Three students win GEF-SGF environmental competition

GEF-SGP National Coordinator, Mrs. Ibironke Olubamise (left), Art and Essay Competition coordinator, Dr. Andrew Iloh; Winner of the Arts category for Secondary Schools, Mofax Ashley of Belling College, Akoka, Lagos and Chairman of the House Committee on Environment and Habitat Obinna Chidoka during the presentation of gifts to the Art and Essay Competition organised recently by Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP) in Abuja.

Nigerian youngsters let their creative flair shine as part of this year’s forum to address global environment issues, facilitate the exchange of knowledge and best practices.

The young lads from Lagos and Kwara States were the winners of the maiden Art and Essay Competition at the National Knowledge Fair and Exhibition organised by the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP) being implemented by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Nigeria.

The presentation of prizes for the winners formed the high point of the maiden Knowledge fair and exhibition. About 1,000 entries were received from various schools before the winners emerged.

The lucky winners are Mofax Ashley, Belling College, Akoka (Arts- Secondary School category) and Caleb Nnamani of Eletu Odibo Secondary High School (Essay category-Secondary School) both from Lagos while Funmilayo Adeagbo from University of Ilorin won the university undergraduate category in Essay competition.

The Knowledge Fair enabled SGP grantees and other Civil Society Organisation (CSO) stakeholders to share and showcase best practices, innovative technologies and lessons learned from the civil society.

The fair agenda included an exposition of SGP projects, where grantees displayed local products, conducted workshops on ecological souvenirs and amulets from dried flowers, offered some locally produced honey, herbal tea, solar cook stoves.

Speaking at an exclusive dinners after the exhibition, the GEF-SGP National Coordinator, Mrs. Ibironke Olubamise, said the programme promotes the replication and scaling up the results for greater policy influence and transformational change; as well as to promote sustainability and mobilization of additional resources for community-based sustainable development initiatives.

Olubamise who called for partnership between NGOs, communities and private sector, said that 400,000 poor rural dwellers and 50 per cent of communities have benefitted directly from the projects.

“SGP has supported projects in several States to address erosion, loss of farmlands to boost food production and capacity for modern farming techniques as well as tree planting and establishment of skills acquisition centre to train beneficiaries, especially women, widows and youth on alternative livelihoods,” she said.

She explained that partnership will deliver mechanism for donors empowerment, income generation and environmental-based projects as well as build beneficiaries capacity to complement other livelihood activities that SGP supports. “It will also assist partners to maximize and deliver sustainable corporate social responsibility on environmental issues; help government to meet obligations under international conventions,” she added.

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