ERA/FOEN charges youth to take up the responsibility for environmental protection

By Angela James,

ERA FOEN charges youth to take up responsibility of environmental protection

An environmental human rights advocacy group, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, ERA/FOEN, has charged youths to see the climate change phenomenon as an opportunity to address a national and global problem and see environmental protection as their responsibility.


The Executive Director of the group, Dr Godwin Uyi Ojo gave this charge at their third youth Environmental Camp meeting with the theme; “From Extraction to Education” held in Benin.


Ojo pointed out that the Subject of environmental degradation, energy poverty, climate change and how to implement the Paris Agreement of 2016 and its relation to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are key elements of the camp meeting adding that youths need to be properly equipped for the energy transition that government and politicians are currently grappling with and quite unable to resolve.


Ojo who submitted that the consequences of oil extraction on the environment are severe ranging from livelihood destruction, violent resource conflict, human rights violations,ill-health, untimely death etc, encouraged the Nigeria government to take more ambitious steps towards moving from fossil fuel such as oil, gas and coal to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and mini hydros.


Ojo announced that since 2018, ERA has successfully trained over 6,000 youths on developing their business models, renewable energy entrepreneurship, repair and installation of solar gadgets and fabrication of clean energy saving cookstoves while over 300 secondary school teachers were trained to produce Environmental Education and Renewable Energy Manual that is being deployed for training in over 60 renewable energy school clubs set up across 4 states in the Niger Delta.


Ojo told youths to ensure Nigeria is not a dumping ground for sub-standard renewable energy gadgets maintaining that all forms of energy colonialism playing out in Nigeria and Africa must be resisted as they stand the risk if renewable energy remains the exclusive preserve for industrialized Nations.


In his goodwill message, the Director-General, National Power Training Institute of Nigeria, NAPTIN, Mr Bolaji Nagode commended ERA/FOEN for their contributions to the society.


Nagode said NAPTIN has collaborated with an ERA in training some youths in Niger Delta to equip them with prerequisite competence for their empowerment contributions to social responsibility and urged participants to make judicious use of the opportunity.


The Coordinator, FOEN, Mr Victor Washington thanked ERA for efforts made towards empowering the youths and assured that they will continue to champion and push for an energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.


The high point of the programme was the presentation of the FOEN essay competition winners and the launching of Young Friends of the Earth Nigeria, YFOEN, magazine.


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