Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Meet the 2010 Winners of the LEAP Africa Nigerian Youth Leadership Awards!
Curred from CP-Africa

Its 2010 Annual Nigerian Youth Leadership Awards at the Muson Center, Lagos. Sponsored by the Ford Foundation, the event was well attended with Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola and Former EFCC Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu serving as the event’s key note speakers. At this year’s event, five young Nigerians were recognized for implementing “social change projects with significant impact” in their local communities. Get inspired! Read all about the change projects of this year’s winners below!

Esther Agbarakwe, Age 26
Initiative: Nigerian Youth Climate Coalition (NYCC)
esther CPA Awards: Meet the 2010 Winners of the LEAP Africa Nigerian Youth Leadership Awards! 
Esther Kelechi Agbarakwe is a graduate of Chemistry from the University of Calabar whose passion for environmental sustainability inspired her to initiate Nigerian Youth Climate Coalition (NYCC). NYCC is made up of a group of young Nigerians who are providing solutions to the climate change crisis. Acting locally and internationally, they combine forces to organize programmes, influence government and implement concrete solutions. NYCC works in schools and communities across Nigeria, empowering young people to create solutions for climate change. As a result, the initiative provides a robust platform where youth led organizations working on sustainable environmental issues interact and learn from each other. This strengthens their coordination and gives them a united voice to address climate change issues, as it affects the socio-economic growth and development of Nigeria.

In an effort to empower youth, NYCC held an “Awareness to Action” programme in partnership with similar organizations to train 40 youth between the ages of 18 and25 years on the process of recycling paper. At the end of the training, 10 beneficiaries received Paper recycling equipment to recycle paper for production of paper products including greeting cards and picture frames.

Through NYCC Esther has educated over one thousand five hundred (1500) youth through peer group training and online social networks on climate change issues. NYCC is currently collaborating with Building Nigeria’s Response to Climate Change (BNRCC) to implement a Climate Change Youth Communication Project to increase its reach to more Nigerian youth. Esther was recently selected as the Nigerian representative for the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Commission on Education and Communication In addition, she represented Nigeria at United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Seventh African Development Forum (ADVII) and Young Commonwealth  Climate Change  Fellowship 2010. Esther is a 2009 Dekeyser & Friends Foundation Fellow. She also belongs to several environmental and youth organizations.

The five winners will receive the sum of N100,000 apiece to support their works in local communities. Ms Layode, Excutive director of LEAP Africa revealed that the awardees would receive the cash prize “after they have submitted their proposals on the projects they want to carry out,” adding the organisation “will continue to reward excellence wherever it is found.” The LEAP Africa award was launched in 2004. The award is supported with funding from the Ford Foundation.

For more information on Nigerian Youth Climate Coalition (NYCC), please contact Esther at esther.agbarakwe@youthclimate.org.uk; donestyc@gmail.com 

please visit www.nigycc.org for more infor about NYCC

Commonwealth youth speak out on Climate Change

Written by Commonwealth Secretariat, London
17 November 2010

Activists from six Commonwealth countries meet to develop toolkit for advocacy
A coalition of young climate change activists are meeting in London this week to develop a toolkit for young Commonwealth citizens to engage in climate change education and advocacy.

The event follows last year’s successful launch of the Young Climate Change Initiative Network to build the capacity of young activists across the Commonwealth.

‘People under 30 are extremely concerned about the impact of climate change in their countries. It is their future at stake, but there is broad consensus that young people’s voices are not being heard on this issue,’ says Layne Robinson, Programme Officer at the Commonwealth Secretariat.

The YCCI brings together young people with expertise on climate change issues in their countries and regions. The aim of this initiative is for them to share experiences and produce a practical learning resource for other young people.
It will provide guidance on key resources and networks and will include se
ctions on issues relevant to climate change, such as gender, food security, water, sanitation and human rights.

Young activists from India, Sierra Leone, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Trinidad and Tobago and Nigeria yesterday gave their views on climate change:

‘Climate change is very important. The evidence is that young people will inherit the climate system which the government decides to leave. Young people have the skills and knowledge. If only they are given the opportunity.’ – Taiwo Oyelakin (Nigeria).

‘Climate change is an immediate threat. It is not a future phenomenon for which we need to be thinking about and preparing for. It is here and now. And it is here and now that we must make this our important priority, globally.’ – Alicia Crawford (Australia).

‘We are not fighting the climate, not saving the planet. We are battling our own survival. Let’s wake up to the consistent signals of nature and work together for our future. Climate change is real.’ – Rishab Khanna (India)

‘Climate change is a global phenomenon. The enormity of the effects will only be fully experienced in a few years from now. As a people, we owe it to ourselves to take action now. Change the way we consume, the treatment of our ecosystems, our impacts on the environment and as such, our livelihoods. This way, we can combat the effects on our future.’ – Nolana E Lynch (Trinidad and Tobago)

‘We all know climate change is about human survival and human prosperity. But it’s about human rights, too. So as young people, let’s start by fighting for our right to a better climate. We need practical actions, not words. We call on world leaders to take responsibility now and think about our climate rights as a global agenda for all.’ – Messeh Kamara (Sierra Leone).

‘When you believe in doing something for climate change, just do it and don’t expect the outcomes of it and the best outcome will come to you’ – Y.Komalirani (India)
‘For a future tomorrow, let us preserve our environment today.’ – Garvin Perry, (Trinidad and Tobago).

‘It’s our time, our future. Keep the planet safe. Stop climate change.’ – Esther Agbarakwe (Nigeria).

‘Young people are the world’s largest untapped resource. We have the ideas, energy, and commitment to justice that will solve climate change.’ – Casper ter Kuile (United Kingdom).

‘Our generation is already suffering from the impacts of the on-going financial crisis. Let’s not allow an ecological crisis to get to the same point.’ – Sarah-Jane Saska, (Canada).

‘We are here. We are the young generation. We are strong. We are a voice. Speak through us and we can carry the voice. Climate change. A change for your people and the young generation. Think climate.’ – Timothy Sam (Sierra Leone).