Government Should Tap Into Renewable Energy Potential

Harvard and Oxford-trained scholar, Damilola Sunday Olawuyi, is a globally recognised professor of Energy and Environmental Law and director of the leading research think tank, the Institute for Oil, Gas, Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development (OGEES Institute) at Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti. He is Vice President of the Nigerian branch of the International Law Association; member of the World Commission on International Environmental Law; and expert member of the International Law Association Committee on Sustainable Natural Resource Development where he represents Nigeria. He served as visiting professor at Columbia University, Oxford University and the China University of Political Science and Law. He has several publications in leading international law journals on the subject of renewable energy, agriculture, climate change and sustainable development. In this interview with the Yetunde Ayobami Ojo, he says government should urgently develop the country’s enormous renewable energy potential.

Nigeria, like many oil producing countries, is still reeling from the impact of the drop in the prices of oil. Will the oil and gas sector ever fully recover?
Unlike many that have written and published the obituary of the oil and gas industry, we professionals in the field know that the future of the sector remains exceedingly bright. The industry has been through, and survived, similar periodic downturns in the past, ranging from the 1973 oil crisis (first oil shock) in which the price of oil increased 400 per cent, leading to scarcity in some countries; then the 1979 oil shock when prices increased 100 per cent and the third oil crisis in 1990s, which contributed to global economic recession of the early 1990s and the most recent one.

This recent downturn has hit all of us hard due to failure to government’s properly utilise proceeds of the glorious years, when oil sold over $100 per barrel, to develop our infrastructure and to vitalise other key sectors. I have worked in the oil and gas countries in the Middle East such as, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait, and they are, for example, not in recession as we speak, due to years of proper utilisation of oil proceeds. For an oil and gas giant like Nigeria to ever be in recession is a great shame.

The US shale boom is another potential game changer, which has, and will continue to alter the demand for our oil and nudge us to an uncertain future outlook. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has for example predicted that the United States would overtake Saudi Arabia to become the world’s leading oil producer by 2020 and, together with Canada, would become a net exporter of oil around 2030. These are tough predictions for Nigeria, as our main oil customer will itself become a leading supplier. This is why this is the time for Nigeria to start diversifying its economic base to shift to mining, manufacturing, agriculture and tourism. This is what Qatar and a number of the Middle East giants are investing time and resources on, in order to stay ahead in the face of a changing energy outlook.

As we speak, I am currently leading a funded research project for the government of Qatar on this issue of low carbon energy transition. These are smart oil and gas producing countries that have accelerated their paths to energy and economic diversification. Wide scale economic diversification is the key for Nigeria to remain strong and competitive in the league of frontier energy jurisdictions.

What do you think is the most important step in diversifying the Nigerian economy at this challenging time?
Nigeria is very rich in energy. We only tend to focus excessively on oil and gas. Nigeria has strong comparative strengths in renewable energy, an area that the Nigerian Government has yet to fully develop.

Over the last five years, renewable energy has gained global prominence as the new oil and gas. Last year alone, worldwide investments in renewable energy amounted to more than US$214 billion with countries such as, Canada, China and the United States heavily investing in wind, hydro, solar and biofuel infrastructure projects. Apart from private sector investments, the United Nations, World Bank, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and other development agencies have established special Clean Funds through which governments at federal and state levels can access funds to develop renewable energy projects ranging from conversion of biomass or waste to energy; biofuels from agriculture; geothermal, mini-hydro, solar and wind energy projects. Renewable energy projects funded under this platform focus on ways to reduce energy poverty; generate clean jobs; and produce sustainable and renewable energy in developing countries. They can also be the key to solving Nigeria’s electricity challenges.

Nigeria’s potentials as a significant source of renewable energy have never been in doubt. From the water intensity of the Osun River in my home state, Osun; to the expanse hectares of arable land in many parts of Nigeria; and the sunshine intensity in the North, have led to several scientific conclusions that Nigeria could be one of the richest countries on earth in terms of solar, wind and hydro energy. Unlike oil and gas, these are clean, cheap, inexhaustible sources of electricity, meaning they never end. They also come with less environmental problems such as pollution or spillage.

Nigeria has infinite potentials to be the leader in renewable energy sources in Africa. Renewable energy can directly contribute to poverty alleviation programs by attracting international development funds for renewable energy projects; boosting internally generated revenue by attracting global and public private partnership investments in renewable energy projects; creating new energy jobs for youths; providing alternative energy supply for businesses; and deploying clean cooking stoves and household stand- alone solar solutions in rural communities.

Given these enormous economic advantages of renewable and alternative energy, how can government move this forward?
One key problem we have in this area is lack of sustained policy action by successive governments. On May 05, 2015, the Federal Government of Nigeria officially adopted the National Policy on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, which aims to increase renewable energy investments to generate electricity and to address climate change problems. The policy also aimed to establish a federal agency on renewable energy like many other countries in the world have done. However, this program was launched in the last few weeks of former President Goodluck Jonathan administration. Since 2015, not much has been heard about the renewable energy programme. I have personally been leading scholarly agenda aimed at getting the current government to revisit this lofty energy diversification and electricity generation program.

In 2015, the Executive Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, invited me to help develop a policy programme that could help Osun State attain leadership in implementing a robust renewable energy and energy efficiency program over the next decade. However, this unfortunately coincided with the time our State had problems with protesting workers so we had to halt this plan. I do hope to revisit this ambitious plan in the future at State and Federal levels. For example, if well developed, we could generate electricity from solar, hydro and wind sources, making it possible for each state to be self sufficient in terms of generating adequate amount of electricity for domestic and industrial use.

How serious do you think Nigeria is in addressing the issue of Climate change?
Nigeria will need to move from bureaucratic rhetoric to more concrete and holistic action to address climate change. In the Paris Agreement, Nigeria pledged to reduce its GHG emissions by 20 per cent by 2020 and 45 per cent by 2030. These are ambitious targets, which on the ground, we have done little in terms of laws, institutions and policies to actualise.

As of today, we have no climate change law, no climate change federal agency and no national action plan on GHG reduction. I was personally excited when the current government appointed the immediate past Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, as Minister for Environment. However, she had to leave to become the United Nations Deputy Secretary General.

We need to revisit some of the lofty blue prints she developed on climate change mitigation and adaptation in Nigeria. The environment is too serious an issue to be left at the periphery of decision-making. Climate change should not be viewed as a threat alone, it is also a great economic opportunity for Nigeria to develop a green economy that encourages new jobs in recycling, waste management, green buildings and clean transportation. We can get there. We only need to start first.

How can you assess Nigeria’s readiness to achieve the SDGs?
As you rightly noted, on September 25, 2015, countries, including Nigeria, adopted a set of targets and goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all, over the next 15 years. In other words, by the year 2030, the plan is that our world will be on the path of comparable and holistic social, economic and environmental development.

