In an endeavor to bolster the ecological balance of Akodo Ise, She Leads Climate Action, through their fellowship program, recently planted 15 economy trees within the coastal community on March 16th, 2024.

Akodo Ise, situated in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos State, Nigeria, is a picturesque coastal enclave in the southern region of Lagos. With precise coordinates of latitude 6.4746° N and longitude 3.8289° E, it stands as a captivating fishing community renowned for its deep-seated connection to the sea and traditional fishing practices. Fishing not only sustains livelihoods but also forms the cornerstone of many families’ ways of life. However, rampant deforestation, mainly evidenced by the felling of palm trees, has left the land vulnerable to erosion and environmental degradation, posing severe threats to the community, including property loss and biodiversity decline.

Picture of Atinuke, Oluwatoke with a team member of Bays Planet Foundation Marian as well as a pupil planting a tree

She Leads Climate Action, an initiative of the Bays Planet Foundation, educates and empowers young women through its fellowship program, the She Leads Climate Action Fellowship. With funding from the Foundation and its partners, SLCA endeavors to cultivate a new generation of leaders committed to driving climate action within their communities.

The Akodo Ise Tree Restoration Project emerged as a standout initiative presented by fellows Yinusa Atinuke Simbiat and Oluwatoke Faeji, both undergraduates at Lagos State University and the University of Lagos, respectively. As part of the fellowship program’s inaugural cohort consisting of eight young women, the project received support from RESWAYE, where Atinuke and Oluwatoke acquired essential skills in coastal community initiatives and project management.

“This endeavor holds personal significance, and I am thrilled to pave the way for other young women to champion locally-led climate action,” remarked Baliqees Salaudeen-Ibrahim, founder of Bays Planet Foundation and Team Lead of She Leads Climate Action. She emphasized the program’s expansion, with plans to welcome its second cohort later in 2024.

Recognizing the pivotal role of trees in sustaining life on our planet, the project planted a total of 15 palm trees around the community’s primary school while raising awareness among locals about the importance of afforestation. The children and community members are now entrusted with caring for the newly planted trees, which in the long term will contribute to erosion control, biodiversity enhancement, natural cooling, and protection against sandstorms. The selected palm tree species include 5 Queens Palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana), 5 Coconut Trees (Cocos nucifera), and 5 Oil Palms (Elaeis guineensis), as highlighted by Atinuke and Oluwatoke.

The project’s execution witnessed the participation of Doyinsola Ogunye, founder of RESWAYE, and her team, who provided expertise and support for tree planting activities and community engagement. The event also garnered attendance from the community’s leadership, residents, and over 55 children actively involved in the tree planting exercise.

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