- Â As GIFSEP takes awareness campaign to Abuja schools
Chikodi Ozulumba in Lagos and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Renowned environmentalist, Desmond Majekodunmi, has encouraged greater collaborations with entertainment icons in the society in calling attention to tree planting and reforestation.
He demonstrated this during a Climate Change carnival at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos, recently, where he delivered a keynote address, by inviting the Hip-hop artiste, TuFace ‘Tu Baba’ Idibia and veteran actor, Patrick Doyle, on stage to collaborate with him in the Climate Change awareness campaign.
According to Majekodunmi, the forest, which he calls “the lungs of the earth,â€ are the major buffers that can prevent â€œcatastrophic climate changeâ€
He added that this is being driven by anthropogenic global warming through massive pollution of the earthâ€™s atmosphere by greenhouse gases which a consensus of scientists estimate are in the region of over one million tonnes daily.
â€œAs the oceans rise and rainfall increases, we need to urgently adapt to more severe floods and gully erosion while also taking extreme measures to halt desert encroachment which is driving terrorism and food scarcity,â€ Majekodunmi said.
He, however, expressed deep disappointment that previously, the ecology fund had not been deployed judiciously for conservation, but was hopeful that this would no longer be the case.
The event was organised by Sen. Florence Ita Giwa, who used her award-winning carnival band, the Seagull Band, to highlight in an artistic way, the dangers of climate change and the importance of forest cover in tackling it.
â€ŽMeanwhile, the Global Initiative for Food, Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP) has embarked on public awareness campaign in Secondary Schools within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and environs in a bid to address the effects of climate change in Nigeria.
Its Executive Director, Mr. David Mike Ter, after meeting with some Senior Secondary Teachers in Abuja told journalists that the campaign was aimed at ensuring the adoption of environmental management principles in at least 60 schools and carry out practical activities in at least 10 select secondary schools in the FCT.
He explained that the project which has received the approval of FCT Secondary School Board as well as FCT Department of Science and Technology, has a specific goal, which is to establish and strengthen Environmental (Eco) Clubs.
â€ŽAccording to him, â€œthe knowledge of climate education would create opportunities for young people to learn more about climate change and the various ways to adapt to any environmental and natural situation.â€
Terâ€Ž stated: â€œThere is therefore a need to develop strategies for involvement and active participation of students to become ardent stewards of the environment and build their capacity to address the challenge of climate change.â€
He said the project was conceived to encourage and demonstrate the essence of collective measures to address climate change primarily by building skills of students in renewable energy, and promoting environmental stewardship through behavioural change.
â€œAlready, GIFSEP has received a grant from the GEF Small Grant Programme implemented by the United Nations Development programme.â€Ž The grant would be utilised for the purpose it is meant for; to build the capacity of students to address climate change in schools within the FCT and its environs,” Ter added.
The Executive Director said some of the project activities include: Train the Trainer Sensitisation Workshop on Climate Change/environmental stewardship for all Government schools in FCT Abuja; the establishment of waste management and composting structures in ten schools as well as hands on activity on the design and installation of solar and renewable systems by the students in select schools amongst others.
Meanwhile, Mr. Jigah Timothy, who spoke on behalf of the teachers, commended GEF for the small grant programme and GIFSEP for the choice of FCT schools, while pledging their support for their success of the project.