For these ambitious goals to be reached, we must ask, how can we avoid the same pitfalls and mistakes that made it impossible for us to attain the MDGs that expired in 2015. Everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society and people like you and I, to avoid the same false start. As of today, Nigeria has not done much to correct the same pitfalls, which centre on lack of sustained governmental action to pursue the sustainable development agenda.

By attaining the rank of full professor of law in 2015 at the age of 32, you became one of the youngest law professors in Nigeria, what are the challenges you faced in achieving that feat?
Well, I am humbled and honoured to follow the remarkable path of Nigeria’s current Vice President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo. SAN who I understand also attained full professorship at the age of 33. I am very fortunate to have tapped into the visions of the President and Founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola, SAN, OFR, LL.D, CON, who is well known to be one of the most successful lawyers in Nigeria’s history and a leading advocate for university reform. Working closely with him challenged me to be the best in my teaching and research. Babalola’s accomplishments, from very humble beginnings, is enough motivation for every one associated with ABUAD to push for the greatest heights, break existing records and set new ones. The university and college of law provided the right atmosphere and resources for me to achieve this feat. Without the support and best wishes of everyone, ranging from the president and founder of the university, to the senior management of the university, the DVC and provost of the College of Law, Professor Smaranda Olarinde, to my head of department, and my students, this attainment would have been highly impossible. I faced no barrier; all I saw was motivation, encouragements and opportunities.

You are an alumnus of the Harvard and Oxford University, how did you achieve these?
I owe these achievements to the divine grace of God. How else could a young lad from Igbajo, Osun State, end up at these famous institutions? After achieving first class honours from the university, and another first class from the Nigerian Law School, I was double charged to follow the paths of the likes of ILA President, Professor Fidelis Oditah, QC, SAN who after making first class degrees from UNILAG and the Law School, also got scholarships to study at Oxford. Luckily, I was still at the Law School when I received a full scholarship from the Government of Canada to pursue LL.M in energy law at the University of Calgary in Canada.

Given these enormous economic advantages of renewable and alternative energy, how can government move this forward?
One key problem we have in this area is lack of sustained policy action by successive governments. On May 05, 2015, the Federal Government of Nigeria officially adopted the National Policy on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, which aims to increase renewable energy investments to generate electricity and to address climate change problems. The policy also aimed to establish a federal agency on renewable energy like many other countries in the world have done. However, this program was launched in the last few weeks of former President Goodluck Jonathan administration. Since 2015, not much has been heard about the renewable energy programme. I have personally been leading scholarly agenda aimed at getting the current government to revisit this lofty energy diversification and electricity generation program.

In 2015, the Executive Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, invited me to help develop a policy programme that could help Osun State attain leadership in implementing a robust renewable energy and energy efficiency program over the next decade. However, this unfortunately coincided with the time our State had problems with protesting workers so we had to halt this plan. I do hope to revisit this ambitious plan in the future at State and Federal levels. For example, if well developed, we could generate electricity from solar, hydro and wind sources, making it possible for each state to be self sufficient in terms of generating adequate amount of electricity for domestic and industrial use.

How serious do you think Nigeria is in addressing the issue of Climate change?
Nigeria will need to move from bureaucratic rhetoric to more concrete and holistic action to address climate change. In the Paris Agreement, Nigeria pledged to reduce its GHG emissions by 20 per cent by 2020 and 45 per cent by 2030. These are ambitious targets, which on the ground, we have done little in terms of laws, institutions and policies to actualise.

As of today, we have no climate change law, no climate change federal agency and no national action plan on GHG reduction. I was personally excited when the current government appointed the immediate past Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, as Minister for Environment. However, she had to leave to become the United Nations Deputy Secretary General.

We need to revisit some of the lofty blue prints she developed on climate change mitigation and adaptation in Nigeria. The environment is too serious an issue to be left at the periphery of decision-making. Climate change should not be viewed as a threat alone, it is also a great economic opportunity for Nigeria to develop a green economy that encourages new jobs in recycling, waste management, green buildings and clean transportation. We can get there. We only need to start first.

How can you assess Nigeria’s readiness to achieve the SDGs?
As you rightly noted, on September 25, 2015, countries, including Nigeria, adopted a set of targets and goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all, over the next 15 years. In other words, by the year 2030, the plan is that our world will be on the path of comparable and holistic social, economic and environmental development.

For these ambitious goals to be reached, we must ask, how can we avoid the same pitfalls and mistakes that made it impossible for us to attain the MDGs that expired in 2015. Everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society and people like you and I, to avoid the same false start. As of today, Nigeria has not done much to correct the same pitfalls, which centre on lack of sustained governmental action to pursue the sustainable development agenda.

By attaining the rank of full professor of law in 2015 at the age of 32, you became one of the youngest law professors in Nigeria, what are the challenges you faced in achieving that feat?
Well, I am humbled and honoured to follow the remarkable path of Nigeria’s current Vice President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo. SAN who I understand also attained full professorship at the age of 33. I am very fortunate to have tapped into the visions of the President and Founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola, SAN, OFR, LL.D, CON, who is well known to be one of the most successful lawyers in Nigeria’s history and a leading advocate for university reform. Working closely with him challenged me to be the best in my teaching and research. Babalola’s accomplishments, from very humble beginnings, is enough motivation for every one associated with ABUAD to push for the greatest heights, break existing records and set new ones. The university and college of law provided the right atmosphere and resources for me to achieve this feat. Without the support and best wishes of everyone, ranging from the president and founder of the university, to the senior management of the university, the DVC and provost of the College of Law, Professor Smaranda Olarinde, to my head of department, and my students, this attainment would have been highly impossible. I faced no barrier; all I saw was motivation, encouragements and opportunities.

You are an alumnus of the Harvard and Oxford University, how did you achieve these?
I owe these achievements to the divine grace of God. How else could a young lad from Igbajo, Osun State, end up at these famous institutions? After achieving first class honours from the university, and another first class from the Nigerian Law School, I was double charged to follow the paths of the likes of ILA President, Professor Fidelis Oditah, QC, SAN who after making first class degrees from UNILAG and the Law School, also got scholarships to study at Oxford. Luckily, I was still at the Law School when I received a full scholarship from the Government of Canada to pursue LL.M in energy law at the University of Calgary in Canada.

From Calgary, I received another full scholarship to go to Harvard University for another LL.M, and while still at Harvard, I received the prestigious Clarendon Scholarship and the Queen’s Overseas Research Scholarship to study for a PhD at Oxford University. After this, I was called to the bar in Canada and then practiced energy law at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada for a while. This is a remarkable story of divine grace from God. Having received so much support and mentoring from institutions abroad, what I have done with my career so far is to utilise these knowledge to serve my nation and to motivate young and upcoming lawyers.

You have been recently shortlisted for by the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) for the prestigious rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria under the academic category. Do you intend to set up a law practice soon to mentor young lawyers?
I am very humbled and honoured to have been shortlisted for the SAN award. It is also a positive reinforcement for young academics and scholars that with hard work and diligence, recognition will come some day. But as you know, the SAN award is a privilege, not a right. While I have earnest hope for a successful final outcome, I would not like to think just too far yet about next steps. I like to take it one step at a time. To have been shortlisted is a great attestation to the integrity and transparency of the process, let us wait and see what follows.

