Antigua and Barbuda: Students of 4 secondary schools toured Garden of Vetiver Nursery
Antigua and Barbuda: Students of 4 secondary schools toured Garden of Vetiver Nursery
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St John’s, Antigua and Barbuda: Antigua Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs recently shared a glimpse of an educational tour to the Garden of Vetiver Nursery. A total of fifty (50) teachers and students from four (4) secondary schools were treated to a tour of the Garden of Vetiver Nursery located at GARD Centre, as per the Ministry.

Reportedly, the students from the Seventh Day Adventist School, Clare Hall Secondary, Jennings Secondary, and the Ottos Comprehensive School enjoyed this education tour. This tour was designed to sensitize youth about their natural world, natural hazards, human threats, and actions that can be taken to mitigate/reduce adverse impacts of climate change.

The Ministry informed that educating and encouraging children and youth to get involved in climate action can be done through creative and innovative ways that meet their attention span, activity interest, and absorptive capacity.

“This is an important element of the project to strengthen coastal and marine climate resilience through upland and coastal ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) and community engagement, implemented by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA),” it stated.

This EbA project is funded by the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) EbA Facility, which is supported by the German Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety and the International Climate Initiative (IKI) and is implemented in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Lucia and Tobago, according to the details shared by Antigua Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs.

The school tour, facilitated by GARDC, introduced groups of teachers and students to the vetiver nursery, where they learned about the importance of plants for a healthy planet. As the main nature-based solution (NbS), the tour focused on requirements for growing vetiver grass and how it improves soil health, purifies water, and the range of by-products that can be developed to support livelihoods.

The teaching element of the tour included a 10-minute classroom session to familiarize students with climate change, EbA, and NbS concepts using three inter-connected short videos. The fun part of the tour included a practical session where students got the opportunity to make vetiver-based soaps and the sampling of the most anticipated product – vetiver grass ice cream derived from the leaves.

The tour culminated in a mini green business fair where the teachers and students interacted with the local green business entrepreneurs who showcased their several local vetiver-based bath and body products, including soaps, foot scrub, and incense.