The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA, with the collaboration of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, NCF, are exerting more energy in the effort to train trainers, who are coordinators of various Schools Conservation Clubs (SCCs) in the South west.
Through its Forest Centre, FC, the IITA, organised a workshop in Ibadan where it gathered 23 SCC Coordinators from primary and secondary schools in Ekiti, Osun, and Oyo states for further learning process.
In partnership with the NCF, the FC has set up 43 SCCs in the South west with funding from the US Consulate General Lagos and AG Leventis Foundation.
The event aimed to instill in coordinators environmental conservation activities, which they will pass on to students, who are future leaders and nature ambassadors.
In her opening remarks, at the workshop, Hilde Koper-Limbourg, IITA Deputy Director General, Corporate Services, highlighted the activities of IITA, including those relating to environmental protection.
“Here in IITA, we are keen and devoted to raising awareness about biodiversity conservation as they assist in stabilising different ecosystems. I am very happy to hear that 23 new schools have joined the FC’s conservation clubs. It is a great honor to have you here at IITA and I am pleased to see that you all are interested in environmental education,” she said.
Speaking on the Child Protection Policy, George Piacentini, IITA School Head Teacher, highlighted the need to take drastic measures to halt the abuse of children which may be physical, emotional, sexual, or neglect. He said, “IITA recognizes its responsibility to ensure the protection and safety of every child within the campus.”
Speaking on the need for protecting biodiversity, FC Manager Adewale Awoyemi explained, “Biodiversity conservation is basically the protection, enhancement, and scientific management of the varieties of life on earth.
“In recent years, the rate of loss of biodiversity is worrisome. This is happening as a result of habitat loss, excessive exploitation of resources, climate change, pollution, and poaching. We need to synergise efforts as a team to preserve the full range of Nigerian’s biodiversity, so that the environment can be habitable and conducive for all.”