Genevieve talks about whales and ocean conservation with teachers and leaders of the wildlife clubs on the R/V Odyssey.
Photo: Chris Johnson

Students and teachers told the crew about the goal of the Wildlife Clubs - "Working to save wildlife and habitats is a tough job to do alone, so we work hard to ensure the nation-wide network of clubs is constantly growing, with ever more students becoming involved". Students undertake a range of activities every year, including tree planting, recycling and field trips to islands, nature reserves and marine parks. The clubs also work together with the Ministry of Environment and Transport and the Ministry of Education to produce activity booklets associated with environmental issues. These are distributed among the community with the specific aim of increasing awareness about the unique marine and terrestrial environments in the Seychelles.

It is very inspiring to meet so many young people who have taken the responsibility for the conservation of their natural heritage into their own hands. After visiting the Odyssey during their school holidays - a testament to their enthusiasm, the club leaders will now be incorporating whale and dolphin conservation into their program. Colleen Morel explains:

Colleen Morel - Nature Seychelles

    "We think this is a really great opportunity to bring our teachers, who are mostly club leaders, out here today. We have all learned something new. We have obviously learned something new about the different species of whales and how they are used as indicators of the health of the world's oceans [by the Ocean Alliance]. We have also managed to see a number of different dolphins, something that I personally love.

    I think that there is a lot to be learned, especially by the publications that you left with us. I will ensure that they will be well used by the leaders. Also, thank you because this has spurred us on to do some radio programs on whales and dolphins, something I started last week, next week we are going to do one about the whales following this visit."
Lyndy Corgal, a club leader and teacher with Colleen Morel of Nature Seychelles (right).
Photo: Chris Johnson

As a teacher, I am so impressed by the enthusiasm and initiative of the children. Nowhere in the world have I witnessed such dedication by the decision makers of tomorrow. Through their hard work, the students are ensuring that they are capable of making responsible choices that will benefit their community, while sustaining a healthy environment for the future. We asked one of the children how he felt about whales after visiting the Odyssey.

Joel Bacharia - student

    "I had lots of fun and I learned that there are so many different kinds of whales and many that are not discovered yet.

    Everything on earth has a reason to live and I think that whales should live because they are a big part of the food chain."

Log by Genevieve Johnson

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