The Biovers NG project aims to educate and mobilise around 200 young Nigerians on the role of biodiversity for the planet. The project, run by the SustyVibes organisation, is funded by the German embassy in Nigeria. The initiative comes at a time when biodiversity in Nigeria is steadily deteriorating. The West African country has lost more than 80% of its forest cover over the last thirty years.
SustyVibes aims to improve young Nigerians’ knowledge of biodiversity and its role in maintaining natural ecosystems. The Nigerian environmental protection organisation has signed a partnership agreement with the German embassy in Nigeria. The document, initialled on 10 August 2023 in the capital Abuja, formalises the collaboration between the two parties in setting up the Biovers NG project.
With funding from the German Embassy, the amount of which is yet to be determined, SustyVibes will carry out the activities of the Biovers NG project. These include organising a six-week virtual workshop that will provide around 200 young Nigerians with a wide range of knowledge about the links between climate change and biodiversity, as well as the daily lives of people living with disabilities, women, indigenous peoples and members of local communities who are on the front line of climate action and biodiversity protection.
This project will offer internships to the three best participants in the workshop. They will benefit from practical experience in climate action and biodiversity projects, and will be coached by professionals in the field. « The Bioverse NG project offers us a platform to rejuvenate the participation and leadership of Nigerians in dialogues on biodiversity and climate change. It is a project for young people and by young people, designed to help us build and maintain the optimism and resilience we need in these times of multiple crises », explains Jennifer Uchendu, the founder of SustyVibes.
Forest cover has shrunk by 80%
By highlighting the importance of disseminating knowledge about biodiversity, SustyVibes, with the help of the German embassy, aims to make its contribution to protecting nature in Nigeria. According to official figures, the West African country has lost more than 80% of its forest cover over the last thirty years.
In the rest of the world, the situation is no better either. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the planet is currently facing the greatest loss of biodiversity since the industrial era, with around a million plant and animal species threatened with extinction.