What is your advice for students?
As I tell my students, a great lawyer knows a little about everything. My advice for them is that they should take the opportunities of being students to learn more about everything: politics, sports, music, current affairs, society, language, religion and of course law. Push the boundaries by reading more from books, newspapers, law reports, and every other available material on the subject in the library. Such mental curiosity and desire to know more is the secret of success in this profession, whether as a practicing lawyer, legal academic, university administrator or even politician. As Thomas Huxley once remarked, a good student “Tries to learn something about everything and everything about something.”

Source : Yetunde Ayobami via The Guardian

HAPPY HOLIDAYS: 2017 is a Green Year

We share a common belief- that we can take action in combating climate change, improve health and well-being, and empower young people to create nature-inspired solutions to global challenges for a greener planet.

In 2016, we made significant progress on our green journey. This was only possible as a result of the invaluable support of our numerous friends, advisors, and associates. YOU are one of them.

As the journey begins into our 2nd year, we wish you and your family a happy holiday season and a great year ahead.

Together we are working to build a much better world for future generations, leaving behind for our children and grandchildren a far better planet than we met.

2017 will be greater.

With Love,

The Green Team

The 2016 Green Ambassadors’ Training

The Annual Green Ambassadors’ training was held on the 7th of November at The Green Center in Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo. This year’s training was focused on Agriculture with the theme ‘GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY!’ Lawrence Afere, the founder of the Spring Board Farms and a Washington Mandela Fellow, was invited as the guest speaker to speak on the topic of discussion. Various Schools were also invited along with their agricultural science teachers to participate in the program. The schools included; Homaj Secondary School, St. Monica Grammar School, St. Louis Grammar School, Awosika College, and Ekinmogun Grammar School. 

The Student and Ambassadors were given a platform to ask questions and also contribute more to the topic of discussion. A Solar lantern and two Green T-shirts were given to three Students, one from St. Monica Grammar School and two from Awosika College as a result of the correct answers given from the questions thrown in by the Green Associate, Owoeye Abolade. The Dean of School of Science, Dr. F.O Balogun and the Head of Chemistry Department, Dr. Babajide were also present at the program. Dr. Babajide J.O spoke on ‘biofuel.'

Green Ambassadors and Ministers shared different ideas, opinions, and suggestions as to how agriculture can be incorporated into the school’s system. Sipasi Olalekan coordinator of the L’Afrika Integrated Farms at Ibadan sent a representative on his behalf to speak to the ambassadors on Agriculture as the only way out of the situation in Nigeria. As a take home package, seeds of the teak tree was given to every individual present to plant in their environment.

The Green Campus Initiative Features in the Nigeria Alternative Energy Expo 2016

Since 2010, the Nigeria Alternative Energy Expo (#NAEE2016) has provided a platform with a view of sharing experiences on decentralized renewable and alternative energy systems, finding and implementing solutions to energy access challenges in Nigeria, and increasing opportunities for both formal and informal dialogue among government representatives, pan-African organizations, policy makers, MDA’s, researchers, academia, manufacturers, investors, civil societies, and consumers. This year’s edition (the 6th edition) which was held at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Conference Centre, Abuja, from the 14th – 16th October was co-hosted by the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Power, Sustainable Energy Practitioners Associations of Nigeria (SEPAN), and the African SustainableEnergy Association (ASEA).

Themed, “Embracing renewable energy to tackle Nigeria’s economic challenges”, #NAEE2016 attracted speakers, panelists, and facilitators who all had professional and personal experiences and interests that provided them with unique credentials to be listened to.  Take for example, the French Ambassador to Nigeria; HE Denys Gauer, who called for effective collaboration between sectors, the Finland Ambassador to Nigeria; HE Pirjo Suomela-Chowdhury, who harped on moral attitude for sustainability, the CEO of DARE; Professor Yahaya Ahmed, who walked participants through the UNFCC and the Save 80 cooking system that does not contribute to Indoor Air Pollution (IAP), and the Head, Africa-EU Energy Partnership; Engr. Ina-de-Visser who highlighted the need to support market development for mesoscale renewable energy technologies in Nigeria and Africa. With over twenty-two manufacturers in renewable energy sector exhibiting their products and services, the Expo also focused on the achievement of the Sustainable Developmental Goals, SDGs.

Engaging University Students for a Sustainable and Better Future

Strong advocates and recommendations by relevant climate and environmental groups have continuously raised the need for real capacity building for universities, especially those in Africa. #NAEE2016 responded to this for the first time and took a step further to engage and empower Nigerian undergraduate students, so as to enhance their contribution to sustainable development and social transformation. This was done in partnership with The Green Campus Initiative, GCI – Nigeria’s leading and first campus-based environmental advocacy organization with a presence in thirty-eight (38) universities across the country. This step was guided by the realities facing students in environmental and social sciences, and those that have sufficient reason for interest in the renewable energy sector, and anchored in the belief that students are forces of equality and good governance, catalysts for global consensus building; and essential resources for sustainable development and poverty eradication.

Adenike Akinsemolu; Founder of GCI and Board member of SEPAN, led GCI Universities Ambassadors and Associates to the expo, where they had a session on the second day that comprised of a plenary and an oral presentation. Tagged, “The World is Going Green, Are You?”, and moderated by Owoeye Abolade; a Public Health expert and Environmental Biologist with the Federal University of Technology Akure, those on the plenary were Dr. Segun Adaju; CEO of Consistent Energy and Global Advisor to GCI, Dr. Amina Batagarawa; an Architecture Lecturer with Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and Global Advisor to GCI, Hamzat Lawal of Connected Development, CODE, and Ibrahim Majidadi; a Law Student of ABU Zaria. The epoch-making plenary and oral presentation which was done by Odunayo Ayodeji; a Mathematics Student of Adeyemi College of Education, focused on discussions about the SDGs in Nigeria, effective participation of youths and students, meaningful equity of policies, engagement at all levels of decision-making, and the works ofThe Green Campus Initiative across Nigerian universities.

The highpoint of GCI’s session was the recitation of the Green Pledge where all participants promised to live more sustainable and teach others on how to. The organizers and delegates present affirmed they learned a lot during their feedback comments. Also, they shared the thoughts of the outcomes of the plenary that real actions need to be done to make sure young people and student advocates are supported with finance, mentorship, and resources as 80% of students that completed the event registration online could not attend due to inadequate funds for travel and accommodation. Notwithstanding, #NAEE2016 engagement is a good indicator that the Nigerian society is preparing students to become competent innovators and leaders that would shape the renewable energy, environmental and power sector.

After the session, students were led on an excursion to the Green Estate in Garki, Abuja. The estate, a first of its kind in Nigeria, is reputed to have been running on solar and wind energy sources for the past 18 months, and is completely off the national power grid! The laudable project sets a standard for the feasibility of alternative energy in Nigeria and the promises of delivering on the climate action mandate in support of a sustainable world.


