Plant For The Planet Organises Campaign For Climate Justice
Report by Hameed Muritala and Olasupo Abideen
As part of activities to raise awareness about global climate crisis and reduce its effects, the Plant-for-the-Planet Children’s Initiative has organized a training workshop for school children in Ilorin.
The event which was held last Tuesday and Wednesday at the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) auditorium basement had in attendance over 100 primary and secondary school students.
During the training, the participating students were educated on the causes, effects of and solutions to climate crisis facing the globe. They were also sensitized on the importance of tree planting within the environment.
Facilitators at the training were Dr. Usman Raheem of the Department of Geography & Environmental Management, UNILORIN and Dr. Fola Babalola, a lecturer at the Department of Forest Resources Management of the same institution.
In his presentation, Raheem told the students that the earth system is consist of the air, water, life, land and ice, stressing that an injury to any of these components would cause injury to the other parts.
He noted that climate change was caused by the large amount of carbon emission into the air through vehicles, airplanes, power plants, telecommunication masts, and manufacturing companies.
Raheem warned that the earth would be unsafe for humans and animals if adequate measures were not taken to curb the menace of climate change that is occasioned by the melting glaciers and rising oceans.
The environmentalist, however, identified massive tree planting as the easiest and cheapest solution to curb climate change, adding that trees have the ability to absorb the carbon dioxide being put into the atmosphere by human activities.
In his own lecture, Babalola lamented that humans through their activities over the years have added more greenhouse gases into the air, making the atmosphere thicker and this causes temperature to rise.
He listed the consequences of climate change to include flooding, wildfires, frequent droughts, shortage of food and potable water and other forms of extreme weather conditions.
“Rising sea level will force hundreds of thousands of people in coastal zones to migrate to areas with better living conditions, which will eventually lead to overcrowding in these areas.”
Babalola disclosed that 175 million children are affected by climate change induced natural disasters every year. “Many of the main killers of children such as malaria, diarrhoea and malnutrition are highly sensitive to climatic conditions threatening survival and health,” he added.
The Forest Resources Management lecturer said the best way to curb the effects of climate change was for people to engage in tree planting, noting that trees convert the carbon emission into oxygen.
“To reverse climate change, people must stop deforestation and embrace sustainable afforestation.”
The students were taught proper tree planting and at the end of the training, they were certified as Global Climate Justice Ambassadors.
According to the programme coordinator, Wale Bakare, the climate justice ambassadors are expected to raise awareness and educate their peers and adults about climate crisis. “They also have a goal of planting one million trees in the country,” he said.
He added, “The climate justice ambassadors are members of a global children’s network, who make a real difference by planting trees, talking to their peers and adults about climate change, conserving energy and inspiring people to care and act now for their future.”
The Plant-for-the-Planet Children’s initiative was founded in 2007 in Germany by Felix Finkbeiner as an international group of young people who are planting trees and leading communities to solve climate crisis.