Love for SDGs

Kudirat Lawal, black wowan looking into camera

Ever since I was young, I’ve loved to read books and watch movies with illustrations of serene, clean and peaceful environments. With all I read and watched at that tender age, I became interested in trees and all of their vital work for the planet. This interest grew with time and eventually led me to bag a bachelor’s degree in Forestry with First class (Hons.) from the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), Nigeria. While studying, I was offered courses that exposed me to all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Sustainable Forest Management, and the Paris Agreement to mention a few. This study increased my awareness of climate change and of adaptation and mitigation. Aside from class training, I have audited a number of online courses that include “Introduction to Sustainable Development Goals”. This involved project-making, coordinated by Global Institute for Youth Development Inc. in the Philippines, to mention one organization of many.   

I have participated in tree planting in different parts of Nigeria. Also, my final year’s research focused on the assessment of Wood Plastic Composites (WPC) which I produced from wood waste and water waste to reduce waste and improve both cities and communities. The Abstract of this research has been accepted for presentation at the upcoming 64th Society of Wood Science and Technology (SWST) International Conference in the USA. SWST is an internationally recognized professional organization committed to protecting the forests through the development of new ideas, procedures, policies, and products for the wood industry. After graduation, I have spent my time educating school pupils on Climate change and their roles towards mitigation. 

Furthermore, I have joined non-governmental organizations, one of which is Sustainable Environment Food and Agriculture (SEFAAI). Here, I have been selected to monitor the climate change desk and oversee the education of young people and adults. I have been able to sensitize group of farmers in different regions of south-western Nigeria on climate-smart agriculture, and inorganic farming to improve their productivity and work towards achieving “Zero Hunger”. On the recent World Environment Day, I took part in a campaign to educate people about plastic waste, its consequences, and its uses within Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. Any plastic waste we gathered was sent to a plastic recycling company. 

The paradigm shift the weather has taken affects all the people around me, myself included. I have personally experienced high temperatures, inadequate rainfall, an infestation of crops by pest and diseases, and rivers drying up. My story needs to be heard because the regions of the world, especially Nigeria and other developing countries, need to adopt Climate Change Education for their own safety. I would be willing to attend climate action-related conferences in any part of the world if sponsorship is available — I am ready to tell my story to the world! 

This climate story is intersectional because it considers both young people and adults.  Everyone is going to be affected by climate change, so everyone has a role to play when ensuring we achieve all seventeen of the SDGs. The last SDG, which is the most important focuses, on “Partnership to achieve these goals”. This implies that there’s no exception – everyone has to help fight Climate Change.

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