Education

The Buccoo Reef Trust education drive is primarily aimed at the youth, with programmes in both primary and secondary schools in the nation. The idea is to inculcate a sense of environmental pride and sensitivity in the next generation from the outset. Successful educational programmes include the:

This umbrella programme covers the following components:

  • Early Childhood Coral Reef Education Programme
    Production and dissemination of appropriate material (posters, charts, books, videos).
    Teacher workshops re the appropriate use of material produced.
  • Primary School Coral Reef Education Programme
    The continued delivery of coral reef education to all of Tobago’s primary schools Since the Trust’s inception over 2000 students have been taught and taken to the Buccoo Reef.
    Teacher workshops re the appropriate use of material produced.
  • Secondary School Coral Reef Education Programme
    Production of written and audio visual material for secondary school.
    Teacher workshops re the appropriate use of material produced.
  • Sea, Sun and Science Marine Vacation Programme
    The focus is on exposing secondary school students to the marine sciences in a dynamic, interactive, learning environment – over 200 secondary school students have benefited to date.
  • Production of written material for the general public.
  • Video productions and documentary films to show the consequence of human behaviour in compromising and conserving the marine environment.
  • Roving caravans highlighting the economic valuation of coral reefs to the Tobago community.
  • Introduction of the Triple S Project – where the aim is to introduce Tobago’s youths to swimming, snorkelling and scuba in an attempt to dispel the myth “sea nuh have branch”.

The overall objective of the film production unit at the Buccoo Reef Trust is aimed at enhancing the Trust’s capability to effectively sensitise and educate various stakeholders/audiences on relevant environmental issues that would impact the way they relate to the marine environment.

Recent productions of the Buccoo Reef Trust Film Unit include but not limited to:

Films on MIF Projects in Trinidad and Tobago, May 2008: The BRT was commissioned by the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) to produce films concerning the efforts of four MIF projects – Buccoo Reef Trust, Adopt a Farmer, IT outsourcing/EFOT, and Bridge of Hope – for the MIF website. The organisation was responsible for utilising the scripts from MIF to convert into a shot list, filming, editing and production of compressed versions suitable for a website. These activities were completed within the period February to May 2008.

Series on Integrated Water Resources Management, September 2007: This work was commissioned in April 2007 by the Caribbean Environmental Health Institute (CEHI), St. Lucia, as part of the regional Integrating Watershed and Coastal Area Management in Small Island Developing States of the Caribbean (IWCAM) project of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The BRT was entrusted to produce four complementary video documentaries on the subject of integrated water resources management, with responsibility for the footage, scripting, compilation, narration, editing, and final production. The four films – “Think about Water”; “Water Governance”; ”Land-Based Sources of Pollution”; and one concerning the Tobago demonstration project for IWCAM – were all completed and officially handed over to CEHI within the reporting period by end-September 2007.

Islands on the Edge, May 2008: While initially this film was to treat solely with the issue of climate change in Trinidad and Tobago, “Islands on the Edge” instead focused on the potential impact of climate change in islands across the English-speaking Caribbean, at the request of its funders, the Foreign Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom High Commission. Both versions of the film (a short 10 minute version and the full-length 22-minute one) used interviews with persons from a variety of backgrounds and professions – from community activists in Jamaica, to a reef tour operator in Tobago, to the Executive Director of Conservation International in Guyana – giving their input and perspectives on the potential impact of climate
change. It must be noted that for the second time, Buccoo Reef Trust won the 2008 EMA Green Leaf Multimedia Award out of 3 finalists with the entry of this video documentary.

Climate Change in UK Overseas Territories, June 2008: BRT was commissioned by the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), Trinidad and Tobago, to produce a video documentary in parts concerning both the impacts of climate change and the possibilities for adaptation and mitigation of climate change within the UK Overseas Territories as part of an effort funded by the UK Government and the Joint Nature Conservancy Committee (JNCC).
These videos were produced utilising text provided by CANARI, and the BRT team were able to film specialised footage in Montserrat to highlight the various activities taking place within this nearby UK Overseas Territory.

The BRT has had measurable success in the areas or environmental research, education and conservation in Tobago. It is envisioned that with assistance provided, the Buccoo Reef Trust will be able to continue the work that was started twelve years ago.

These education programmes are currently tailored to draw on the research and conservation projects and are intricately linked to them i.e. various current schools activities are in response to the schools and community elements that are part of the research and conservation projects.