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Young people advocate use of social media tools to mitigate climate change

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Seye Joseph

As it is now, climate change has long-since ceased to be a scientific curiosity, and is no longer one of many environmental and regulatory concerns. As the United Nations Secretary General has said, it is the major, overriding environmental issue of our time, and the single greatest challenge facing environmental regulators. It is a growing crisis with economic, health and safety, food production, security, and other dimensions.

It threatens food production through increased unpredictability of precipitation, rising sea levels contaminate coastal freshwater reserves and increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, and a warming atmosphere aids the pole-ward spread of pests and diseases once limited to the tropics.

With the dangers and threats climate change is posing to the universe, different agencies and institutions have been finding sustainable resolutions through different tools to intensify knowledge management and knowledge sharing to tackle its effects on the development of the world.

At a platform to get young people involved in the fight against climate change through the use of different multimedia and social media tools, Climate Wednesday – an organisation that identifies key climate based issues affecting development especially in Nigeria and Africa and engages relevant stakeholders to proffer sustainable solutions and present them on the global stage for actionable steps towards mitigating effects of climate change has organised a one day workshop in Lagos on how young people can use social media tools to fight climate change.

Speaking during the workshop, the Team Lead of the organisation, Olumide Idowu said that the reason why the event was organised was to get young people involved on the use of social media and social tools to promote environmental sustainability.

“We noticed that the capacity of young people to put documentary and some resources together is very low in this part of the country where if you want to do documentary, you need a lot of resources to make sure the documentary is perfect and clean, we have some available tools that we can make use of and do away around with which are the popular Twitter, Facebook, using campaign activities and advocacy.”

Idowu who also doubled as the Regional Director of International Youth Federation said that young people have been looking for ways to tell their own success stories on what they are doing and what the government is doing on social media when it comes to environmental activities,

“We know that there is a lot of oil spillage and everything but the ones that have been rescued from this processes what has happen to them, can we tell their stories so that people we know that yet it’s not bad things alone that happens in our society? We have a good story too to tell so that is why we came up with that activity”, he said.

He also mentioned that another initiative they are coming up with is climate communicators program to see how people can be using social media tools for reporting, with a hashtag to tell the story of what they are doing with climate change.

Funmi Oyatogun, participant at the workshop said that she was happy to be at the workshop to learn among young people to discuss serious issues on climate change, how it affects the country, and find solutions to it by using social media as tools.

Oyatogun urged other participants to come together to consolidate on the outcomes of the workshop not to scatter effort all over the place.

“We were all doing great and it will be impressive if everybody comes together to further this initiative to consolidate what government is doing and for the development of the country.

She said further that it will be irresponsibility to ignore what is going on and pretend as if nothing is happening.

“There is need to take action even if it seems rosy right now, our parents are going to die, our grandparents too will die, so even the people who caused this devastation are going to suffer the repercussion so it’s our responsibility, it’s a honorable thing to do, the right thing to do and even we are the most selfish set of humans on planet, it’s the selfish thing to do to protect our own self”, she said.

In his own position, Stanley Okorie who is also a participant at the workshop said young people need to acquire skills, knowledge to be able to advance in the environment with the use of social media to solve climate change problem and social economy issues.

“Young people should make themselves aware and informed with the use of social media to rapidly increase level of awareness in the society.”

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