OGHENECHOVWEN, Oghenekevwe Christopher is an Ambassador of GCI and a third year BTech Student of Meteorology and Climate Science (FUTA). For more information, please contact greenthecampus@gmail.com or tweet to @c_chovwen

GCI Green Personality of the Month; Sipasi Olalekan Ayodele

It’s the little things citizens do. That’s what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees.
— Wangari Maathai (Environmental Conservationist and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate)

It is exhilarating to interact with young people who believe that trees are planted for the future. Ayodele Sipasi Olalekan - an innovative farmer and environmental activist - is one of such people. Sipasi is the founder of L'Afrika Integrated Farms. One of his innovations; the Mobile Kitchen Garden, earned him the 2015 Hidden Eco-Hero Award of Eco-Tunza Generation and Samsung Engineering. Recently, he was listed among the Top 10 Go Green in the City Ambassador of Schneider Electric. Also, he is a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum, focusing on Global Goal 13; 'Climate Action'.

Having B.Tech and M.Sc degrees relating to best agriculture practices, and being a speaker of eight indigenous and international languages, including Kiswahili and French, makes him stand out. Sipasi has impacted the growing environmental space in Nigeria, especially through his works in rural areas.

For this month; September 2016 (which is also his birth month), Sipasi is GCI's Green Personality, and Oghenechovwen C. Oghenekevwe reached out to him to ask few, interesting questions.

What aspects of your job do you particularly enjoy?

I enjoy engaging rural areas: training farmers and young people on environmentally friendly living, and sustainable best agricultural practices. Running these trainings using only Local Content Initiative (solving problems with available resources), makes it particularly enjoyable for me. Use of these local resources allows rural dwellers relate to the main issues.

In a lead up to the 2016 World Environmental Day, WED, you trained a total of 3,115 youths on environmental responsibility and sourced for 12,000 Khaya Senegalensis seeds for tree planting. What challenges did you face doing these?

Majority of the people in communities I trained did not have a knowledge of environmental issues and climate change. Because of this, it was difficult making them understand that climate change and its effects were real. Also, some parents were reluctant to allow their wards participate, as they were of the opinion that it distracted them from academic work, other people did not show up once they realized monetary gains were not available, and some participants did not want to get down on the dirty soil to plant. Most challenging was the inadequacy of volunteers.

In the report of your contributions to the WED celebrations, you raised a new perspective about how the struggle for survival and economic surge causes Nigerians to neglect nature. Is this neglect only peculiar amongst young people? Please throw more light on this.

Protecting our environment for the benefit of the present and future generations is an all-important and collective responsibility. What we have today is different: environmental neglect exists and it cuts across all ages. The economy and the environment are linked. If Nigeria is to have a comfortable, stable, economy, all activities, or inputs, which would lead to this steady state must be done in our own environment. For example, setting up large-scale industries would only be beneficial to the economy if it does not pollute the environment –air, lands, and water. To me, this is where most Nigerians miss it. In their bid to balance their standard of living, they ignore the ‘environmental side-effects’.

What do you regard as the most pressing problem the environmental sector in Nigeria needs to address?

Waste dumping should be dealt with across Nigeria. It does not make for cleaner and sustainable environments. We should focus on waste management and waste-to-wealth empowerment.


Profile:

Oghenekevwe, an ambassador at the Green Campus Initiative, currently serves on the World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council. He loves writing and connecting with people, and he prefers his Garri with chilled water. Engage him via email: chrischovwen@gmail.com  Facebook: /kevwe.chovwen  or Twitter: @c_chovwen

 

Green Campus Initiative partners with UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)

We are happy to be in partnership with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).The Sustainable Development Solutions Network goals include; no poverty, zero hunger, good health, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, responsible consumption and production, decent work and economic growth. Below is the letter of partnership sent from SDSN.

UN Partnership Letter

It is with great pleasure that I write to inform you that the Executive Committee of the cc has enthusiastically approved the Green Institute, Adeyemi College of Education for membership. We are very happy to have you join the Network and look forward to working together in support of sustainable development.

In the coming months, we look forward to finding further means of collaboration on research, Solutions Initiatives, and policy work.

In the meantime, please let us know if you have suggestions for joint initiatives or requests for how the SDSN might be able to support your work. Please also feel free to contact Lauren or me at any time if you have questions regarding your membership in the SDSN.

With best wishes,

Eve de la Mothe Karoubi

Manager
Sustainable Development Solutions Network

www.unsdsn.org

                                                             

Minister of Education Educate Green Kids on Environmental Sustainability

Children are the future leaders, train up a child in the right way, and he/she will not depart from it. Ambassadors and Ministers of the Green Campus Initiative (GCI) are making sure the foundation in sustaining the environment is made solid for the next generation. The Honourable Minister of Education and Advocacy Odunayo Ayodeji Aliu addressed the Homaj School Green Kids Club on Environmental Sustainability. She also presented waste bins to the cleanest classrooms in the school. The kids are taught on how to; recycle waste, make the environment clean and also plant trees in their school compounds. The GKC has extended its tentacles to various schools in Ondo city.

od3.jpg

The club aims at creating awareness and teaching the younger generation ways of preserving and conserving our natural resources. In GKC, elections are conducted by members to elect the Prime Minister and Green Police to ensure the proper activities of the members and check improper waste disposal and management amongst students and pupils of the school. Green Kids Club, making the world a better place to live in.

Win up to $8000 in Film4Climate Video Competition!

We are excited to inform you that our partner, Connect4Climate just launched a Film Competition to promote sustainability in the creative industries through active engagement with young people in finding solutions to climate change.

The Film4Climate Global Video Competition invites aspiring filmmakers from around the world to express their vision for a sustainable future by creating a short film or video about climate action. The competition calls on filmmakers to explore Climate Action, the 13th goal under the UN Sustainable Development Goals, emphasizing what individuals and communities around the world are doing to promote action, offer solutions and inspire positive change to combat climate change and its impacts. Filmmakers are encouraged to deploy personal narratives that explore fundamental questions such as: What does climate change mean to me? What actions am I taking to mitigate the advance of global warming? What is my Climate Action message to the world?

Videos must be submitted as Public Service Announcements that are less than one minute, or as a Short Film, between one and five minutes.

