The Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), a climate and environment Think Tank in Nigeria and Africa, in collaboration with its partners, We the People, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) and the University of Abuja, will be organising a townhall meeting with the Presidential candidates of political parties in the country focused on assessing Nigeria’s environment and climate change challenges in the context of policy options ahead of the 2023 elections.
The townhall, scheduled for February 7, 2023, at the Main Auditorium, Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Abuja, is informed by the need for the environment and climate justice community to assess and interrogate the plans and policies of the political parties in addressing the myriad of environment and climate crisis bedevilling Nigeria. Over 1,000 participants including civil society, the media, professional organisations, trade unions, students and the academia are expected at the townhall.
In a statement made available to EnviroNews on Wednesday, February 1, Nnimmo Bassey, Director of HOMEF, said: “While the well-being of the environment is a critical factor in a nation where most citizens depend directly on it for their existence, the issue has not been topical in the election conversation.”
He added: “The challenges of climate change in Nigeria have intensified in recent years. Nigeria, being one of the most impacted frontline countries, has seen an accelerated rate of desertification and flooding, twin manifestations that have seriously threatened security, and food sufficiency. Similarly, the production of crude oil and gas has resulted in profound destruction of the environment, especially in the Niger Delta.
“Twelve years after the release of the United Nations Environment Programme report on the State of the Ogoni Environment, no significant action has been taken to remediate and curtail further oil pollution in the region.”
The townhall meeting, according to the promoters, has the objective of providing a platform for presidential candidates in the 2023 general elections in Nigeria to discuss their plans and strategies for addressing critical environmental and climate challenges facing the country with Nigerian electorates.