"The Flagship UNESCO Sandwatch Project is an excellent example of what can be achieved... Sandwatch provides a framework for school children and local communities to work together to critically evaluate the problems facing their beach environments and develop sustainable management solutions. Since its launch in the Caribbean in 2001 which I myself attended, while visiting several islands of the region, Sandwatch has expanded to the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and is now active in around forty nations worldwide, including about 20 SIDS (Small Island Developing States)"
Sandwatchseeks to modify the lifestyle and habits of children, youth and adults on a community-wide basis and to develop awareness of the fragile nature of the marine and coastal environment and the need to use it wisely. It is an educational process through which school students and community members learn and work together to scientifically monitor their beach environments, so as to critically evaluate the problems and conflicts, and then to develop and implement sustainable activities to address these issues.
Sandwatch is a volunteer network of schools (students, teachers and principals), youth groups, non-governmental and community-based organizations working together to monitor and enhance their beach environments. The network is coordinated by the Sandwatch Foundation, a non-profit organization.
Sandwatch receives support from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) through the education and science sectors and from the University of Puerto Rico through the Sea Grant College Program - both organisations were involved in Sandwatch from its early beginnings. Many national organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, also provide support.
Sandwatch started in the Caribbean in 1999, and has become an international activity involving islands as far apart as Cook Islands in the Pacific, Seychelles in the Indian Ocean, and the Bahamas in the Caribbean, as well as countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America.
Sandwatch presents an opportunity for people and ecosystems to respond to climate variability and climate change. Beaches are among the ecosystems at risk as they face rising sea levels and more intense storms. Through Sandwatch, people can contribute to building ecosystem resilience and adapting to climate change.
Sandwatch is a practical example of education for sustainable development and seeks to empower people of all ages to assume responsibility for creating and enjoying a sustainable future. In particular, it develops skills relating to critical thinking and conflict resolution, and instils a sense of caring for beaches and the environment. Sandwatch also contributes to the further implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States
The Sandwatch Foundation receives additional support and funding from....