Bernardo Bertolucci (The Conformist, Last Tango in Paris) will serve as the jury president of the competition. Bertolucci is joined on the jury by Oscar-winning Directors and Producers as well as luminaries of cinema, communications and the environment, including Mohamed Nasheed, climate champion and former president of the Maldives, producer Lawrence Bender (An Inconvenient Truth, Pulp Fiction), director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (Saving Face, A Girl in the River), director Louie Psihoyos (The Cove, Racing Extinction), director Fernando Meirelles (City of God, The Constant Gardener), director Robert Stone (Radio Bikini, Pandora’s Promise), director Mika Kaurismaki (Zombie and the Ghost Train), director Pablo Trapero (Carancho, El Clan), producer Martin Katz (Hotel Rwanda), Ann Hornaday, Chief Film Critic of The Washington Post, Sheila Redzepi, Vice President for External and Corporate Relations, World Bank Group, Moroccan director Farida Benlyazid (Frontieras, Keïd Ensa),  Carole Tomko, General Manager and Creative Director of Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions, Maria Wilhelm, Executive Director of the Avatar Alliance Foundation, Pat Mitchell, President and CEO of the Paley Center for Media, Rose Kuo, CEO and Artistic Director of the Qingdao International Film Festival, and Mark Lynas, author and environmentalist (The God Species, Six Degrees).

The competition is open to filmmakers between 14 and 35 years old. Submissions will be open through September 15, 2016. For full competition rules and eligibility requirements, please visit: film4climate.net or connect4climate.org.

Connect4Climate Knowledge Partners with the Green Campus Initiative

The Green Campus Initiative would like to make an official announcement of her partnership with an organization called Connect4Climate. This organization was launched by World Bank and the Italian Ministry of Environment, and the GEF in collaboration with more than 140 global partners in September 2011. Connect4Climate (C4C) is a campaign, a coalition, and a global community that takes on climate change promotes solutions and empowers action.

Since its launch, Connect4Climate has built an aggregate online community of a million fans and a coalition of about 400 partners committed to climate change communication and action. Connect4Climate partners include UN agencies, climate programs in leading academic institutions, private sector organizations, media, NGOs, and CSOs.

Connect4Climate's knowledge partnership program focuses on sharing and cross-promoting activities and creating new connections in creative ways that will amplify each other’s initiatives and projects through social media, web platforms, speaking opportunities or joint events, depending on our partners’ engagement and focus on common areas. 

The Green Campus Initiative is very pleased to accept this partnership and look forward to a mutually beneficial and long lasting relationship.

 

Green Personality of the Month: Psalm Oluwaseyi David

The Green Personality of this month is Mr. Psalm Oluwaseyi David. He is a 400level student of the Federal University of Technology, Akure. David is a multi-talented young man who loves not just to get his hands busy but also to impact and improve his immediate environment. He started a movement in his school with some network of co bright minds called My Navigator, an errand service within and outside the campus. His team also has a brand called CreatvColony.

They hosted a program in FUTA last year tagged ‘evolve’ and a 2,500 capacity hall was fully packed. David is also into reusing and recycling waste plastics. He was at the Green Centre in Adeyemi College of Education last month to teach some ambassadors

Inspired by his works, the Green Team is pleased to present to you, Psalm Oluwaseyi David of CreatvColony, as the Green Personality of the month of June.

Here are the highlights of our interview with him

CAN WE MEET YOU PLEASE?

I am Psalm Oluwaseyi David, creatively known as PsalmDavid and corporately as Oluwaseyi David, an indigene of Ijan Ekiti in Ekiti State, born and bred in the cold city of Jos, Plateau State. I am presently an undergraduate student of the Department of Estate Management of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State.

WHAT DO YOU DO AND WHY DO YOU DO IT?

I am a Serial Entrepreneur, managing businesses in lines of creative and performing art, service provider and also a business coach/consultant.

I became engaged in all these when I discovered that God has given me the ability to handle more. (Remember the parable of the talents? “to some he gave one, some two, and to some he gave five’’)

WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU ENCOUNTERED SO FAR?

My greatest challenges so far have been the challenge of finding the right, like-minded, self-motivated, passionate people to work with and who fit into the structure of my laid down corporate organizations, and also the challenge of gaining capital resources needed to run my many enterprises.

HOW HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO OVERCOME THEM?

I have been able to overcome these challenges by patiently and carefully searching for young creative minds, and not compromising the standards of what is required for the efficient performance of the laid down structure. Secondly, by networking and leveraging on the available capital and intellectual resources of similar initiatives of others who are ahead of me in my field of endeavors.

WHAT INSPIRED THE NAME OF YOUR BRAND?

The brand PsalmDavid (creative and performing art), was inspired by my abilities to create and recreate things in a unique form, outdoing myself all and only by myself, just like a Diamond, (only a diamond is said to break a diamond), only David could have written Psalm. And also the ability to do diverse things well, just like David, which coincidentally happens to be my name. David was a man of many talents, breaking his records all by himself.

The brand Creatvcolony was inspired by the quest to find other creative individuals around, to form a colony where innovative ideas are generated for the benefit of our immediate community.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY ABOUT TEAM WORK?

Teamwork has mostly been the force behind the lasting successes of most big companies, organizations, and endeavors today. Teamwork, when properly managed builds a great momentum for the effective and efficient execution of any project. Every individual has a unique way of accomplishing the same set of tasks but with different efficiency. However, in a team, when all these different ideas are listed, the most effective and efficient technique is generated and brought to light, thereby eliminating any weakness and threats of a set task, by the workability of every team members areas of strength, bringing about a lasting and successful impact. Most importantly, teamwork broadens individual knowledge, ideas and abilities.

HOW HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO IMPACT YOUR IMMEDIATE COMMUNITY?

I believe that impacting my immediate community starts with impacting the people who live in that community, and this can only take effect after one has positively impacted one’s self. It begins with me.

I have been able to position my mindset for a positive impact, and this has built into my subconscious and has in the long run influenced my every action to be positively impactful, reflecting an admirable lifestyle to others who become inspired and ignites their passion for leading a better life. I have been able to build a sense of valuable responsibilities in everyone that I have come in contact with, both from actions and interactions with them. By so doing, building a circle of individuals who are driven by the passion for leading a responsible and meaningful life that greatly speaks for the communit

WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY TO YOUTHS ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT?

Hmm, well this is what I have to say to everyone about the environment, our environment. From the deepest thoughtful part of my heart:

There is NO SECOND EARTH, where we may choose to run or relocate to when we finally destroy this earth where we are living in now. To alarm this more, irrespective of your location around the world, WE ALL SHARE EVERYTHING nature has to offer. We share the same air, same soil, same lights, same sky, same water, and the same ozone layer. We all share the same MOTHER EARTH. Therefore, if your thoughts are that; what you do or what your neighbor does that negatively affects your immediate environment will not get to you, because you will migrate to another part of this world when the consequences arise, I will suggest you have a deeper rethink. Because we all in the long run share in both the benefits and in the disasters that may arise as a result of our actions or inactions, it is not ours to choose. We all share Mother Earth. So why not be conscious of this TRUTH now, why not tell someone about this TODAY, why not CARE for Mother Earth, why not SAVE MOTHER EARTH. How???...... BE OFFICIALLY GREEN.

Today is World Oceans Day!!!

