The Ridge to Reef (R2R) project is taking a step up and supporting the southern group island schools on biodiversity conservation and climate change issues.
The project aims to provide technical support to the schools based on proposals for ideas that they would like to see become reality on their islands.
“The students come up with the idea, the idea gets developed further by the teams here and then support is given to them via their island council so that there is continuous buy in and support all the way through proposal development and implementation,” says R2R project coordinator Maria Tuoro.
In the lead-up to the workshop opening, students and two teachers from Mangaia, Mitiaro, Mauke, Atiu, and Aitutaki will meet with NES and SRICC staff to discuss their topics and presentations, and the agencies will offer technical advice.
Each school has come up with a concept and project relating to their respective islands and has captured each stage on camera. Footage will be edited and ready for screening next week in Rarotonga.
Atiu students will focus on endemic species, Aitutaki on lagoon quality and activities on land, Mauke, invasive species, Mangaia, Raui and ecotourism, and Mitiaro, the Maroro Tu.
Meanwhile, Rotaract has offered to compile and edit the school’s video footage and photos and a mini film festival has been organised to screen short documentaries at the Punanga Nui Market next Thursday.
Along with the schools, NES in partnership with SRICC and the Ministry of Marine Resources (MMR) will compile a 20-minute documentary of the overall workshop to showcase along with the Katu-Kanga series from Cook Islands Tourism Corporation and other locally-produced programmes.
The workshop starts this Friday at the Rarotongan Beach Resort and Spa and ends on April 29.