Teach-In on Climate and Justice Event at Government Bilingual High School, Belabo, Cameroon.
We had a Teach-In on Climate and Justice Event in our school with 87 students, 12 staff and 4 external attendees.
We had three break sessions and each session was educative and interesting.
The first session was purely introductory, with a set of panellists and a moderator who was a student and member of the EE Club, Noubissi Emmanuela. She welcomed the participants and introduced the event and topics which the panellists were to discuss.
The first panellist, Mr. Tibah Charles, Chemistry teacher and Senior Discipline Master, talked on Climate, he defined climate and stressed its role in the earth system. He further provided the idea of the Big “5” on climate which are;
He further explained the heating process of visible light and how it is affected by our activities that can cause climate change hazards.
The next speaker was Mr. Azanui Donatus (Biology Teacher) who talked on energy flow in an ecosystem and the effect of man’s activities on energy flow and environmental changes.
The third speaker was the Chief of Post for Forestry in Belabo, Mr. Nguepi Martial. He started by presenting the effort of the government in protecting the environment after the Stockholm Conference on Climate Change of 1992 and the effect of man’s activities on the environment.
During his intervention, he raised the case of Belabo environment and its climate change thread especially after the construction of the Lom-Pangar Dam project, where about 8000 cubic meter of wood was to be commercialized after deforestation to provide space for the reservoir. Unfortunately, only about 1% of that wood was removed the rest was left to rot thereby producing greenhouse gasses. To draw his conclusion, he expressed his happiness to see kids so engaged in advocacy for environmental protection because Ouami village not far from the dam has problems of portable water.
The questions and answers sessions started by a question from the principal of the school who wanted to find out what the EE Club had been doing practically to protect the environment.
The Moderator answered and she presented the project of the EE Club being implemented within ISNAD-Africa’s Environmental Education Programme.
The second session began with a poem presented by students entitled Mother Earth. There was also presentation of arts work on topics like deforestation and climate change. The students were then grouped into six break-out groups with six different topics.
This group defined agriculture which they said is from two Greek words, “Ager”, meaning field and “Cultural”, meaning to cultivate. Generative Agriculture are modern eco-friendly agricultural practices. It develops new technics like the production of nature compost, reuse of animal waste as manure and other practical ways for agriculture. In their work, they mentioned the importance of generative Agriculture like encouraging afforestation and reforestation which automatically prevents global warming.
This group presented local common actions which can be taken at community levels to protect the environment. Sensitisation of the population, encouraging the production of compost and manure by using local wastes like grass, saw dust etc., stop bush fires.
Culture and Climate Change
This group took the case of the local community, Belabo, and how their culture is affecting climate change. It was pointed out that, bush fire for hunting and agriculture is a common age long practice of the locality. This no doubt has a dangerous effect on climate change, so they proposed the use of manure for agriculture, compost, cow and chicken dunk should be encouraged to boast soil fertility and reduce the risk of climate change with the continuous bush fire. While the creation of community forest and the use of a local community forest guard to supervise human use of the forest will help to protect the forest.
Protection of Forests
This group presented the challenges of the forest in Belabo, the trend of deforestation and the possible outcome if nothing was done, the case of industrialization on the Belabo community forest. They proposed that;
Afforestation should be encouraged.
Reforestation should be imposed by the government on all logging companies.
More rigorous laws on illegal forest exploitation should be placed by the government.
Indiscriminate hunting especially endangered species should be punished by law.
More community forest should be created.
Consumption-Reuse, Recycle and Reduce.
The students were able to define waste and the types of wastes. They stated waste as an environmental hazard. They brought in the need to manage waste products and the circular model of the 5Rs in waste management. They however, emphasized on the Reduce, Recycle and Reuse models as some more practical ways in waste management and disposal. They vividly mentioned the practicability of Reuse and how they themselves have already engaged in, in their process of producing compost for manure.
Art, Film and Climate Change.
They presented arts works with sketches and diagrams translating these into practical human activities on climate change and global warming. They also emphasized on the role of the media in the fight against climate change.
They also proposed a strong key message to be taken back home, that is, stopping deforestation and bush fires, because they are very common in the Belabo locality. If these two challenges can be resolved then, we can boast of not contributing up to .005% to global warming and climate change
There was a question-and-answer session in this breakout.
One student asked to know if there is direct relationship between increase in human population and increase in temperature.
The geography teacher who was present, Mr. Ekango Narcisse, explained to him that, there is a relationship, increase in human population will increase human pressure on land use, fuel burning, demand for agricultural land etc, which will affect climate change and the ozone layer thereby increasing temperature.
He concluded by encouraging the students to adopt environmentally sustainable measures as a key to human survival because no matter what, the human population will always increase and if proper measures are not taken, the earth can die out if climate changes.
It was very successful and impactful; the students were so engaged and their participations were impeccable. They basically did everything from organization, preparations to the delivering of the messages of climate change. They did craft works and explained their arts and drawings for a climate change perspective.
They were happy to have learnt aspects like deforestation and its effect on climate change, the case of the Lom-Panga Dam project and its effect on the Green House gas emissions in the Belabo forest zone. They were also impressed to share ideas and gain strategies of meaningful impact they can carry out for better friendly environmental activities.