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  • Oluwabukola Babalola | Regional Ambassador | FUTA | Nigeria

YouthMappers at the World Meteorological Organization 

January and February 2024 hold the title for the warmest January and February in the global record. Meanwhile 2023 was just another record-breaking year with its global mean temperature being the highest ever recorded, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Also, the UN Chief has said the earth has gone beyond global warming and now, ‘the era of global boiling has arrived’. Sadly, this heat does not discriminate: Although the intensity may differ, certainly everyone, everywhere will be affected. This calls for urgent action. This is why several organisations have been coming up with initiatives to turn down the global heat. In this action, the YouthMappers have taken their place in the front row. 

YouthMappers at the Heat and Health Mapping Workshop (2023)

In 2023, the YouthMappers Nigeria coordinated by Prof. Ife Balogun and Dr Banji Aladejana, who are lecturers at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, hosted a workshop on mapping for heat and health; a power Africa project sponsored by USAID (read more about the workshop here). The workshop attained a remarkable success and further yielded a platform for the inclusion of YouthMappers in the Global Heat Resilience Service (GHRS) organised by Group on Earth Observation (GEO) at the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. 

The YouthMappers was represented at the GHRS workshop by Prof. Ife Balogun and one of the Regional Ambassadors for Africa, Babalola Oluwabukola, and their participation was sponsored by the organisers of the event. This workshop, held on the 28th and 29th of February, 2024 brought together youth leaders, governments, researchers and policy specialists who are involved in heat related projects. They are expected to develop a concept that will provide every urban area in the world with localised data, information and insights on the health risks from exposure to extreme heat. These insights will help cities and communities to develop plans to adapt to heat and reduce its impact on the health of the citizens and local communities.

The participants of the workshop all shared their experience in working with heat related problems and initiatives. With the meeting room filled with different intellectuals who have shared their successes that can be built upon, several solutions as well as potential limitations to the solutions were discussed and possible gaps were identified. One of the major ways of acting on extreme heat identified is by leveraging the power of earth observational data. Organisations like the YouthMappers has been identified to be a key player in this aspect of the service. 

The rigorous two-day workshop may have ended but the work had just begun. There is a need to act upon the decision that has been made. Each participant is expected to state how they and their organisation are able to fit into the building of the Global Heat Resilience service as this is the way to achieve the expected output of the initiative. The YouthMappers hopes to contribute tremendously to the success of this service.   

It is important that professionals from different fields roll up their sleeves and get their hands to work. More organisations like the YouthMappers can come together to form a synergy and put an end to global climate change. The regional ambassador, Babalola Oluwabukola during her lightning talk at the workshop quoted that "we all have a duty to make sure our children don’t have to suffer from the effect of both the action we took and the ones we didn’t". If there is any time to get involved, THE TIME IS NOW! 


Oluwabukola Babalola


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