The World Oceans Day is celebrated on the 8th of June, annually. It was made so in 2008 by the United Nations General Assembly (resolution 63/111, paragraph 171). Oceans are like the heart of our planet. Like your heart pumping blood to every part of your body, the ocean connects people across the Earth, no matter where we live. The ocean regulates the climate, feeds millions of people every year, produces oxygen, is the home to an incredible array of wildlife, provides us with important medicines, and so much more! In order to ensure the health and safety of our communities and future generations, it’s imperative that we take the responsibility to care for the ocean as it cares for us.

This year, the theme is Healthy oceans, healthy planet, and its major focus is on plastic pollution and how to stop it.

World Environment Day 2016: Be an Agent of Change!

The World Environment Day (WED) is the United Nations’ most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is celebrated widely in over 100 countries. It serves as a ‘people’s day’ for doing something to care for the earth or become an agent of change. Actions can be taken by individuals or a group of people, locally, nationally, or globally and through decades, WED has generated incredibly positive impacts on the planet.

Annually, WED is celebrated on the 5th of June and it is usually organised around a theme and has different host countries. This year, it is themed on the illegal trade in wildlife under the slogan ‘Go Wild for Life’ and the host country is Angola. The Green Campus Initiative decided to be a part of this year’s WED celebration and create positive impacts locally. The first step was to go in search of a dilapidated primary school in a rural area of Ondo town to renovate and Orimolade Community Primary School in ‘Litaye Community’ fit just perfectly into the picture. As soon as the proper authorities were informed about our intentions, the publicity began and the set day for the event was 3rd June. E-fliers were made and posted on our online platforms and volunteers were implored to join in the movement.

Green_Campus_World_Environmental_Day

As the day gradually approached, several volunteers, ambassadors, and even lecturers began showing their interest. Letters were sent out to solicit for financial support as it is a capital intensive project and on the 3rd to 5th of June, about 60 volunteers including some students from the Green Kids Club moved into Litaye Community with cutlasses, hoes, flowers, paints, brushes and other materials needed for the task ahead. Work began immediately and a short while later, everyone went to pay a respect visit to the ‘Baale’ that is, community ruler. He gave words of advice and blessing. Work resumed; clearing unkempt grasses, planting flowers, painting classrooms and exterior walls.

Lots of the community children came around to help out, some older ones also checked in to show their pleasure and give encouragements. The volunteers had a lot fun while working. They understood better the effectiveness of teamwork, some even newly learnt how to paint. Some others visited the close by palm oil making site in the community to see and learn how its production processes. There was also an exceptional and very attractive mural painting, artistically created by one of our talented ambassadors.

The volunteers also learnt and played local games with the community kids, some others played football with them and it was very exciting. The last batch of volunteers left the community at about 5:30 pm with the intention of fixing another date to put finishing touches on the almost completed renovation.

It is also very interesting to know that about twenty (20) Green Ambassadors at Ahmadu Bello University enthusiastically celebrated WED in Zaria on the 5th of June. They visited Barewa College, a college that is very important in the history of Nigeria as it has produced five (5) Nigerian Presidents. They cleared the environment, planted trees, and organised a lecture on Climate Change given by Jafar Abdulahi from Kaduna State University.

Indeed, we are change agents doing it locally, one impact at a time till a ripple effect spread all through the nation and beyond. WE ARE OFFICIALLY GREEN!

Kaduna State University Goes Green

Greening the Campus” is the first campus seminar of the Green Campus Initiative at Kaduna State University, which introduces eco-sustainability, instigate sustainable actions among students in Kaduna State University. Barakat Tiamiyu; a Green Campus Ambassador, convenes the events, involving the different stakeholders that graced the occasion.

Green Ambassadors at Kaduna State University

Green Ambassadors at Kaduna State University

The event was held at the Faculty of Science Lecture Theatre, Kaduna State University on the 31st May 2016. Two hundred and fifty (250) students from various departments in the University were in attendance. Several staff also graced the event. Mr Yusuf Sokfa Kanhu (a youth ambassador) was the anchor for the event. The theme “GREENING THE CAMPUS” event is aimed to create awareness about the importance of 'Going Green', to form a green family of volunteers working together to build a positive and sustainable future.

Miss Barakat Tiamiyu (Green Ambassador and Convener)  

Miss Barakat Tiamiyu (Green Ambassador and Convener)  

Moderator - Yusuf Kanhu

Moderator - Yusuf Kanhu

 

The event kick started by recognising the presence of distinguished guests; Prof. Bala Dogo - Dean of Postgraduate Studies, KASU, Madam Ketura Aku– Administrator of Hamdala Hostel, Dr Yusuf Saleh (Lecturer, Geography Department)– Representing (Dean, Faculty of Science- Prof. J. G. Laah). Speakers: Arc Gbolade Ogundele -Representing the Green Team,  Alpha Nathaniel Hayab – Young Farmer’s Initiative, and Dr Salamatu Sukai Akor – Mandela Washington Alumni.

 

Miss Barakat Tiamiyu introduced the Green Campus Initiative (GCI). She remarkably took the students round the journey on how she became a GCI ambassador. She talked about the exciting part of working to promote students participation in environmental actions, and how seeing different passions has kept pushing her to forge ahead. She also spoke about what GCI is doing to tackle climate change and environmental sustainability and how students can get involved. A more elaborate explanation was given by Arc Gbolade Ogundele, as he talked about what Going Green further entails, citing some visual example in Kaduna environs, and explaining the steps of achieving environmental sustainability as students. The audience then watched a video presentation that summarised the different GCI activities so far.

Alpha Nathanial Hayab- Founder (Young Farmer's Initiative)

Alpha Nathanial Hayab- Founder (Young Farmer's Initiative)

Arc. Gbolade Ogundele- Representing GCI

Arc. Gbolade Ogundele- Representing GCI

Alpha Nathaniel Hayab, spoke on “Farmer’s and Climate Change”. Using the YALI climate change video to explain the component behind climate change and how it affects farmers, the people, and the economy. He said, ”young people need to be enticed to venture into the business of agriculture for the purpose of profit-making, to reduce unemployment and poverty”. Dr Salamatu Sukai Akor, also spoke on Human health and climate change- talking about its adverse effect on people, and how our activities gradually affect us. She mentioned that bottled water are expensive in the US, and it was a deliberate action to force people to carry their watering can which they could refill at different terminals. They also charge high fees in parking lots; this also is to encourage the use of public transport. 

The event ended with a key remark from the representative of Prof. J. G. Laah (Dean, Faculty of Science). It was indeed an interesting and impactful event, as the speakers and students showed great enthusiasm and now Kaduna State University is Officially Green.  There was a huge turnout of students who waited behind to inquire how they can be actively involved in the movement in Kaduna State University.

Green Campus Initiative featured on the 2016 New Media Conference

The Green Campus Initiative was a part of this year’s New Media Conference; a leading conference in Nigeria that gives you a unique opportunity to learn from, and network with senior leaders from the biggest brands in Nigeria. It held on the 27th of May, 2016 at Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. A team of ten (10) representatives from the Initiative attended the conference among which were ambassadors, associates, and an advisor.

