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“The Students Have Learned Today the Importance of Protecting Their Oceans and Keeping a Healthy Sea Life” States Principal Guzman of Colegio Bilingüe New Horizons

September 14, 2016

DREFF attended Colegio Bilingüe New Horizons in Santo Domingo on Thursday September 14 to debate the value of ocean conservation and marine protected areas as part of the sixth edition of the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival (DREFF – The event included a screening of two short films, The Sea & Me and A Journey through the Eyes of the Reef followed by an interactive discussion with the filmmakers James Sherwood and Danielle Ryan.

Marc Jourdan, GFDD UN Programs & Outreach Manager, provided some words of welcome before moderating a lively debate with the 120 students of the auditorium. The students manifested a keen interest in the topic of ocean conservation and asked the filmmaker some very pointed questions about the duration of the film project and whether the conservation areas had led to an increase in the number of fish in the area.

Yvonne Guzman, principal of the middle school, noted that “the students have learned today the importance of protecting their oceans and keeping a healthy sea life”. She explained that “usually we take for granted what happens when we overfish. We just think of ourselves as consumers and not necessarily as protectors of the ocean, so it’s nice to see there is a movement to educate students, particularly given that we have a lot of situations with overfishing.”

Sherwood praised the school for the level of education of its students, noting that “it was so good to see a school so passionate about tackling science and educating them about the environment.”

Ryan commended the DREFF stating that the “most effective part of (the) festival is that (it has) actually really targeted (its) screenings to where (they) will have the most grassroots impact when it comes to conservation.”

Francisco, a student at the school confirmed his intention to protect marine life by stating ““It’s important to protect the fish because we need them to live”.

About The Sea & Me / A Journey through the Eyes of the Reef
From the east coast of Australia to the far west, the country’s oceans are facing a number of man-made pressures. The Sea and Me and A Journey through the Eyes of the Reef are just two stories out of a series of short documentaries, showing Australians coming together from all walks of life to show how marine parks and sanctuary areas can help to heal our oceans, allowing marine life to thrive once more.

About the 6th Edition of the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival
Since its creation in 2011, the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival (DREFF) –an initiative of the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) and the Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (Funglode) – has been providing Dominicans with a platform of knowledge and debate on the environment and sustainable development, along with its challenges and best practices, while celebrating the unique beauty and wealth that is the Dominican Republic’s natural heritage.

With a diverse selection of films and numerous panels, workshops, seminars, and community activities, DREFF promotes dialogue and the exchange of knowledge and experience, inspiring Dominicans to adopt actions that contribute to the appreciation, conservation, and sustainable use of their environmental resources.

By bringing together young people, scholars, experts, activists, filmmakers, representatives from the public and private sector, and non-governmental organizations, as well as wide audiences from all walks of life, the Festival serves as a catalyst for programs and projects that contribute to environmental and socio-economic sustainability. Thanks to the participation of more than 70 private, non-governmental and public institutions, every September the Festival reaches more than 10,000 viewers, in 11 cities in the Dominican Republic, with over 100 free film screenings at some 30 venues around the country.

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Since the inception of the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival (DREFF) in 2011, Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) has created and developed 6 year-round programs that make a significant contribution to the sustainable development of the Dominican Republic.

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