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Apr 18, 2002

Gales Point students study environment

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The transformation of Belize from a country dependent on the extractive exploitation of timber to one inclined toward the preservation of the environment did not happen overnight nor by accident. Education played a key role…and that effort continues nationwide. This morning News 5′s Jacqueline Woods travelled to the picturesque village of Gales Point where students were supplied with materials to supplement their already stunning surroundings.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

No matter how young they are, there are things children can do to help conserve and protect the environment. That was the message delivered today to students of Gales Point Government school. The boys and girls each received a colouring book that was published as part of a three-year Environmental Education programme. The project is an initiative undertaken by the Ministry of Education, Protected Areas Conservation Trust, United Nations Development Programme and the Global Environmental Facility.

Valerie Woods Smith, Director, PACT

“How do you get the people from various communities to be actively involved? Naturally conservation and getting and making sure that their communities contribute to the protection of the various natural resources in protected areas and a very effective way of course is always to teach the children. So we decided not to be boring in that effort, but to be exciting to use a medium that the children would take on because it is something fun. And one of the effective means of doing that was through a colouring book.”

The book is comprised of environmental drawings done by children from Gales Point, St. Margaret, Chunox and San Estevan. Fourteen-year-old Artie Myers is one of the children whose picture can be found in the book.

Artie Myers, Student, Gales Point Manatee

“I decided to draw a picture of the manatee because it attracts the tourists in the village, it attracts the tourists that pass by. Sometimes I take out tourists to see the manatee.”

“Living Around Protected Areas” also features other attractions like Five Blues Lake National Park, mangroves, animals and birds. Environmental Educator, Anna Hoare, believes that through the exercise, children will be more aware and also learn to appreciate what exists in their community.

Anna Hoare, Environmental Educator

“We want to have them change their attitudes about their environment, because we have a precious environment and sometimes we are just not conscious of what we have.”

The teachers are being encouraged to use the book in school. To compliment the programme, the educators were given a resource manual to help them. Jacqueline Woods reporting for News 5.

Depending on the availability of funds, there are plans to make more publications available to schools countrywide.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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