27 November, 2007

Environmental Education

Commitment No 9: Encourage Teaching within Schools to Promote the Value of our Local Environment (Natural and Built) and to Explain its Role within the Regional and Global Environment. This was the ninth commitment made by the government of Anguilla, like other OT governments which in the year 2001 signed up to an Environmental Charter [link here].

Dr Mike Pienkowski is the Chairman of the UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum. He was engaged as a consultant to examine how we were performing under our Charter. He prepared a Report of August 2007. He called itMeasures of Performance by 2007 of UKOTs and UK Government in Implementing the 2001 Environment Charters or their Equivalents”. His Report measures performance by the year 2007 of UKOTs and the UK Government in implementing the 2001 Environment Charters. A copy of his 19-page Report can be read [link here].

According to his Report, Anguilla has not introduced any study of strategies for implementation of the Environmental Charter in the school system. Not that this is unusual. In this we are no different from most of the Overseas Territories. Only St Helena and the Falkland Islands can claim progress in this area.

We in Anguilla have, admittedly, had some involvement of environmental issues in the schools' curriculum. Anyone who has been listening to the environmental debates on Radio Anguilla over the past week would have experienced the most significant impact of the Environmental Department on the schools of Anguilla. It has been a truly eye-opening and enlightening experience. The head of the Environmental Department and his staff are to be congratulated. The young people have put the rest of the adults in the school system to shame! They had to do their own research, as nothing about the local environment and its role within the regional and global environment had been taught! They did their own research, and excelled at it!

Now, we need to live up to our commitment and put the subject on to the curriculum of every primary and secondary school.


  1. Before we can teach the kids to respect their environment, perhaps we need to teach them to respect their SCHOOL environment. If the Government would invest some money into the school maybe the teachers and the students would become more inspired.

  2. With elections coming up next month in Bermuda, politicians there are suddenly becoming environmental activists. While I don't believe a word of what the Minister is saying in the following article, she says the right things and they apply equally to Anguilla.

    Bermuda Sun
    11/28/2007 10:32:00 AM
    Minister Butterfield urges Bermudians to care more about the environment

    People have got to work together to do all they can to protect the environment for future generations.

    This is the message from Environment Minister Neletha Butterfield who hopes the island's next generation will be knowledgeable about their island's natural history.

    She spoke out about the importance of preserving the island as she reeled off some of the year's achievements of the Ministry of Environment, Telecommunications and E-Commerce.

    The Minister chose to hold a press conference yesterday at Shelly Bay Park as "It is where the children, their parents and other family members can gather to enjoy some fun time."

    Minister Butterfield said it could often be "challenging" to weigh up the demands of the population with the needs to preserve the integrity of the small island.

    She said: "We must attempt to find an acceptable solution so that if there is an adverse impact, the impact is minimized.

    "We have a responsibility to care for the environment."

    In a blatant electioneering press conference, no new projects were revealed, but Minister Butterfield re-visited previous and on-going projects.


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