P & S Participates in Ocean’s Fair on Mozambique Island
In celebration of World Oceans’ Day, June 8th, the Primeiras & Segundas program had the honor of participating in Ilha de Moçambique’s (Mozambique Island) first-annual Ocean’s Fair which brought to the public a variety of fun and educational activities celebrating and promoting the conservation of the ocean from June 7-9th. The Fair was conceived and organized by Patrick McGettigan, a Peace Corps Volunteer who teaches 11th and 12th grade English at the Escola Secundária de Ilha de Moçambique (Mozambique Island Secondary School):
Ilha de Moçambique plays a unique role in Mozambique’s history and culture. The potential for tourism and economic development is here but a focus on coastal conservation is necessary if that potential will be realized. The idea for the fair came to me while debating with myself over the best way to educate the public about conservation practices. I decided to approach the subject through both cultural and educational events in an effort to reach a wider audience.
In collaboration with island residents, resident-volunteers, and Peace Corps volunteers serving in Mozambique, numerous events were held for all ages, targeting local and visiting audiences.
Events for children included an ocean-themed reading circle, a sand-castle building contest, and a diving contest at the peer. Talents of Mozambican youth were showcased with an artisan fair, student photography exhibition, dance and singing performances, and a mural painting. The fair also ignited the community’s spirit of volunteerism with a beach clean-up.
Primeiras & Segundas participated in the fair’s suite of educational programming. P&S Marine Protection and Law Enforcement Officer, Cremildo Armando gave a presentation about the declaration of the Primeiras e Segundas Environmental Protected Area (PSAPA), bringing to bear the importance of established marine reserves for environmental protection and conservation. He also highlighted the unique elements of the P&S Reserve’s shared ecosystem and inhabitant-landscape and discussed program conservation and development approaches. Participants learned of some community-based resource management options and conservation practices. Island residents engaged in discussion post-presentation about how they as dependents and users of marine resources play an important role in preserving and protecting the aquatic ecosystems on which their livelihoods depend.
P&S Monitoring and Evaluation and Communications Officer, Hayley Freedman, shared with fair participants updates about the program. Through publicity of the Primeiras e Segundas blog, fair participants were also linked to stories of P&S community actors engaged in conservation and development practices and how they, and the environment, are benefiting.
Overall, P&S program representatives were proud to take part in the Ocean’s Fair and look forward to future sharing and learning opportunities.