As part of World Environment Day,  the Pacific Community (SPC) is issuing schools in the islands of Kiribati with a reader entitled  ‘The Adventures of Vili’ in order to raise children’s awareness on environmental conservation and the need to choose sustainable and healthy foods.

The SPC Public Health Division and Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Programme have worked together to mark 2017 World Environment Day on the theme of “strengthening the ties between people and nature”. To this background, a publication for primary school children, “The Adventures of Vili” has been distributed to all schools in Kiribati. The expected outcome of this activity is to open children’s eyes to their connection with nature and the way they can interact with nature for everyone’s benefit and to protect the environment.

Since January 2017, both divisions have been working closely together so as to plan for the launch of this publication in Kiribati: all primary school children will be given this booklet which was enthusiastically received by the education and health ministries in the island group. “The book  encompasses both nutrition and environment aspects which is
well aligned with the content of the newly revised curriculum for primary school
and I do support the utilization of the book from the Nutrition perspective” said Ntaene Tanua, public health nutritionnist in Tarawa.

Over and above its value as a project beneficial to an SPC member country, this cooperation also demonstrates fruitful collaboration between various divisions within this organisation. “There are many opportunities for cooperation between the various divisions of the SPC because many of us work on crosscutting issues. I’m delighted that we have succeeded in conducting a joint project with the Public Health Division and I hope that this will open the way for other such partnerships” said Aude Chenet, Environmental Sustainability Coordinator at SPC.

Health and the environment are two closely connected sectors. “The Public Health Division encourages Pacific Island people to eat healthy foods such as fish, fruit, vegetables and root crops rather than industrial processed foods. This involves promoting locally available foods and consequently reducing the consumption of imported foods tuffs which are unhealthy (because of their high sugar, fat and salt content) and generate pollution from difficult-to-manage waste. This is consistent with the messages expressed by the Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Programme, according to Solène Bertrand-Protat, Non-communicable Diseases Adviser with the SPC Public Health Division.
Media contacts
Jean-Noël Royer, Communication Officer, [email protected] ou +687 87 70 63
Aude Chenet, Environmental Sustainability Coordinator, [email protected]
Solène Bertrand-Protat, Non-communicable Diseases Adviser, [email protected]

Useful link: link to online version of Vili’s Adventures