Opening of GLOBE Capacity Building Workshop

Remarks by Ambassador Peter Henry Barlerin
Opening of GLOBE Capacity Building Workshop

Monday, April 22, 2019 [1000-1005]

Madame Minister,
Representatives of the Government of Cameroon,
Colleagues and Distinguished Guests,

It is my sincere honor to welcome you to the GLOBE Capacity Building Workshop for National Pedagogic Inspectors.

I want to thank Minister Lyonga for hosting us here today, and wish all of you a happy Earth Day.

The theme of this year’s Earth Day is “Save our Species,” but we are taking the opportunity to launch the GLOBE workshop today.

GLOBE stands for Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment: G – L – O – B – E.

Earth Day is intended not only to promote environmental awareness, but to call people to action.

Our planet is a complex array of ecosystems.

Every animal – every species ­– plays a role in those numerous ecosystems.

As I am sure you all know, the GLOBE Program is an international science and education program that provides students and teachers like you the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process.

You and your students will contribute to our understanding of the earth, and there is no better way to celebrate Earth Day than celebrating those who study our planet.

The U.S. government announced its sponsorship on Earth Day in 1994, and GLOBE launched its worldwide implementation in 1995.

Cameroon is one of 121 countries that participate in the GLOBE program.

Each country has a unique program designed to benefit the host country.

We try to protect the mighty elephant, the largest land-based mammal from poachers and the corruption that fuels the international ivory trade.

We also try to protect humans – our species – from a much tinier killer – the anopheles mosquito, that bears the malaria parasite from human to human.

You know that in Cameroon, malaria is one of the biggest killers, particularly among children under the age of five and pregnant and nursing women and particularly in the Far North and North.

The U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative, announced last year, seeks to bring insecticide-treated bednets and malaria chemo-prophylaxis to vulnerable populations.

But important and necessary as this effort is, malaria is not going to be solved by bednets and drugs alone.

Knowing how mosquitos breed, how they move, how and where they feed, is so important to knowing what to do to prevent malaria.

And this is you and your students come in.  You are mapping mosquito habitats in – as of now – four regions of Cameroon.

Not only does your work provide tangible benefits to your communities by identifying how mosquito-borne illnesses are transmitted, it helps create the data needed if we ever want eventually to eliminate mosquito-borne disease like malaria, like Zika, dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever, and filariasis.

I am proud that the U.S. government can partner with all of you in this fight; I encourage you all to get the most out of today’s workshop.

What you will learn today is not just for you, but for your students, your communities, your country, and, eventually, our future on this globe.

Thank you for your time and attention, and Happy Earth Day.