The Pwalugu Junior Conservation Club (JCC), the first of a series of conservation clubs that will cover the Northern and Coastal Savanna Zones of Ghana, has been launched at the Pwulugu Basic Schools in the Upper East Region.
The JCCs are a unique structure by Savannah Conservation Movement (SACOMO) to provide inclusive growth, focusing on young people. SACOMO believes that young people, being future leaders, are the major stakeholders in sustainable development and the attainment of the SDGs. SACOMO believe that young people should be the live-wire of development.
In an interview with GBCONline the founder of SACOMO Dr John Atibila, Research Development Manager AgriFood Knowledge Exchange Fellow at the University of York stated that, the Savanna Conservation Movement is a new Voluntary Organisation, with its office in Pwalugu, working to promote conservation of the Savanna Natural Resources (Ecosystems and Biodiversity), to build capacity of young people to understand, appreciate and value the usefulness and benefits of nature to people, communities and the Earth. Dr Atibila indicated that, the initial pilot scheme starts at the Pwalugu-Wulugu Trans boundary River Project saying, it is a pilot scheme of a nationwide JCCs programme with the formation of the Pwalugu Junior Conservation Club (JCC) programme to cover the Northern and Coastal Savanna belts.
He added that, the JCC operate as an Environmental Movement, similar to Boys Scouts or Girls Guide and are meant to develop self discipline, team-work and community service skills for the members. He said, apart from the academic benefits of learning the practical aspects of the JHS Integrated Science Syllabus, each club will engage in Sustainable Income Generating Activities (SIGA) which will provide internally generated funds for the school and provide students with skills to pursue alternative livelihood activities at home. Dr Atibila disclosed that SACOMO will work to complement Integrated Science teaching and learning through co-curricular science activities for Junior High School students, in collaboration with GES.
Each Club will have a Patron (Integrated Science tutor) and Assistant Patron (Social Science tutor) with the Headmaster being the overall supervisor. The clubs operate semi-autonomously and engaging in activities relevant to their local communities. There are plans to establish complementary Community Conservation Clubs (CCCs), with full participation of the chiefs and traditional leaders. The JCC operate as an Environmental Movement, similar to Boys Scouts of Girls Guide and are meant to develop self discipline, team-working and community service skills for the members.
Apart from the academic benefits of learning the practical aspects of the JHS Integrated Science Syllabus, each club will engage in Sustainable Income Generating Activities (SIGA) which will provide internally generated funds for the school and provide students with skills to pursue alternative livelihood activities at home. The Director of SACOMO and International Relations expect in Political Economics Dr Augustine Awuni indicated that, SACOMO will be looking at Beekeeping-Honey Production, Rabbit rearing to help prevent bushfires. Other activities include; practical learning and application of the National Science Curriculum, Field trips to Places of Significant Conservation Interest (PSCIs), Celebration of Earth and World Environment Day, Conservation Fun Games and Competitions, Community Volunteering; Leadership Skills Development; Career Development in Nature, conservation, environmental jobs Club members.
Dr. Awuni added that, responsibilities include, to honour the Pledge and live exemplary lives of promoting conservation and good environmental practices, participate fully in Club activities, Respect members, patrons and others associated with the Club’s development, and report all concerns to the patrons, facilitators or supervisors. A Junior High School two student Edna Kurug, on behalf of the club members expressed her joy for the formation of the club and that; the members will cooperate fully to help preserve the environment.
Story filed by: Emmanuel Akayeti