The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) study on digital activism related to environmental issues suggests that there has been a notable increase in collective “ecological awakening” since 2016. For instance, Google and Twitter searches related to biodiversity conservation and climate change saw a 65 percent increase between 2016 and 2020. Despite this positive trend, the consequences of human-induced environmental damage are still significant, particularly in the “Global South.” For example, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 200,000 people in Burkina Faso experienced flooding in 2019. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) also reports that over a hundred animal and plant species are threatened with extinction.
Numerous development programs and projects are being implemented to address these pressing environmental issues to promote environmental awareness and foster responsible behaviors. One such initiative is the NAKAPO AFS-BA project, which was launched in the municipality of Silly in the central-west region of Burkina Faso. This project was developed in collaboration with the city of Viernheim, Germany, and falls under the Municipal Development Programme (PCD) framework of Silly. The project engaged 38 local schools, planting nearly 3,000 fruit trees on school grounds. Students not only participated in this extensive reforestation effort but also gained valuable insights into biodiversity and climate change through educational modules integrated into their curriculum.
The Burkina Faso Flying Labs team played a crucial role in the success of this innovative project, which seeks to address environmental challenges by nurturing the next generation of decision-makers with a strong understanding of biodiversity preservation. Video and photographic data were collected, enabling monitoring and evaluation managers to assess the results of the reforestation campaign and estimate the survival rate of the planted seedlings. This data ultimately guided the CORADE Agency in its capitalization efforts.
Fostering ecological sensitivity and raising awareness of environmental challenges among children and young people is a pertinent approach in the fight against climate change. This young generation, poised to become the citizens and leaders of tomorrow, will significantly influence future political and economic decisions. The Burkina Faso Flying Labs team, committed to supporting communities facing climate change challenges, is grateful for the opportunity to participate in this project and hopes it will inspire other initiatives based on similar models.
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