By Dela Ahiawor (Climate Journalist)
Environmental group, EARTHDAY.ORG, global organizers of Earth Day and its partners launched a new climate toolkit, ‘Africa Climate Ambassador Toolkit’ on Thursday, July 29 to help boost climate and environmental literacy in Africa.The ‘Africa Climate Ambassador Toolkit’ was first mooted by prominent Liberian Youth Climate Activist, Mr. Ezekiel Nyanfor, Founder of Liberian Youth for Climate Actions (LYCA), and later embraced by Earthday.org, and its partners: Environment Savers of Zambia, The Ianna Mallayka Foundation, Kichini Gardeners, and Renew Our Earth Inc.
Prior to the launch, the partners attended a webinar under the theme: ” Igniting an African Revolution: The Role of Climate Literacy in Africa,” aiming to help close the knowledge gap in climate change awareness on the continent.
Speaking at the webinar, Ezekiel Nyanfor said: “ The youth have not fully understood climate change as a crisis because they have not understood the urgency of the issue. Therefore, informally and formally educating citizens about the science, solutions and how citizens can participate is key to achieving the Paris Climate Agreement.” Mr. Ezekiel Nyanfor, Founder of Liberian Youth for Climate Actions and Creator of the toolkit went on to state that: “Education is crucial to promote climate action because it helps people understand and address the impact of the climate crisis and empowers people with the knowledge skills, values, and attitudes needed to become an agent of change.”
Derrick Mugisha, regional director for Africa at Earthday.org, said:” Climate and environmental literacy, combined with civic education, would create greener consumer markets and enable citizens to work with governments in a meaningful way to mitigate climate change.”
In his remarks, Matthew Lefler, EARTHDAY.ORG-Africa Manager said: “This toolkit is incredibly important because it is created by sub-Saharan youth for sub-Saharan youth. There is a huge need for material written in an African context to address the lacking presence of climate education amongst youth and the larger general population. We are hoping that this toolkit will be the first in a series of educational materials aimed to share stories, spread knowledge, and inspire others through best practices to make real change in their communities. ”The toolkit will help teachers, government officials, members of civil society, and parents to educate the youth on climate change and its adverse impacts in local communities. More importantly it will help inspire greater awareness for climate activism.
The “Africa Climate Ambassador Toolkit” is a free online guide. It includes interactive exercises and lesson ideas aiming to teach the youth how they can engage in climate restoration in their communities.The toolkit was created by Ezekiel Nyanfor, ably supported by Yundeh A. Butler and Kadiatu A. Sheriff representing Liberian Youth for Climate Actions, LYCA. Others included, Enock Mwewa, Environment Savers Zambia, Ianna Mallayka, The Ianna Mallayka Foundation, Irene Nagudi, Kichini Gardeners and Dr. Ugoji Adanma Eze from Renew Our Earth Inc.
Climate Literacy is short for Climate Science Literacy, which refers to the understanding of human impacts on climate and the impacts of climate on human systems.
—Dela Ahiawor focuses on sustainability/climate-related journalism and events across the globe—