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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Borno develops Climate Change Response Plan

The Borno State Government plans to develop a response strategy to tackle the increasing challenge of climate change. This was made known during a multi-stakeholder workshop to launch the development of the Borno State Climate Resilience Plan.

Governor Babagana Zulum
Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State

Speaking during the workshop, the Borno State Commissioner for Environment, Alhaji Terima Saleh, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Habib Modu Abadam, expressed the readiness of the state government to develop and implement an effective strategy for combating climate change.

He said: “Borno State is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. This affects food security and it is certainly one of the driving forces behind the ongoing insurgency and the large number of internally displaced persons within the state.”

The Borno State Government brought together state actors, civil society organisations, development partners, and the media to deliberate on efforts to develop a coordinated response to changing climate patterns. It was noted that rising temperature and changing rainfall patterns ravaged the entire Chad Basin, destroying livelihoods such as farming and fishing and stoking conflicts, including the Boko Haram insurgency.

In his presentation, Professor Dan Gwari, Director, Centre for Arid Zone Studies of the University of Maiduguri, laid out available scientific evidence of the impacts of climate change in Borno State.

He said: “Immediate efforts are required to develop an effective mechanism for protecting farmers from the effects of climate change. Developing an effective toolbox for climate smart agriculture is an imperative for expanding agricultural yield, adapting to climate change and reducing emissions of harmful greenhouse.”

In a keynote address, a climate change expert, Huzi Mshelia, listed some of the
requirements of developing a state-level action plan on climate change. According to him, “studies are required to understand the impacts of climate, an assessment of the vulnerability of the ecology and economy of the state as we also the response strategy. Plans must be customised to the needs of the state and integrated with state and
national development plans. All these are needed to have an informed policy and

In her contribution, a representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the
United Nations (FAO), Dr Yakaka Maina, informed participants that the organisation has developed Climate Smart Profiles and Investment Plans for Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states. She urged the Borno State Government and stakeholders to collaborate with FAO to ensure that the response plan is well-coordinated and effective.

In her message, Inga Stefanowicz, Head of Section, Green and Digital Economy of the
European Union, stated: “The EU is excited about the kick-off of the implementation of the programme to improve sub-national response to climate change in Northeast Nigeria. This programme will contribute significantly to solving the food insecurity problem that affects 25 million Nigerians in 2023, with 17 million of those located in the north-eastern region.”

Alhaji Bunu Monguno, the Executive Secretary of the Borno State Agency for Coordination of Sustainable Development and Humanitarian Response, expressed joy over the timeliness of the programme.

He said: “Sustainable development is a key pillar in the Borno 25-Year Plan, and climate change response is one of the Plan’s strategic transformative initiatives. Therefore, this workshop has provided us the opportunity to sit together and discuss how to respond to climate change in the State.”

The Borno State Climate Change Project is funded by the European Union and implemented by the International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development (ICEED), Development Exchange Centre (DEC) and Local Communities Development Initiative (LOCDIN). The aim of the workshop was to launch the project and seek stakeholder collaboration in implementing it.

Participants that graced the ocassion included the representatives of the Ministries of Finance, Agriculture and Natural Resources, the General Manager, Borno State Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the Coordinator of the Food Security Sector of the Humanitarian Response in Borno State. Representatives of international organisations such as the FAO, World Food Programme, and the United Nations Development Programme, were also in attendance.

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