Nigeria Archives - Earth Charter

Youth Leadership Training on ESD Webinar for Susty Schools in Nigeria

Earth Charter Young Leader Olabanji Jackson-Oke from Nigeria reached out to ECI Youth Coordinator, Christine Lacayo, for the opportunity to receive the Youth Leadership training on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) for his group of volunteers with the organization SustySchools. On 3 & 17 February, Christine implemented this webinar to a total of 19 youth eager to train other youth in schools around Nigeria. The Susty Schools Project is an initiative of SustyVibes – a start up organisation, founded in 2016, targeted at creating awareness on sustainability issues to young Nigerians. This two-day training was designed to sensitize youth on ESD concepts and strengthen their capacity to become ESD multipliers in order to reach a more just and sustainable world. This series of ESD Leadership trainings was implemented in various regions around the world in 2017 to contribute with the goals of the UNESCO Global Action Programme on ESD Priority Area #4, which is focused on youth engagement. The Earth Charter International created for UNESCO the curriculum for this training in 2016.

susty schools webinar training

Volunteers within the Susty Schools network teach young children all acrosssusty schools Nigeria in Nursery, Primary and Secondary schools about the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There are currently 28 Susty School Volunteers spread across the country, aged between 18-35 years who are passionate and instrumental to the work with young children, both in creating awareness of the goals but more importantly, in inspiring innovative solutions. Susty Schools has a target to reach at least 24 schools in 2018 and they have reached out to 5 schools so far.



“Receiving this ESD training is invaluable to the volunteers at Susty Schools. We received a webinar on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as part of the UNESCO GAP PN4 project and we now understand better, through several activities, the ESD competencies to pass on – Know, Do, Be, Live together. Our favorite activity we learned from this training so far is the Privilege Walk in Systems Thinking which helps open our eyes to the importance of respect and equality for all and how we are one interconnected system in life. We have now incorporated many of these activities and competencies in our learning syllabus for the volunteers to implement their workshops. We also have a tracking template with which to report our workshop progress, which we will share at the end of this year.”

-Ijeoma Achinivu for Susty SchoolsSDGs Nigeria


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Catastrophic Floods: Why We Can’t Leave Climate Change Out of the Picture

While the world is buzzing on Hurricane Harvey, an even deadlier disaster is unfolding in some parts of Africa and South Asia. With areas like Makurdi in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Mumbai in India recently submerged in catastrophic floods, tens of thousands of people are facing a terrifying and real struggle to survive right now. The level of damages can be assessed going by images that have inundated global newsfeeds.


Flood Submerged Community in Nigeria (Photo: Vivian Falae/Naij.Com)

There have been action calls to help the victims, which in most cases takes the form of donating aid. However, have we thought about the long-term response? What about support for efforts to promote future disaster resilience? Or action on reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that’s fueling global warming itself?

Raising these issues during disaster can come across as insensitive and untimely – people need “help not lectures”, as one commentator put it. The story that most matters in situations like this is the effect it’s having on lives and properties. But then, it’s grossly irresponsible to leave climate change out of the picture. While the need for urgent relief cannot be disputed, there is also a strong case that the immediate aftermath of disaster is exactly when wider issues need to be raised. Not least because right now is when politicians would rather they were not.

Hurricane (Photo: NASA)

Hurricane (Photo: NASA)

Tropical cyclones are, of course, a natural feature of our climate. But the extreme impacts of recent storms have led to questions over whether climate change is to blame. A warming climate fuels sea-level rise, which is the result of the thermal expansion of the oceans and the melting of glaciers. Higher seas mean bigger storm surges, which can be devastating. But when the seas are higher, it also means that it is more difficult to drain rainwater into the ocean. Then what happens – the water will have nowhere to go.

A Shell Gas Flare Site at Rumuekpe (Photo: Ben Ezeamalu)

A Shell Gas Flare Site at Rumuekpe (Photo: Ben Ezeamalu)

Flooding events are not new globally. Nonetheless given what scientists know now about how rising CO2 levels impact the climate, it will be very wrong to classify the latest events as purely ‘natural’. The man-made contributions to the environmental disasters across the globe suggest that there might be man-made solutions as well. For many years, climate scientists and experts have been predicting that climate change would lead to more frequent and more extreme weather events; evidence now abounds today that they were right.

