On Sunday, July 3rd, Monique Pool of Green Heritage Fund Suriname presented the second phase of the project entitled ‘Adaptation to climate change for the residents of Brownsweg’ to local authorities and other interested community members.
The project, funded by the Alcoa Foundation, is committed to raising awareness amongst Brownsweg residents regarding the risks and challenges caused by climate change. Potentially extreme weather conditions can have a direct impact on the health and safety of the community. For example, strong winds and heavy rainfall can cause damage to homes and agricultural plots. In order to identify these dangers, over the past few months Green Heritage Fund has conducted an investigation (Vulnerability Capacity Assessment). Next month the results of this research will be presented to the community of Brownsweg.
This project is twofold. In addition to conducting the research through a Vulnerability Capacity Assessment, Green Heritage Fund Suriname is also focusing on education and awareness amongst children in the community. With materials from the international education education program GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment), GHFS will assist in coordinating an afterschool and holiday science education program in local schools.
GLOBE science education is interesting because it will allow the youth of Brownsweg to conduct their own research regarding local weather patterns and other environmental conditions. GHFS will train local teachers and students in methods for conducting this research. In addition, the community will benefit from the addition of a weather station which will be installed in the village.
The data from Brownsweg will be added to a global database used by weather researchers from around the world. As the community contributes to climate research worldwide, at the same time participants gain knowledge about weather and climate change and other useful life skills such as: working precisely, computer data entry, work with measuring equipment, conducting research and asking questions.
Brownsweg authorities welcome the practical nature of this education project. After the presentation on Sunday, Basya Leidsman from New Ganzee commented that learning by doing is a successful strategy. In addition, a captain from the village of Gunsi on the Upper Suriname asked about the possibility of starting a GLOBE educational project in his village. “GHFS would be willing to help anyone set up a project. This is certainly an opportunity for the village of Gunsi”, says Monique Pool, Director of Green Heritage Fund Suriname and Country Coordinator for GLOBE.