The Role of Informal Education in Climate Change Resilience: The Sandwatch Model

  • G. CambersEmail author
  • P. Diamond
  • M. Verkooy
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)


This paper explores the role of informal education in enhancing climate change resilience for beach and coastal systems using a multi-stakeholder approach called the Sandwatch programme. Sandwatch is an action-oriented, volunteer network working to enhance beach environments using a tried and tested pedagogical approach called MAST—Monitoring, Analysing, Sharing, Taking action. School students and community members learn and work together to scientifically monitor their beach environments, critically evaluate the problems, share their findings, and design and implement sustainable activities to address the issues, enhance the beach environment and build resilience to climate change. Sandwatch is an informal education tool, often conducted as an extra-curricular activity in school settings. In 2014, at the end of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, Sandwatch was recognized as one of 25 success stories from around the world of education for sustainable development practices in action. In 2017, an impact assessment of the Sandwatch programme was conducted using a flexible tool, the “most significant change” technique. Analysis of long-running Sandwatch programmes from nine countries showed: (i) the importance of using a participatory approach that includes hands-on learning outside of the classroom; (ii) evidence of different ways in which learners had been empowered such as by adopting a natural resources management career path; and (iii) the outreach potential of the Sandwatch programme to take action for sustainable development and enhance climate resilience.


Beaches Conservation Education for sustainable development Most significant change Extra-curricular 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SuvaFiji
  2. 2.TorontoCanada
  3. 3.TacomaUSA

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