To echo a statement of Obama presidential adviser, John Holdren, “We will end up with some mix of prevention, adaptation, and suffering; it is up to us to determine the ratio”. It points out a powerful way to approach climate change issues. It emphasizes the consequences of our inaction. We prevent what we can, we adjust to what we can’t prevent, and we suffer what we can’t adjust to. The status quo is not just an option.

The flooding cases in places like Benue and Houston should be a wake-up call that forces governments and big polluters (corporations) to curb climate change-causing carbon emissions enough to prevent its worst effects – or at least to consider some mitigation strategies during the community rebuild process.

Climate protesters arrange their bodies to spell “100% Renewable” in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris in 2015 (Photo: Benoit Tessier / Reuters)

Climate protesters arrange their bodies to spell “100% Renewable” in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris in 2015 (Photo: Benoit Tessier / Reuters)

More than ever, we now have a moral duty to talk about climate change and commit to ‘real’ actions. Over the last two years the world has come together to fight for our shared future. With the Paris Agreement ratified, nations must genuinely act on their climate commitments. Businesses must step forward to set science-based targets for action and grassroots movements should be intensified to leave no one behind in the global quest for sustainability.


We need to move faster, aim higher and act with decisiveness and determination to avoid the Harveys of the future – which will even be worse. We owe this to humanity and future generations.


Written by ECYL: Babajide Oluwase writes from Lagos, Nigeria.

He can be reached at

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Reflections as the New Earth Charter Youth Projects Coordinator

By: Christine Lacayo

My first month of work ends and I’m excited to share some of my reflections!

As the Earth Charter Youth Projects ChristineECCoordinator, my main responsibility is to motivate, guide, and engage young people to create a more just, sustainable and peaceful world. What is the best way to do this? I think the beauty of this position is the flexibility and creativity the job requires. I have the ability to incorporate my passions and interests to expand and create new opportunities and stories. I’m excited to bring my passion for visual media and writing to collect all Earth Charter Youth actions and stories that are taking place around the world. As an ocean advocate, I would also like to continue sensitizing my community members on the importance of taking care of our ocean ecosystems!

Some of the main projects I’m focusing on now include promoting our app Mapting, used to take pictures of actions related the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We have our next photo competition to celebrate International Day for Biological Diversity starting from 12-22 May.Mapting_FB_AD

I’m also facilitating our next online training programme for youth, Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics (LSE) starting 19 June. This 10-week course is designed to prepare and empower young people with the skills and knowledge to be effective ethical sustainability leaders and implement Earth Charter-inspired projects.

One of my favorite roles of my job is having a group of Earth Charter Young Leaders, those who have completed the LSE course, from all over the world. These leaders are from countries such as St. Lucia, Germany, Kenya, Nigeria, Japan, Netherlands, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Rwanda, and Spain, just to name a few! My responsibility is to support them along their year commitment as an Earth Charter Young Leader implementing activities and workshops in their community.

I’m also diving into the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Leadership Training Programme created by esd-training-flierEarth Charter International for the UNESCO Global Action Program (GAP) on ESD focusing on priority area number 4: empowering and mobilizing youth. The training is designed for young people from 18-35 who are active leaders in sustainable development in their communities.  At the beginning of July, I will be co-facilitating the training programme in Brasilia, Brazil for selected young leaders from across Latin America!

I’m very excited to start this dynamic new job not to mention the stunning nature views and sounds from my office! I’m happy to be back in the country I grew up visiting as my second home while promoting a more peaceful and sustainable world using the skills and knowledge I’ve gained from my studies and experiences!IMG_0032




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Earth Charter Youth Group to Advisor to the Ministry of Environment: Esther Kelechi Agbarakwe of Nigeria

esther-kelechi-agbarakweMy name is Esther Abgarakwe. I´m from Nigeria. My friends call me ¨Esther Climate¨—it´s a long story! I started an Earth Charter Youth Group in 2006 in Calabar. At that time, the Earth Charter was active in Nigeria but there was not much youth participation. It really pushed me to lobby and advocate for youth participation on environmental issues.

At that time, I participated in an Earth Charter E-Glo (Earth Charter Global Learning Opportunity) training programme that taught me a lot about social media. My first contact with blogging was through that programme and my blog won me a scholarship to go to a Conference in Scotland. That was my first travel abroad experience, and from that conference I met amazing people like the Elders. I asked one of them an interesting question in that forum and that sort of got me remembered around the world.

