Mangrove Marathon WARRI 2022

MISSION

To foster a new age of Ecological Literacy

VISION

To hold an annual 10km Awareness Run/Walk in commemoration of the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem in July 26

INTRODUCTION

In 1972 the very first United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was held in Stockholm, Sweden. The theme for that conference which also became the theme for the very first World Environment Day Celebration was ONLY ONE EARTH. 50 years later, that theme has resurfaced for the 2022 World Environment Day Celebration.

How apt! The theme stresses the uniqueness of our Planet as Man’s only home. Just think about it.There are billions of Galaxies in the Universe. In our galaxy, the Milky Way galaxy, are billions of planets. However, there is but one with the right conditions and life-support systems. Man’s only home-EARTH.

Only planet Earth has the right conditions and environments to support life. So this day offers opportunity for man as a collective being and as individuals to reflect on his role in perpetuating the beauty, resources and livability of Earth.. THE SUSTAINABILITY OF EARTH AND ITS LIFE-SUPPORT SYSTEMS depends on our individual and collective actions.

What we need the most at this point in the history of Man and his planet home,  is a new form of civilization; Ecological Civilization which can only be achieved through ecological literacy.The concept here is that environmental education and awareness should be directed towards the masses. Getting people to understand how their actions impact the environment, how to live sustainably, how to be responsible consumers of resources from the environment. It also involves showing people what they can do individually and collectively to protect, nurture and perpetuate nature.

The Mangrove Forest is one unique gift of nature and has been described as nurseries of life.Nigeria has the largest of it in Africa and the fourth largest in the world with the bulk of it laying in the Niger Delta and Lagos.  Millions of people depend on it for food, shelter, income, medicine, and protection from coastal erosion. In fact the importance of Mangroves is summed up in UNESCO’S proclamation for its protection,…’’considering that mangroves are a unique, special and vulnerable ecosystem, providing by virtue of their existence, biomass and productivity substantial benefits to human beings, providing forestry, fishery goods and services as well as contributing to the protection of the coastline and being particularly relevant in terms of mitigation of the effects of climate change and food security for local communities.’’-Proclamation of the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystems.

However, the mangrove forest faces unprecedented threats arising from human sources including oil pollution, overexploitation, invasive species, and municipal development. To save the Mangroves, awareness is key.

Since Marathons are awareness/publicity events and are emblematic of good health which can only be sustained in healthy environments, we wish to use it to generate massive awareness about our environment, especially about our Mangrove Ecosystems. This awareness brings to limelight the uniqueness of our Mangrove Heritage and other Earth’s Life-Support Systems and makes a case for their Protection, Conservation and Restoration.

Mangrove Marathon will create the space for environmental awakening to happen and this wouldn’t be in the confines of a conference room but in a 10km stretch of space, visible to millions within and outside the city. What we aim for is the domino effect; we start the enlightenment conversation and it spreads.

Mangrove Marathon will take place every year on July 26, the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystems.Any Mangrove bearing State can host it.

OBJECTIVES

The objective of Mangrove Marathon is to foster Ecological Literacy (ECO-LITERACY).

The importance of such literacy is stressed by Wangari Maathai, Africa’s first female Noble Prize winner, when she said, “You cannot protect the environment unless you empower people. You inform them and help them understand that these resources are their own and that they must protect them”.

WHAT MANGROVE MARATHON AIMS TO ACHIEVE

  1. Build social capital/networks for Mangrove Restoration and Conservation
  2. Create environmental consciousness in a large number of persons
  3. Gainfully engage the youth and promote peacebuilding
  4. Showcase the beauty of the Mangrove Ecosystem thereby promoting Eco-tourism and environmental friendliness
  5. Boost the formal and informal economy of host city
  6. Provide a platform for stakeholders to participate in environmental sustainability

WARRI 2022

The maiden edition of Mangrove Marathon is to be hosted in Warri, Delta State.  Strategically located within the Niger Delta and hosting the second largest Mangrove Forest in Nigeria, the state provides the ideal location for the event.

PARTNERSHIP   

Mangrove Marathon will give brands a unique visibility. Brands that identify with this project will enjoy the goodwill that accrue to partners of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as outlined by the United Nations. Mangrove Marathon is directly related to SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 14 (Life below Water), SDG 15 (Life on Land), and SDG 17 (Partnership for the Goals).

Mangrove Marathon WARRI 2022 is open for partnership and sponsorship.

-Jerry Chidi

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