Eco-Paddler Course “Parcours Eco-Pagayeur” (2020 call)

Budget: 39,887.65 EUR
Coordinator: Cosma Canoe Kayak du Maroni

Located in French Guiana, Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, through its biogeography and its hydrographic network, is characterized by important biological diversity and habitats. The natural freshwater areas of this municipality are subject to strong anthropogenic pressures, due to its socio-economic context, with in particular a marked demographic explosion. Currently, a lack of awareness of nature protection of the population is identified, with a large number of deposits of waste and hydrocarbons within the creeks and the river of Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni. These attacks on the environment greatly weaken the functionality of the freshwater ecosystem and the services it provides to society (nursery and reproduction area for fish, buffer zone against bad weather, etc.). This degradation also jeopardizes the fauna dependent on the creeks and rivers, in particular with the presence of species with high conservation stakes, such as the Grey-bellied Goshawk (Accipiter poliogaster).

In view of this context, the preservation of this exceptional natural heritage is intimately linked to the awareness of the young Saint-Laurent generation to biodiversity and waste management. With this in mind and in line with LIFE4BEST objectives (the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and the sustainable use of biodiversity, natural resources and ecosystem services), the Eco-Paddler course will raise awareness and train Saint-Laurent schoolchildren on the natural and cultural heritage of their municipality, to the environmental issues specific to the Maroni basin and to eco-responsible practices.