Since then, I have been working with the Elders for many years, now with a project call the Elders + Youngers project. It has been the biggest project of my life because I´ve gotten to work with four amazing people: Mary Robinson, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Desmond Tutu, and Fernando Cardoso.

esther-kelechi-agbarakwe-climate-actionFrom the blogging I learned from E-Glo, I´ve continued blogging a lot. Blogging has given me the opportunity to talk about so many things I like. One of the micro-blogs I use a lot is Facebook. On Facebook, I changed my time to ¨Esther Climate¨ because I wanted to interrupt conversations about politics among young people and intercept that with environmental issues and climate change—so I changed my name to ¨Esther Climate.¨

And the name stuck. When people see it, they pause and think, ¨Why Esther Climate?¨ And that´s an opportunity to change someone´s mindset, to raise awareness or improve knowledge in someone around environmental issues. They would ask the question about the name, and I would reply ¨Yes—this is what it means…¨ and then talk to them about climate change.

My favorite Earth Charter Principle is the first one- Care for the Community of Life. I love it because it makes me feel more connected to the human species and everything that is on Earth—whether it is a fly, a human being, or a plant. The Earth Charter was really my first entry into environmental issues. Its principles expanded my mind to see things differently (unusual as it may be where I come from). It could really interest you to know that Earth Charter covers a whole wide range of issues, from faith to humanity.

esther-kelechi-agbarakwe-workingNow I work as an Advisor to the Minister of the Environment. This is my career now; I think I´ll do environmental work for the rest of my life. And the [Earth Charter] Principle is still there.

When I was invited to join the Minister of the Environment as an Advisor, it was a dream come true. I accepted it of course! [Deputy Secretary General-Designate Amina J Mohammed] is an amazing person and [this job] has been the best thing of my life. I can see hands on the change I wanted to see happen. I’m the only young advisor—but it´s [youth] participation. We are moving from rhetoric to action. Young people have a lot of offer—they have experience, they have a vision, they are creative, and can do a lot!

Right now, I do a lot with technology which plays a big role in my work in terms of mobilizing young people—not only mobilizing them, but also empowering them, connecting them to resources, and giving them an opportunity to be informed on issues that affect them. In the next 40 years, they may have to lead.

I do all the creative stuff in the Ministry—communications, stake holders engagement, traveling around to all these Conferences to help to lobby because I understand the dynamics.

esther-kelechi-agbarakwe-radio-interviewIt gives me renewed hope that young people are now at the table, not just on the menu. The government recognizes their importance now. I remember when we used to scream and shout ¨I want to be involved! I want to be involved!¨ Now we are involved. That´s the biggest thing that´s happening for us.

I have my Earth Charter in Action book in my room. I don´t joke with it. I read it a lot. It reminds you where you´re going. It gives you that inspiration to keep going because it´s hard sometimes. It´s fun a lot of the time, but you always get to a crossroad at some point in your life. You have to look back and see that we´ve come a long way.




Watch Esther’s Earth Charter Youth Story below:

This interview of Esther Kelechi Agbarakwe was conducted in November 2016 by Earth Charter International Youth Projects Coordinator, Sarah Dobson, at COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco. The content has been edited for clarity and flow.

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Youth Workshop on Democracy in Nigeria

3. Build democratic societies that are just, participatory, sustainable, and peaceful.
13. Strengthen democratic institutions at all levels, and provide transparency and accountability in governance, inclusive participation in decision making, and access to justice.


Thanks to Ozuzu Promise, Earth Charter Youth Group coordinator from Nigeria for writing this article.

Nigerian Medical Association Hall, Abia State University Teaching Hospital
18th FEBRUARY, 2011

Engaging youths in the democratic process and understanding the role of Nigerian youths in sustained democracy and good governance

PASS IT ON (P.I.O) project brought together about 40 passionate Medical Students of the Abia State University and Nursing students of the Abia State University Teaching Hospital. Mr Maxwell Ogaga, Earth Charter youth activists and 2011 URI Youth Ambassador, African Region the main Facilitator at the workshop presented a subject “When governance works”. He challenged participants to engage in democratic processes and to contribute in any way possible to governance.

After the presentation, the participants were asked to suggest practical and pragmatic ways in which young people can be involved in governance and contribute positively. The session was interesting as the participants brainstormed and came up with practical ways in which young people can contribute to good governance.

The second presentation was done by Mr. Richie Felix, a youth advocate, writer and a public speaker. Mr Richie highlighted the importance of youths in the development of Nigeria and Africa. He encouraged participants to use resources available to them to affect their community.

