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Tanzania

Chumbe Island Coral Park

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Conservation benefit: Support of continued and sustainable protection of the park

Community benefit: Life jackets, reef shoes, and snorkeling equipment for schoolchildren on field trips to Chumbe Island Coral Park

Date Approved: 05.2009

Ocean

This project protects ocean ecosystems, making coastal communities more economically and physically secure in the face of climate change.

Coral reefs around Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania, are under serious threats from overfishing, destructive fishing practices, pollution, and sedimentation. There is an urgent need to create public awareness of how important it is to sustainably manage these precious resources.

Chumbe Island Coral Park is a financially self-sustaining conservation initiative in Zanzibar that established and manages the first private marine park in the world. Working with the Ministry of Education and local schools, the coral park offers one-day school excursions to Chumbe Island. These trips give schoolchildren hands-on environmental education and help teachers conduct field-based environmental education. In 2006, an in-school, pre-excursion study program was added to prepare students for their visit. The Chumbe Challenge Environment Award, begun in 2007, involves 15 schools.

In recent years, the program has expanded tremendously. This has expanded environmental awareness–and increased the wear and tear on equipment. To improve the quality and safety of school field trips to the coral park, Seacology is funding the purchase of high-quality life jackets, reef shoes, and snorkeling gear.

Project Updates

December 2009

The purchase of materials started in May 2009 and is planned to continue for six to eight months. A new addition to the Chumbe Environmental Education Program includes a one year course in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). As part of the course, the participants will develop a new rich and broad teaching aid for the park rangers, based on modern ESD ideas. This teaching aid will enhance the rangers’ capabilities to provide the local communities, as well as the visitors to Chumbe, with knowledge for more sustainable livelihoods and resource use. As of December 2009 the park has bought masks and snorkels of high quality that are functioning properly among the students. Plans for the rest of 2009 and early 2010 include purchasing and improving the first aid box, purchasing additional reef shoes and the submission of a final report to Seacology.

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