The founder of the Initiative, Adenike Akinsemolu gave a brilliant 20 minutes summary of the challenge that birthed the Initiative and how New Media had helped promote and publicise the Initiative. She also made everyone take the Green Pledge.

Green_Campus_NMC

After that, a panel session titled "Green Media and Popular Culture: Using Green Media for Sustainable Green Initiatives in Nigeria" commenced moderated by Owoeye Abolade (Teaching Assistant at FUTA), consisting of four (5) seasoned panellists who are:

Segun Adaju, C.E.O. Blue Ocean Nigeria,

Kayikunmi Stefan, Specialist in Energy Economics,

Mr. Bankole Temitayo, Prime Minister, Green Campus Initiative, and,

Odunayo Ayodeji, Minister of Education and Advocacy, Green Campus Initiative.

The topic, Green Media, and Popular Culture: using New Media for Sustainable Green Initiatives in Nigeria, was discussed extensively. Then a session of question and answer followed. It was indeed a fun and educative experience as many had wondered how the Green Initiative was to fit into the conference. The attention and participation of the audience showed that they were carried along and properly educated and now fully understood the role of New Media in the sustainability of Green Initiatives in Nigeria.

 

 

 

Green Campus Initiative is an Official Partner of Green Kids Club, Inc.

We are pleased to announce our partnership officially with the Green Kids Club, Inc. Their president Sylvia Medina recently contacted us after reading our article posted by Ynaija.com on the launch of our own Green Kids Club. Her mail sparked up interest and excitement in us as this is indeed a great start for our club. Here is a brief summary of what Green Kids Club, Inc is all about.

The Green Kids Club kicked off in 2011. It is a unique, innovative and educative program based on younger children. It is particularly designed to teach younger children on how to be good stewards of the environment. They have an official Green Kids Club on their website where children from all around the world get the opportunity to join their club. As described on their Facebook page, “The series was developed as a utility to teach children the importance of protecting habitats to sustain ecosystems, animal life, and ultimately human life.


Victor and Maya Green are the leaders of the Green Kids Club. Their adventures take them all over the world, exploring new cultures and learning about protecting and preserving the environment and the animals that depend on them. Green kids focus on environmental sustainability, mitigation, and preservation to protect animals and their habitats.” These children are made to do environmental challenges and contests and are awarded books or toys or other items based on winning the highest amount of green points.

The Green Kids Club produce several children books (they have a book based on Botswana, dealing with poaching issues and elephants and another based in Rwanda and the mountain gorilla.), plush toys, and DVDs. This award winning club has extensions and collaborations in USA, India, Botswana, Belize, China, Uganda and even partnered with an orphanage in Tanzania, and a host of others. Now, their collaboration has extended to Nigeria as they will be sending books and prizes to our kids, and we in turn help publicize and populate their club. We look forward to a rewarding and long-lasting partnership with Green Kids Club, Inc. and “Together we make a difference in helping children Learn to Grow up Green!”

Contact Information for Green Kids Club:  www.greenkidsclub.com

Donation of Waste Bins to Adeyemi College of Education

Students from the Integrated Science Department of Adeyemi College of Education, in collaboration with the Green Campus Initiative, donated sixty (60) waste bins to the school management. This act was done to promote environmental cleanliness within the school. It was noticed that the school had a shortage of waste bins, and so in a bid to address this issue, some more waste bins were made available.

The presentation was made to the Provost of the school, Prof. Olukoya Ogen on Tuesday 17th May 2016 who received it with a grateful heart on behalf of the school management and applauded the efforts of the parties involved in the donation. The bins were evenly distributed all through the faculties of the school. 

The Green Campus Initiative Launches the Green Kids Club

The Green Campus Initiative (GCI) is not relenting in her mission to tackle the challenges of climate change and environment sustainability through innovative academic research, and translating that into actions on campuses and beyond. Indeed, we have gone beyond campuses into secondary schools and have launched a very innovative and exciting club called “The Green Kids Club” (GKC). What a beautiful legacy to pass on to the younger generation! Can you imagine what positive impact it would have made if we were all taught how to care for and preserve our environment and how some of our actions/in-actions cause adverse effects on the environment from our secondary school days? Maybe we would not have so much pollution problems as we do today. GKC trains her club members to keep themselves and their surroundings clean, eat organic foods, ensure that their wastes are properly disposed, and are even taught how to recycle or reuse some of the materials regarded as waste. They also get to teach others and correct them when due. A couple of schools have actually opened up to us namely: Homaj Schools and St. Stephens in Ondo town. GKC seeks for an average of 15 members in as many schools as possible. From the students, a Prime Minister (Coordinator) would be unanimously elected, and 2 Green Police (responsible for correction and discipline) would be selected. The list of proposed programs for each term includes Seminars, Community development services, Green Party, Green Ball, and a host of other exciting activities. We also hope to launch a Comic Book. This is simply amazing! Spread the news! GKC has begun for real. 

Green Personality of the Month: Barakat Tiamiyu Bidemi

The Green Personality of the Month is a new idea of the Green Campus Initiative that aims to recognize and celebrate positive, dynamic, and motivated young individuals. Their great passion for the environment and society cause them to take positive actions which do not only improve the environment but also influences others to go green and live sustainably.

Inspired by her works, the Green Team is pleased to announce Barakat Tiamiyu Bidemi of House of Babiti, as the pioneer Green Personality of the Month.

Meet Barakat Tiamiyu Bidemi, a 19-year-old undergraduate student of Urban and Regional Planning, at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, Nigeria. After founding the House of Babiti - a group of individuals dedicated to promoting youth engagement in active leadership and influencing them to become change drivers - in November 2015, she has successfully hosted 120 students of the Obafemi Awolowo University and network members of the Young African Leaders Initiative, YALI, for a #YALIGoesGreen inspired event. This event sparked undergraduate's interests in taking part in sustainable environmental actions. Bidemi's hobbies include bead making, travelling, and event planning.

We caught up with Bidemi to ask her a few questions:

You, House of Babiti and your friends made news recently with your work and eco-inspired event at Obafemi Awolowo University. What are some of the most important things you learnt during that process?

Yes, we had the event in January, the 23rd, this year. It was our maiden edition. The journey through was like an adventure; having to do new and different things. Some thought it was close to impossible for me to organize that event because I was in my first year at the University. They kept asking, “How are you going to pull things together?” But I believed, and still do, that we should not wait for all conditions to set right, somewhat, before doing the things we believe in: little things make big things. During all of this, I got to understand the essence of surrounding oneself with people that will inspire and gear your ambitions; with these, one will always want to do more.

Why do you believe that environmental sustainability and climate action is so important?

Climate change effects are not gender, ethnic, religious, or racial biased. Climate change affects everyone and every economy. We all need to take action, actions that will mitigate the alarming environmental risks in our communities. Future generations are posed to risks, due to fossil fuel dependence. The environmental sustainability measures and climate actions we take now will help save our world and the future.

