More than 700 students in a Tailevu school were challenged to be more environmentally aware and to take the lead within their peer groups and their own communities in order to further the protection of the environment.
The WWF South Pacific’s Marine Species Officer, Merewalesi Laveti issued this challenge to the students and teachers of Tailevu North College at an environment themed day organised by the schools Social Science Department.
“If you look after your environment well, your environment will in turn look after you,” Laveti said.
“For instance, if a community allows and continues to remove mangroves, the fish, crabs and other marine creatures that depend on this ecosystem will disappear. This will in turn affect the overall food chain and can cause the disappearance of certain marine species and also expose coastal communities large destructive waves.”
In a presentation on the conservation of sea turtles, there was a look of disbelief on the students’ faces when they were told that the harvest of sea turtles is illegal.
“I encourage all of you to go back into your own communities and make a difference with lessons learnt here today, she added; “encourage your parents, siblings and the members of your community to look after their environment as it is a source of life for all.”
“I commend the principal and the staff of this school for inviting WWF to talk to the students. It was clear from where I stood that the students learnt a great deal about sustainably managing their natural resources.”
“The onus is now on the students and teachers to preach what they have learnt,” she said.
With the day’s theme, ‘Sustaining our Local Environment’ school Principal, Peni Senikarawa said that the teachers recognized the importance of the environment and the need for their students to be environmentally aware and be responsible for it.
“While this is the first environment themed day it will definitely not be the last,” Mr Senilarawa said.
“We’re going to invite speakers to create more environmental awareness to students and teachers. It is of grave importance that these young minds know the important role the environment plays in their lives and vice-versa as only then will they be able to make sound decisions regarding the environment,” he said.