No Where to Run - RCE Minna celebrates World Environment Day

Over the past five years, RCE Minna has continued to inspire and educate people through the commemoration of the UNEP World Environment Day (WED).

Additionally, it has been a good way to promote RCE Minna's activities and projects. This year’s WED on the 5th June ¨Go Wild for Life¨ focussed on the fight against illegal wildlife trade. “Go Wild for Life” encouraged everyone to spread the message of the damage done by wildlife crime and how to prevent further damage.

RCE Minna and its partners commemorated the day with the screening of a video called ¨No Where to Run¨. A documentary on the effects of Climate Change on Nigeria’s Environment, “No Where to Run” was produced by the Yar’adua Foundation in collaboration with the European Union. RCE Minna organised an awareness campaign to widely screen the video in order to raise awareness on the issue of climate change in Nigeria.

RCE Minna highlighted potential sustainable solutions to some of the challenges mentioned in the movie. Copies of the documentary were widely distributed among schools and participants. About 200 people attended the event, including educators, university and secondary students, the media as well as G. Nsofor, Chairman of RCE Minna Board of Research (FUT, Minna), A. Okhimamhe, Director of the West African Science Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use, FUT Minna (WASCAL), Mal. Baba Sachiko, Secretary UNDP Minna Field Office, Hajiya Hauwa Kulu Usman Coordinator Development Partners Support of Niger State Environmental Protection Agency (NISEPA), Mal. Abdullahi Ketso DG NEPAD (Secretary RCE Minna), the Representative of Niger State Environmental Protection Agency (NISEPA), to name but a few.

During specific breakout sessions, participants were asked to discuss the documentary and potential solutions to the challenges shown. Participants were grouped according to the specific challenges such as deforestation, desertification, oil spillage, flooding and erosion. At the end of the session each group presented their results.

A presentation on “A Road Map to a Sustainable Lifestyle for Nigerians” by Arc. Mrs. Hassana Gambo- CEO of Interflora Landscaping Services/Founder Green Fingers Initiatives, Abuja was  also held. Her presentation centered on Environmental Sustainability, and how climate change and environmental degradation has affected the lifestyle of Nigerians negatively. Her suggestion for more education and sensitisation on sustainable solutions and the provision of adequate infrastructure (for example potable water and clean energy) was widely supported. RCE Minna will be organising a Holiday Gardening Training for children in Minna later this year to support and educate particularly young children on environmental issues, as Mrs. Hassana Gambo emphasized during her presentation.

RCE Clubs

Another interesting part of the event was the creation of RCE clubs across 11 secondary schools in Minna. Most of them being public schools, they were selected based on their commitments towards environmental sustainability and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). Some of the benefits of being an RCE Club include the opportunity for capacity development, leadership training, provision of books on sustainable development, networking and networking with other students from within and outside Nigeria through virtual and real conferences. All RCE Clubs received certificates of acknowledgement.

Showing the movie and planning activities around it as a full campaign has lead to several outcomes:

(1) Enhanced commitment and actions for the environment.

(2) Raised awareness on climate change in line with goals 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 of the SDGs.

(3) Promote ESD among children and youth as a priority goal of SDGs (i.e goal 4).

(4) Promote networking among students, teachers, lecturers and the general public.

(5) Presentation of awards incentivising school performance especially with reference to last year's WED.

(5) The programme exposed students to take up action individually and collectively through the creation of RCE Clubs.

According to RCE Minna ¨If there ever was a time to collectively join hands and salvage the earth (our environment) from collapsing, then that time is now. We at RCE Minna will continue to do our best to create a better living for our children and generations yet unborn. As the Igbo proverbs goes: He who burns down his father’s house, inherits the ashes

Photos of the event have now been uploaded on facebook.