World Environment Day Walk with other participants to sensitize involvement in reduction of Air Pollution
Wednesday June 5th 2019
Commemoration of the World Environment Day
The Pan-African Justice Alliance (PACJA) has marked this year’s World Environment Day with a resolve to spread its tentacles wider and further deeper into the grassroots to empower communities to fight the climate crisis through projects as well as have their voices heard at tables where climate related decisions are made.
With this in mind, PACJA gave this year’s World Environment Day focus through different lenses in its many platforms around Africa, all with a bearing on this year’s WED Theme: Beat Air Pollution.
PACJA’s Kenyan chapter, the (KCPG) focused on the role of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) have to play in the reduction of air pollution. In this regard, PACJA held a two-day workshop for more than 50 participants from the Kenyan Government, the Kenya Industrial Estates (KIE), the Youth for SDGs, to mention a few.
The training was successful, with Government-affiliated KIE promising to continue to support emerging enterprises through its partnership with PACJA.
Elsewhere in Botswana, PACJA focused on the role People Living With Disabilities can play in reduction of Air Pollution. Botswana Climate Change Network (BCCN) commemorated the World Environment Day with Camphill Community Trust, raising awareness on the importance of protecting the environment by reducing air pollution through the greening of the young minds. The day started with a tree planting activity at Camphill Community Trust in Otse and brief talks centered on the theme.
Still in the South, PACJA, through the Zambia Climate Change Network (ZCCN) commemorated the World Environment day in conjunction with several key partners, including the Government, UNDP, Zambia Environment Agency (ZEMA) and other member organisations. Besides, ZCCN got a desk to exhibit in a city about 400km from Lusaka as a National Platform and designed materials that ensured a successful event befitting the recognition from the Government.
To the west, in Nigeria, the PACJA platform first held a Town Hall Meeting on the Impact of black soot, a day before it joined in the World Environment Day celebrations. The meeting brought together stakeholders from Abuloma Ama community in Port Harcourt City Local Government area of Rivers State.
Black Soot is one of the major air pollutants in Rivers State and focus on it was in line with the theme “Beat Air Pollution” of the World Environment Day 2019. The platform used the meeting to sensitize and dialogue with the rural community members on their roles and responsibilities as concerns the environmental pollutions and how they can become advocates for climate-friendly environment.
The various individuals who participated in the community dialogue meeting will become the community champions for green development, enhancing the contribution and impact of the local residents through their various networks and constituencies.
The participants included youth organisations, women, traditional leaders, government, private sector and farmers (Fishermen/women) from Abuloma community in Port Harcourt City Local Government area of Rivers State.
On Wednesday, the D-Day, the Nigeria team joined in the march called by Swedish Teenager Greta Thunberg for schools strike, school students of the Department of Geography and environmental Sciences, University of Abuja on government to act against climate change. They advised the Government to include climate change in school curriculum.
The student climate change strike was observed around the world, and CSdevNet, PACJA and GIFSEP in collaboration with the University of Abuja school students made a peaceful walk around the school premises with placards and banners to show that they really care about the climate crises.
The Corte Devoire team was not left behind in marking the World Environment Day. They gave it a unique approach, starting with a students awareness activity for girls on the management of women's sanitary napkins, sensitisation of the populations of the municipality of Attécoubé on waste management; film projection (Home). This activity considered the feature film "Home". The film lasted 1 hour and 30 minutes and dealt with issues of causes, consequences and proposed solutions to better deal with climate crisis. The screening was followed by a discussion on climate justice and how to hold leaders to account in the fight against climate change.
There was also a door-to-door outreach to villagers in Anono on the management of their household waste.
Back in Gabon, there was a lot to follow, as Nicaise Moulombi, the Executive President of ROSCEVAC, led the team in screening of films and documentaries to champion green growth. This was followed by an interactive debate around the theme: "Health and Environment: What impacts from air pollution in the context of the fight against climate change in Gabon."
The floor was opened for those willing to discuss the World Environment Day theme; Beat Air Pollution.
For our Tanzania Chapter, the focus for this world environment day has been on waste management, with our platform targeting many players, including the media on their role in keeping the environment clean. The 3rd and 4th June activities included enlightenment on Control of solid waste, beautification of the city environment, Media contribution to environmental conservation. Resolutions and ways forward were made before the Wednesday celebrations.
All PACJA platforms had their individual messages written in English or French. There was also a common message from the secretariat to the grassroots printed on banners that were carried to the streets as the world celebrated the day.
PACJA Executive Director Mithika Mwenda later delivered a speech, at a Kenyan coastal city, where he joined a counties team to plant trees in marking the World Environment Day.
PACJA is a formidable Alliance of more than 1,000 Non-state actors in the African continent. It has fought the climate crisis from the legislation front for more than 10 years, with its biggest objective being to hold Governments to account on their commitments to climate change. A lot of mileage has been achieved on this front and more work continues to be done to reach greater heights.
PACJA has also been actively pushing for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+). A recent supervisory tour by a team from PACJA’s secretariat in Nairobi has shown success in the attempt to penetrate the grassroots in Gabon, Cameroon, DRC Congo to mention a few.
PACJA Executive Director says there is need to enlighten organisations out to fight Climate Crisis about the opportunities out there about green climate funding.
PACJA has been holding such trainings in Kenya in collaboration with the country’s National Treasury, where there has been positive results, as individuals now get involved in decision making by contributing during budget discussions as well as having their input in national decisions on the same by knowing how to push their political representatives.