AfriGrowth Representative, Mr Okechukwu Onoh, gave words of encouragement to participants from the President/Founder of AfriGrowth Foundation, Mrs Dayo Keshi. He also stressed the need for youths to embrace mentoring as a strategy to getting involved in the democratization processes. AfriGrowth Foundation has successfully used mentoring as a strategy for youth advocacy.

The workshop was gradually coming to an end with experience sharing from the participants and the project coordinator Mr Ozuzu Promise. He has attended several training programmes and seminars on Democracy, Good-governance, and Leadership, including AfriGrowth Youth Mentoring Seminar in Abuja on December 2010. Ozuzu Promise is currently one of  participants at DESPLAY-AFRICA season 6.

Participants were guided through several websites that could help them in their course for further growth in the areas of youth participation: Earth Charter, Youth Action for Change, Youngstars Foundation, World Movement for Democracy, United Religions Initiative, AfriGrowth Foundation and Voices Against Corruption. Of course the Earth Charter Youth Group Abia State’s profile was also presented: .

The workshop ended with closing remarks from the project coordinator, with a closing prayer and a photo session.

The project had the support of AfriGrowth Foundation, Youths for Good Governance, All Nigerian United Nations, Student, and Youth Association (ANUNSA-ABSUTH) and the URI Youth Ambassador project.

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Welcome new Earth Charter Youth / Student Groups!

Earth Charter, 12.c.
“Honor and support the young people of our communities, enabling them to fulfill their essential role in creating sustainable societies.”


I am glad to inform that 12 new Earth Charter Youth / Student Groups have been started! These groups have decided to ally with the Earth Charter Initiative to promote sustainable ways of living in their communities.

Please, join me in welcoming the following groups to the Earth Charter youth network:

Better World Cameroon Earth Charter Youth Group

ECYG de leut’s environment

ECYG For Sustainability and Peace Ghana


Students for Global Sustainability – University of Nairobi (SfGS-UoN)

ECYG Youth Vision Alliance Network

Earth Charter Youth Group Get Organized for Change

ECYG Fresh & Young Brains Development

ECYG Abuja

ECYG Somalia

Africa Intercultural Development Support Trust [AIDEST], an – All Africa Sustainable Development Organization

Earth Charter Ukraine for Education for All


As an example for other groups, I want to share with you an email that I received from Herman J.B. Kizito, a youth group coordinator of the newest Ugandan Earth Charter Youth Group. This email shows a great example on how a new Earth Charter group can start their actions:

“We have begun a series of strategic and promotional / awareness actions and outreach campaigns involving:

  • Primary and Elementary Schools Outreach programmes discussing the Earth Charter concepts, opportunities and needs to get connected. These schools range with enrollment capacities of 150 children to 2000 and more, ages 6 years to 14 years old; boys and girls. Some of these schools have expressed their interests to promote their goals worldwide under the AECON banners. Uganda has over 2000 primary schools be it Public or Private or Faith-Based, yet, already AECON has access to 300 of these in all regions of the country. Our assessments of their individuals show that most would like to start School Environmental Clubs, School gardens, Exchange visits as well as Waste Recycling Project, but they lack funds, let alone Educational materials.
  • Community Green Enterprises Programme has been started, we are planting trees, collecting and recycling garbage.
  • Networking is on; we are interacting with other Stakeholders.
  • Forwarding Earth Charter internet contacts to others; we are already passing on the Earth Charter information to many for direct contacts, asking that they do the same.”

More free / low-cost ideas can be found here.

If you are interested in joining the Earth Charter youth network, check out through this link what can you do to work for more sustainable future!

Welcome to the Earth Charter youth network,
Jaana Laitinen
Earth Charter International Youth Facilitator

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EC+10 youth meeting in Nigeria

Members of Earth Charter youth groups in Nigeria celebrated Earth Day reflecting on the Earth Charter 10th anniversary.  Some of the participants traveled as far as from Bayelsa state (Niger Delta) and Sokoto state (North West). 
After the introduction of participants, Taiwo Oyelakin explained what Earth Day celebration means and how it started; he shared the story of many youth taking action across the world around this day. Esther Agbarakwe, Earth Charter Nigeria, also explained what the Earth Charter means and why the 10 Year Celebration. She stated that the Earth Charter has been in existence for 10 years inspiring sustainable development around the world in schools, churches, government and among young people.
Participants then went into a mini participatory workshop on climate change and youth action, this was led by Ilona (from Finland) and  Esther. Participants explained what they understood about climate change and what young people can do using the Earth Charter as a guide. Various actions such as capacity building, policy advocacy, tree planting and community sensitization was all suggested and adopted

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Several new Earth Charter national websites are online

The Earth Charter International is pleased to announce the creation of several new national Earth Charter websites. Making basic information on the Earth Charter available in as many languages as possible is a key part of the ECI strategy. The purpose is to reach out to individuals and groups in different parts of the world in their own language. We are happy that the following new EC countries are ready:





We invite you to share this information with groups and individuals that might be interested in this.

