|Date||18 Dec 2007|
The Children for nature project Nigeria was borne out of a desire to see Nigerians actively participating in the protection and conservation of Nigeria’s biodiversity. We feel strongly that by educating children, we are protecting the future of our biodiversity since they are the future of the nation we teach primary school pupils within the age bracket 6 to 12 years about nature conservation and biodiversity.
The children’s project is a pioneer project in Plateau state which started in 2005 with five primary schools. Three of the schools are located within and around the Amurum forest where the A.P.Leventis Ornithological Research Institute is located, while the other two are within Jos metropolis. The pupils are taught basic conservation education using teaching aids we develop such as nature paintings, posters, and songs on nature composed by the group. Our aim is to help stir an awareness of the natural environment in the children. We also hold practical sessions where the children put down their understanding of nature in drawings. The 2005 season was concluded with a drama competition where the schools around the forest showed a greater level of understanding of nature than their city counterparts.
The project also supports schools by meeting their basic ecological needs. For example, we have created water -way for the University of Jos Staff School, and planted a nature garden where children can learn and play. This piece of land was formally a waterlogged area during the rainy season, and a weed infested land during the dry season, acting as a breeding ground for mosquitoes, vectors of the dreaded malaria disease during the rains and as a hiding place for potentially dangerous creatures during the dry season, as it was heavily supporting an invasive plant of the sunflower group. Now this place is not only a beautiful garden, it is also a resting spot for the children.
We have held events such as tree planting campaigns and ‘keep your environment clean’ campaigns where we give out sanitation facilities to each school and go out to clean the schools with the pupils.
In Plateau state, the basic knowledge about conservation among primary school pupils is lacking. Our activities are therefore geared towards creating an awareness of the natural environment, getting them interested in nature, and subsequently training them on ways to actively participate in nature conservation.
At present, we have 10 participating schools.
For further information contact: