Nature Clubs rejuvenated in Sierra Leone

By Venancia.Ndoo, Tue, 06/11/2012 - 12:41
The Conservation Society of Sierra Leone (CSSL) through the support of the Wildlife Clubs of Africa project has established 7 new Nature Clubs and rejuvenated 10 old Clubs in the Western and Eastern Provinces of the country respectively. This laudable initiative is in line with CSSL’s long term goal of expanding conservation and environmental education activities to cover many more pupils and students through school Nature Club establishment. Speaking at a one day workshop/meeting organized for nature club coordinators in the various schools in Freetown, Mr Callistus Agbaam the project officer for Wildlife Clubs of Africa project-phase 2, re-echoed the importance of Nature Clubs in protecting biodiversity and contributing to the achievement of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 7 (ensure environmental sustainability) in Sierra Leone. According to Mr Agbaam, global experiences with nature clubs showed that Children who have been members of Nature Clubs often remain interested in environmental conservation throughout their lives. Thus, establishing Nature Clubs in more schools, will inevitably result in the expansion of a constituency of people who care about their environment, and will forever remain committed to its conservation. He therefore urged the various nature clubs teachers/coordinators to encourage more children to be part of nature clubs and also organize more outdoor educational activities to help raise their awareness about the beauty and value of their natural environment. Mr. Agbaam also made some presentations on other key project activities such as the Spring Alive campaign and the WCA Twinning programmes which are all aimed at broadening the global outlook of these children by linking Nature Clubs in Africa to their counter parts in the rest of the world, especially Europe. Earlier on, a workshop on Nature Club establishment was organized for 14 teachers and 14 student leaders from 7 identified schools in the Daru Township and some surrounding communities in the Eastern province. The workshop predominantly focused on providing information and guidelines on the establishment of new Nature Clubs in these schools. Generally, it is expected that within the next few years, CSSL will scale up the number of Nature Clubs in Sierra Leone by facilitating the establishment of new clubs and revamping old and inactive existing clubs.
Members of St Edwards SHS Nature Club in Freetown, Sierra Leone

Prepared by Agbaam Callistus Project Officer- WCA phase 2

Africa

Comments

In a similar effort not unconnected with CSSL, Wetlands International Africa through a Pilot Project for Sustainable Coastal Zone Management in Sierra Leone established Nature Clubs in Schools around the Yawri Bay in South-western Sierra Leone. CSSL was a Task Force member of the Pilot Project. These efforts need to be integrated towards the common goal.

They need to be rejuvenated, for critically endangered mammals such as the pygmy hippo, Jentink's duiker, and West African manatee. Including birds such as white-breasted guinea fowl and rufous fishing owl.

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