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Football competition and the Earth Charter


In continuation with the leadership, youth empowerment and capacity building project we started in August 2009 through football, the second tournament witnessed even a greater turn out and participation. The games were played on September 26th, 2009 and the aim was again to pass across and implement the principles of the Earth Charter in the lives of the youth in Alagbole community, Lagos, Nigeria.

We still maintain the four team format but more side attractions where added to it; like souvenirs been given to the spectators and all the participatory players.

In our assessment of ‘August season I’ we discover that the players where too tired during the pep talk and seminar session so this time we decided to hold the Earth Charter seminar before the football match kicked off. To our surprise this really works and we witness high participatory level from the youth.

Further, the success of the programme can be associated with the unflinching support of our partners; MFM Alagbole Youth House (who allowed their youth to participate in the competition), Cadbury Nigeria Plc (they supplied the souvenirs and other gift items) and other individuals in the community.

Due to the great success of the football project MFM Alagbole Youth House have requested us to organize the next season on a regional level so that more youth could get involved.

So we have decided to host the Season III of the football project on a regional level on the 31st October, 2009. This time around the competition will include six teams.

In conclusion, it could be said that the football project is on the right track of building sustainable youth leaders and capacity. We look forward to making it even better with greater penetration amongst the youth of the community.

Sincerely yours,
SHOPEJU, Zaid Abiodun
Earth Charter Youth Vision Alliance Network (YVAN)
Alagbole, Lagos

Programme Coordinator

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Helping People Apply the Earth Charter Principles

African School of Excellence in Suleja has an Earth Charter Youth Group.


Earth Charter Communities (ECC) launched its newest manual: The Art & Skill of Dialogue, a Practical Manual to Communication & Dialogue for a Global Community. Written by Stephanie Tansey, director of ECC, for its subsidiary, Earth Charter Communities/Nigeria, this Dialogue Skills Program is a unique curriculum. Its purpose is to nurture global citizens who want to contribute to the global community. It is the most recent culmination of over a ten year period of polishing a special Earth Charter, dialogue and community skill-building program, in different countries that helps people better understand, apply and live the principles of the Earth Charter.

This all started when the Iraq War began and Stephanie realized that the world had a poor understanding of the inherent power of dialogue and without it, the Earth Charter principles would be hard to establish its rightful place in the global community. She developed her Dialogue Skills Program using the Earth Charter to help create the right environment to find the common humanity in people.

ECC has programs at present in both Israel and Nigeria. In Nigeria, the manual is a multidisciplinary approach involving the Earth Charter principles, the development of personal dialogue skills and therefore better relationships, community-building values, and the application of African indigenous institutions in a modern context, all designed to nurture, using value-creating education methodology, the self-motivated desire to lead a contributive life. In Israel, bi-cultural and bi-lingual programs are in the Tel Aviv area. The handbook in three languages will be available in 2010.

The Art & Skill of Dialogue, a Practical Manual to Communication & Dialogue for a Global Community, which we call the Dialogue Skills Program, is a one-year program that was taught at the African School of Excellence (ASE), in Suleja, Niger State, Nigeria from 2008-2009. ASE students come from religiously diverse and conflictive cultural environments, and include orphans, gang members and children of prositutes. Incredibly successful, incidents of violence has decreased 20%, respectful relations between teachers and students and among the student community are the norm now. Gang members have become program facilitators, and students have regained their hopes for the future. The effect on the surrounding community as well has been remarkable.

Now that the manual is complete, more teachers at ASE can teach students at all levels. The education ministry of Niger State is also eager for ASE to teach Dialogue Skills to its public schools so this will also spread the principles of the Earth Charter and the skills to help others understand them throughout the state.

Download the manual here.

For more information, contact
Stephanie Tansey at tansey [@]
Abu Enyi, Director of African School of Excellence at abuaugustine60 [@]
or visit our site.

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