21.11.2011 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

Greening schools in West Africa

The promotion of ecological and green schools is one of UNESCO Dakar’s activities in creating sustainable development.

Teachers and coordinators in UNESCO’s Associated Schools from West Africa will gather on 21 and 22 November 2011 in Dakar, Senegal to discuss how to introduce the concept of green schools.

The aim is to give students a greater sense of responsibility for creating a sustainable future. Participants come from Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal, The Gambia, and Togo.

Contest to select green school

Last year, UNESCO Dakar organized a competition in Senegal to select the greenest school in the country. The winner was the Bilingual School in the Sacré Cœur district of Dakar.

“They had managed to create an impressive awareness among students of just how important the environment is to our future,” says Yao Ydo, chef of Section for Peace and Sustainable Development in UNSCO Dakar.

The school had also launched concrete activities to make the school greener, for example through recycling and electricity savings. This contest is a first step in a process that will continue in 2012-2013 to greening the Associated Schools.

Coping with climate change

Climate change (rising sea levels and coastal erosion, abnormal rainfall and drought) is a challenge to the survival of humanity, because it seriously threatens biodiversity, weakens ecosystems, changes the cycles of seasons and undermines food supply.

“But despite the tangible effects of climate change on our lives, Africa still does not seem to have taken the measure of the threat while the rest of the world is mobilizing for strong mitigation and adaptation,” says Ann Therese N’dong-Jatta, Director of UNESCO Dakar.

“It is essential to inform and educate citizens on the issues and challenges of climate change to adopt healthy lifestyles and consumption patterns that are more responsive to the needs of future generations,” she concludes.

UNESCO is coordinating the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014).

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