On April 22, 2020 Ghana, a West African country would mark the 50-year anniversary of Earth Day, a worldwide celebration focused on promoting clean living and a healthy, sustainable habitat for people and wildlife on Earth.

In observation of Earth Day, the West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change Program (WA BiCC) in Accra is excited to announce three virtual Earth Day video contests, sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

A release by WABiCC and signed by Stephen Kelleher, Chief of Party recently stated.

It said ,"The contests are open to the Junior High, Senior High, and Undergraduate University Students living in Ghana. Homeschooled students are also eligible to participate".

It stressed that the contests, which run from now to April 14, are organized in partnership with the Ghana Wildlife Division, A Rocha Ghana and Kali Etch.

According to the statement, this year’s Earth Day theme is Climate Action and it highlights the negative impact that changing environments and climates have on the future of humanity, adding that this year’s Earth Day contests and campaigns are entirely digital and supports the current government-issued pandemic lockdown rules and health regulations.

“WA BiCC has worked creatively and strategically to promote Earth Day amid the current social distance regulations aimed at safeguarding the public,” said Stephen Kelleher.

“We hope that while students are at home with their families, these contests give them a chance to step back and creatively think about how we can all work together to ensure Earth remains the beautiful and magical home that we all share,” said the release.

The statement also observed that each video contest has its own criteria.
Junior High School Students are asked to submit a 30-second to 1-minute video in which they answer the question: “What environmental problem are you most concerned about and what is the most important thing people can do to address it?” Submissions will be judged on students’ poise and diction, their explanation of the environmental challenge, and the effectiveness of the strategy they provide to address the environmental challenge.

Senior High School Students should submit a 1- to 2-minute video featuring them singing a song, reciting a poem, or rapping to educate people about why protecting the earth’s forests and other natural resources are important to help combat climate change.

It explained that submissions would be judged on students’ creativity and the effectiveness of linking forest conservation to climate change.
Undergraduate Students should submit a 4- to 6- minute video that demonstrates “3 Ways Ghana Can Become a Leader in Addressing Climate Change.”

Submissions will be judged on the students’ poise, diction, persuasiveness, and the soundness of their arguments.
First-, second-, and third-place winners will receive an electronic prize such as a camera or phone with video capabilities. First-place winners will also have the opportunity to meet and have a photo taken with a high-ranking member of U.S. Embassy Accra when schools are reopened.

It further said that keeping with the Government of Ghana’s regulations, as well as general health and safety guidelines that should be adhered to, strict submission to the rules must be followed.

In the making of the video, students must not travel away from their home, nor receive in-person assistance from those living outside their home, or include any other person in the video.

It said students who violate the above restrictions/guidelines will be disqualified.

Students can submit videos now until April 14. For detailed contest information, visit https://www.wabicc.org/en/earth-day-ghana-2020-video-contest/.

It urged that participants who want to ask questions regarding the video contest, contact Chaz Kyser, WA BiCC’s Communication Manager, at [email protected]

The West Biodiversity and Climate Ch BiCC) program is a five-year learning program funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Although regional in scope, WA BICC works in targeted geographical areas, or ‘‘Learning Landscapes,’’ to generate knowledge that informs local, national and regional practices addressing critical climate change and biodiversity challenges in West Africa.

By working with core regional partners—the Economic Community of West African States, the Mano River Union and the Abidjan Convention—alongside national and sub-national institutions and local communities, WA BiCC strives to increase the capacity of institutions at all levels to achieve its three core goals: combating wildlife trafficking; increasing coastal resilience to climate change; and reducing deforestation, forest degradation and biodiversity loss.