MRS SANDRA GIFT, Sub-regional Coordinator
UNESCO Associated Schools Project
and Regional Coordinator, ASP Caribbean Sea Project

Glimpses of the Blue Caribbean has been produced to serve, initially, as basic resource material for the first UNESCO Associated Schools Caribbean Sea Project (CSP) Environmental Education Workshop hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO and the Tobago House of Assembly, at Palm Tree Village, Tobago from 20 to 26 July 1998. It is expected, however, to have a life beyond the workshop and to be a valuable resource for schools participating in the CSP.

A debt of gratitude is owed to Mrs. Marcia Riley, Acting Secretary-General, Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO for facilitating the development of this material by convening and participating in meetings of the committee which provided valuable advice for the subject matter treated. Special thanks also go to Dr. Avril Siung Chang, Environmental Health Adviser at the Pan American Health Organiazation in Port of Spain for graciously lending her expertise for this project. I also wish to thank all members of the Content Committee for their invaluable input: Althea Maund and Maureen Clement Moe of the Trinidad and Tobago National Institute for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (NIHERST); Henry Saunders of the Ministry of Education and Susan Shurland Maraj of the Institute of Marine Affairs, both in Trinidad and Tobago.

The UNESCO Associated Schools Caribbean Sea Project was launched in Trinidad and Tobago in November 1994 with the involvement of seven Caribbean territories: Cuba, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Netherlands Antilles and Venezuela. In 1996 at the 3rd Regional Meeting of National CSP Coordinators in Aruba the following countries came on board: Aruba (host country), Cayman Islands, Colombia, Saint Lucia and the Bahamas. Costa Rica joined the Project in 1997. At the lst CSP Environmental Education Workshop in Tobago, Barbados, Haiti, Guyana, Dominica and St. Kitts/Nevis joined the project. The aim is, eventually to have schools in all territories washed by the Caribbean Sea, or possessing a Caribbean Culture, actively involved in the project and with a heightened awareness of and appreciation for the resources and value of the Caribbean Sea and its coastal regions as well as for the culture of Caribbean people.

Mrs. Joy Rudder, Consultant for this materials development exercise has provided teachers and students of the Caribbean with refreshing glimpses and different perspectives of the Caribbean Sea which everyone can enjoy and from which we can all increase our knowledge. It is hoped that with increased knowledge and more positive attitudes we will be better able to love and cherish the Caribbean Sea, to the benefit of ourselves and future generations.

MRS MARCIA RILEY, Acting Secretary General
Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO

The Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO is particularly pleased to host the First UNESCO Associated Schools Caribbean Sea Project Regional Environmental Education Workshop in the beautiful island of Tobago in observance of the International Year of the Ocean 1998.

With every glimpse of the Caribbean sea our eyes behold azure waters, sparkling white foam and in some places palm fringed white sandy beaches. But this idyllic image of our Caribbean is under threat. The wonderful sea life and the rich resources of this special body of water are daily stressed by over fishing, indiscriminate dumping of waste by pleasure craft and a host of other transgressions.

One of our West Indian poets once wrote "we who live in small islands must always be remembering the sea". But the Caribbean Sea also washes the shores of our continental neighbours. And so we say a special welcome to our Latin American participants - Bienviendo. A very warm WELCOME to all. It is our hope that as we work and live together over the next week, not only will we deepen our knowledge of our marine heritage but in addition as we share, we can also explore other things that make us Caribbean people. Our cuisine, our rhythms, our ready smile and easy laughter.

Perhaps the most rewarding part of this exercise lies in the importance of bringing young people of the region together. As they greet each other we trust that the realisation of the things we have in common become more apparent than our differences. Shared memories can only help to strengthen shared aspirations for the region and a shared vision for addressing common problems.

Meeting the challenges of the region in the next millennium will undoubtedly rest on the shoulders of today's youth. Any initiative that helps to foster a sense of identity among the young in such a fragmented space as our archipelago of islands is of great significance. The National Commission is grateful to all those who have assisted in making this workshop a reality.

Author's Acknowledgement
Stories used at the start of sections "Where are we?", "What do we have?", "What can be done?" and "What we want to happen" have been adapted from work first published by Caribbean Week newspaper in the Environment Column by Joy Rudder between 1990 to 1992.