What are some of the environmental challenges facing communities and people in Nigeria?

There is desertification in northern Nigeria, increased rise of water levels in oceans and rivers, in the south resulting in flooding, erosion, and land loss. Deforestation and oil spill are present challenges of the Niger Delta region. Also, it is instructive to note that many people still do not understand the phenomenon that results to what they feel or see happening around them. 

In a recent article House of Babiti did, we saw interesting discussions about best techniques that can be used to ignite pro-environmental attitude in different people, especially youths. Why do you think in different societal settings we still have a situation where fewer youths than adults are adopting greener and more sustainable lifestyles? How do we change that?

Just has explained in my recent write-up, many of us, youths, live our lives unconsciously, there are no distinctions, we do things because that is how we perceive the society to be, we follow the 'mother sheep.' Adults in the society on the other hand, still retain distinctions between right and wrong environmental practices, even without any literal understanding of climate actions. Most of our youths grow up in a setting where less interest is shown in sustaining the environment.

These can be reduced through proper sensitization both on social media and physical means. Also, introducing or illustrating sustainable actions to young people, while presenting incentives will go a long way in igniting their passion. Collective efforts should be made in organising events and enlightening youths on the need to have a better and healthy environment.

What do world leaders – in government and business – need to do to make environmental sustainability a reality for all communities?

World leaders in government need to adopt sustainable environmental practises in their diverse economies, take full considerations of the environment risks attached to the development of frameworks before endorsing them, create policies that will check industrial carbon emission, and invest and improve the renewable energy sector. World leaders in business should contribute to the green economy, innovate products of renewable material and help relate to the public on how green practices improve their businesses.

Every time you have an idea; you have a place on your mind. Tell us, what event are you planning to organize soon and where?

Yes, there is always an idea and a place, the place comes first before the idea. I am dedicated to making an impact everywhere I go. Presently, I am in Kaduna State planning a green event designed for undergraduate students of Kaduna State University. Since the Green Campus Initiative has proven to be a catalyst for students participation in environmental happenings, I am happy as a GCI Ambassador to introduce eco-sustainability to Kaduna State University. The event is coming up on the 2nd of June, 2016, and tagged "Greening the Campus". It is going to be positive and exhilarating. I want to thank the respective stakeholders who have been contributing in different ways and the Department of Geography of the University for their support so far. 

Bidemi has the planet and people in the heart. Say hi to her via +2347050541172 or barakatbidemi96@gmail.com

Ahmadu Bello University Students Goes Green

One needs continuously to absorb the rich, purposeful, contents of the Mission Statement of the Green Campus Initiative: "To tackle the challenges of climate change and environment sustainability through innovative academic research, [and] translating that into actions on campus[es] and beyond".

ahmadu-bello-university-green

GCI is not slowing down in creating positive eco-awareness and influencing sustainable actions on Nigerian campuses. Much kudos to Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Green Ambassadors and students: they have translated these into action - a great step indeed - by holding their first physical meetup.

Held at the University's Department of Architecture and co-anchored by Dr. Amina Batagarawa; the GCI ABU Staff Adviser and Ibrahim Majidad; GCI ABU Campus Representative, the meetup was attended by GCI's ambassadors and many other interested students from the various campuses of the University. Themed, 'Why Green?', the meetup was a platform for healthy discussions, networking, brainstorming of ideas, and introducing to the new ambassadors and other students the workings and structures of the GCI Ambassadorship Programme.

In other to break the ice, personal Introductions were done by all in attendance. This was skillfully led by Ibrahim Yusuf Chafe; the President of Society of Architectural Students. After that, Dr. Amina Batagarawa did a very insightful presentation with slides and multimedia. The presentation was on the history, vision, achievement, portfolios and organizational structure of the GCI. It also covered the key values, roles, and duties of a Green Ambassador and other relevant information. Interesting questions covering key issues were raised after the presentation: Chinedu Ohambele, a 400 level architecture student, beautifully and sufficiently answered all of them.

It is interesting and pleasing to note that Ahmadu Bello University is not a newbie to the scene of sustainability processes and eco-friendly designs and structures. The University boasts of a mosque built with plastic materials, located in the Department of Business Administration, and their fight in tackling, head-on, improper waste disposal in major areas of Samaru Zaria community: this effort is led by Simon Gusah, an Australian researcher at Centre for Spatial Information Science (CSIS) under the Department of Urban and Regional Planning of ABU.

The meetup came to an end with photo sessions, after everyone in attendance took the Green Pledge and decided to pursue the purpose and goals of GCI in the little way they could so as to ensure environmental sustainability and a better, healthier, tomorrow.

Indeed, this meetup was effective as students got to network with much passion. The positive outcome of this meetup is already felt in the Zaria community. Congratulations GCI Ahmadu Bello University!

The Pale Blue Dot: Our Inheritance, Our Legacy

Look closely at the picture, observe that brown band to the right. The bluish-white speck you see is the EARTH you and I live on. The picture is named the PALE BLUE DOT; a photograph of Earth taken on February 14, 1990, by the Voyager 1 Space Probe. from about 6 billion kilometres away.

In the photograph, Earth's apparent size is less than a pixel; the planet appears as a tiny dot against the vastness of space, among bands of sunlight scattered by the camera's optics.

To think this is our world, our history, our inheritance and our legacy. A place where we dream to be and become. A place where we plan to conquer and dominate. A place where we want to be known, crave significance and win the approval of the people therein.

We love the earth so much that we are constantly on the search for that elixir that will keep us forever in it. Yet what are we doing with the opportunity afforded us on this green platform?

We have plundered mother nature; cutting the trees without replanting. We have littered the land surfaces and oceans, depositing toxic chemicals and contaminants through our selfish activities. We keep flaring gases, contributing to the greenhouse gases emission through our vehicles and other utilities we can do without.

We treat the Earth carelessly to preserve our lives forgetting that it is the only platform we have to live. If the Earth dies, we die with it! So, why not choose to be the one to care for the environment.

We think the earth is so big and our little activity at one corner won't hurt anyone...try placing a finger on that Pale blue dot and check if you can see it anymore. Of course, you can't! The Earth is so small that what you do affects every part of it. And guess what, it's a boomerang!

What you do to Earth it gives back to you. You give it excess Carbon gases, it gives you acid rain and global warming. You give it trees and less dirt, it gives you oxygen and freshness.

Take a stand to care for Earth, pledge to live simply and moderately. Reduce your waste, dispose of your waste properly, recycle materials that you can, do not buy what you don't need, engage in various activities that will reduce pollution, plant trees and become an ambassador for a clean Earth.

Let us care for our Pale Blue Dot else it might just be lost in the vastness of space -- along with us, and everything we have and will ever hold dear.

It's #EARTHDAY2016 reaffirm your stance for the environmental protection.


ABOUT THE WRITER
Owoeye Josiah Abolade is an environmental biologist and public health expert in the Federal University of Technology Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria. He is an advocate for green Nigeria as a volunteer for Green Campus Initiative.