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A Look Back at World Environment Day Celebrations in the AACJ Program

A Look Back at World Environment Day Celebrations in the AACJ Program

Senegal: #WorldEnvironmentDay – Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience: Youth and Women Leading Innovation

In the vibrant setting of the Botanical Garden at the Faculty of Science and Technology, UCAD, the African Activists for Climate Justice (AACJ) consortium organized an impactful World Environment Day event. This celebration attracted over 200 participants and featured 14 exhibition stands showcasing local products. The primary aim was to highlight and celebrate the efforts of young people, women, civil society organizations (CSOs), NGOs, and both public and private sectors in combating drought and desertification.

The opening ceremony was graced by several notable figures, including the Head of the Department of Biology and Plant Sciences, a representative from the Ministry of Youth, the Director of Oxfam, and a representative from Confejes. Their presence underscored the importance of collaborative efforts in addressing environmental challenges.

Madame Khar Ndiaye, Director of Oxfam, delivered a compelling speech emphasizing the urgency of environmental action: “The environmental crisis threatens to destroy our homes and eliminate millions of species with which we share this planet. However, this degradation is not inevitable. We have the power and knowledge to reverse the damage and restore the environment if we act now.”

During the event, various groups such as AACJ, UFDDEK (Union des Femmes pour le Développement Endogène de Kamb Keur Mbaye Fall), UNAFRES (Union Nationale des Femmes, Restauratrices du Sénégal), Ceatano Formula, Les Jardins Abdou, Adaptech, and others showcased their products, mostly derived from the earth. These products reflected the innovative and sustainable agricultural practices that these groups have adopted to combat environmental challenges.

Despite the numerous challenges they face, including climate change impacts and resource limitations, these men and women from localities like Guédiawaye and Mbao demonstrated remarkable resilience and determination to protect their agricultural products. Their participation underscored the crucial role of community-driven initiatives in fostering environmental sustainability.

Nigeria: Official Inauguration of the Climate Justice Youth Ambassadors (CJYA)

In Nigeria, World Environment Day was marked by the official inauguration of the Climate Justice Youth Ambassadors (CJYA) network. This initiative, led by Nigeria’s Minister of Environment, Balarabe Abbas Lawal, aims to establish a robust network of young, vibrant, and passionate climate advocates. These ambassadors are dedicated to influencing policies and leading climate action at local, national, and global levels to promote climate justice for all.

The grand inauguration ceremony, organized by the Federal Ministry of Environment and Oxfam in Nigeria, was a significant milestone in the AACJ project. The CJYA network is poised to be a formidable force in climate advocacy, leveraging the energy and commitment of young Nigerians to drive meaningful change.

The Minister of Environment, Balarabe Abbas Lawal, highlighted the importance of youth involvement in climate action: “Our young people are not just the leaders of tomorrow; they are the leaders of today. By empowering them through initiatives like CJYA, we are ensuring that they have the tools and platform to advocate for climate justice and sustainable development.”

The CJYA initiative is part of Oxfam in Nigeria’s contribution to the African Activists for Climate Justice (AACJ) project. This project aims to harness the collective power of youth to drive climate action and influence policy at various levels. The grand inauguration underscores the commitment to empowering youth to take an active role in climate advocacy and policy influence.

Burkina Faso: World Environment Day in Koudougou

In Koudougou, Burkina Faso, the World Environment Day celebrations were marked by a successful visit to exhibition stands by various dignitaries. Among the visitors were the President of the Transitional Legislative Assembly, the Minister of Environment, Water, and Sanitation, and other high-ranking officials. This visit provided a unique opportunity for the AACJ consortium to present its key programs and activities, advocating for restoration, protection, and preservation of the environment.

The event in Koudougou highlighted the collaborative efforts of various stakeholders, including the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), local NGOs, and government ministries, in addressing environmental challenges. The exhibition showcased innovative solutions and sustainable practices aimed at combating climate change and promoting environmental resilience.

During the event, the delegation from the AACJ consortium engaged with the visitors, discussing the importance of community-led initiatives in fostering environmental sustainability. They emphasized the need for continuous support and collaboration to achieve the program’s goals of restoration, protection, and preservation of the environment.

These World Environment Day celebrations, spanning Senegal, Nigeria, and Burkina Faso, exemplify the core mission of the African Activists for Climate Justice (AACJ) program: to empower local communities, especially women and youth, in the fight against climate change. By fostering innovative agricultural practices, promoting sustainable development, and enhancing resilience to environmental challenges, the AACJ program amplifies the voices of those most affected by climate impacts. These events showcased the AACJ’s commitment to grassroots activism and policy influence, demonstrating how local initiatives can drive significant change across the continent.

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