By ibrahima pima
As the world commemorates the 2022 World Forests Day, concerned environmentalists have urged Nigerians to take concrete actions towards safeguarding the earth for a cleaner and healthier environment. The International Day of Forests is celebrated on March 21, every year and the theme for 2022 is ‘Forests and Sustainable Production and Consumption’.
The Dawn Project, an environmental conservation organization by a group of collaborators aimed at creating awareness, advocacy and education amongst citizens on the importance of environmental consciousness. Hence, the Project is dedicated to addressing the consequences of climate change, plastic pollution and ecosystem/biodiversity degradation through artistic expression, in order to ensure a cleaner and healthier environment which will ultimately be beneficial to the well-being of all citizens, and by extension, the world at large.
The Dawn Project in response to creating a sustainable environment invites all creative minds, especially pupils/students in primary and secondary schools to show their creativity and innovation in the Dawn Project Competition 2022 tagged, ‘Recycle, Renew and Rebirth’ to see the possibilities in restoring the earth through art.
According to the collaborators, contestants are invited to create a piece around the theme ‘Recycle, Renew and Rebirth’. The entry could be in photography, illustration, graphic design, motion graphics, craft or cinematography. The Picture should reflect climate change environmental degradation or the prevention of it and must be in PDF or JPEG format.
Desmond Majekodunmi, environmental activist and collaborator, The Dawn Project, said the initiative promotes a safer environment by taxing the creative ability of the people to focus on creating solutions to the problem, which is about the massive plastics that litter the environment.
According to him, trees have been identified by the scientific community as a major entity to bring out the carbon in the atmosphere. “Reality is that trees are the major carbon that supplies many aspects of the human life support system. So, if we don’t have forests heavily regenerated and replanted, we will not be able to pull out the carbon that is already there; that’s even when we stop the pollution,” said Majekodunmi.
Stanley Evans, commercial director, Boulos Enterprises Limited and one of the originators of The Dawn Project, said the initiative was geared towards educating children who are the real and passionate mind dangers of climate change.
According to him, there are more generators in Nigeria than the whole of Africa combined. He posits that Nigeria currently has about 15 million generators emitting carbon dioxide (Co2) into the environment. However, he posits that people can address climate change challenges by doing simple things like ensuring that rivers and water channels are not blocked, and that people dispose of their waste effectively.
He posits that the essence of the competition is to educate young people about climate change, as the future of the world. “We are the generation that didn’t address the effect of climate change effectively therefore we left this as a legacy for the younger generation,” said Evans.
Pamela Ajayi, the Dawn Project collaborator, said Nigeria currently generates about 43.2 million tons of waste, hence the need to raise awareness on environmental challenges and climate change issues.
“She is very passionate about the environment and the entire project stemmed from the poem ‘A Plea’ about the environment as an annual competition to create awareness through creativity about environmental causes and what is happening to the planet,” said Ajayi, who was represented by her daughter, Adeola Ajayi.
Simon Wrafter, head teacher, Priory preparatory school, Lekki, it is important to make children understand the importance of climate change on the environment, because they will make the difference as they grow older.
“Am a fond believer that as individuals we do small things – we make a collective big difference. So, it is essential that the children understand the message about climate change and its challenges better,” said Wrafter, urging Nigerians to make a difference in their everyday activities to celebrate 2022 World Forests Day.