The Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP), in collaboration with civil society organisations, has called for concrete action to address climate change for climate justice in the country.
Executive Director of GIFSEP, Mr David Terungwa, gave the call at the Africa Climate Caravan and Art Competition by 19 schools in the FCT on Tuesday, November 1, 2022, in Abuja.
Terugwa said that the event was organised by the GIFSEP and supported by Oxfam.
He said that the demand for climate justice became necessary, considering the upcoming UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), COP27, which will take place from Nov. 6 to 18 in Egypt.
The UNFCCC COP is a conference where countries come together to take action towards achieving the world`s collective climate goals and its impact.
Terungwa said that the climate caravan is an initiative of Oxfam in Nigeria as part of the African Climate Caravan, bringing CSOs and climate impacted communities together, demanding for concrete climate action.
He said that the climate justice is all about inclusive and protection of the right of those most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
He said that the climate justice aims at promoting equity and ensuring access to basic resources and for young people to live, learn, play and work in healthy and clean environment.
According to him, the aim of the event is to unite all the CSOs in Africa to show that it is important that we demand for climate justice, considering the impact of climate change on the continent.
“This is a very important issue, the art competition displayed by the students shows that the students are not ignorant of the climate change impact in the country.
“We call on the government to go beyond signing agreements and policy statements without real action on the ground.
“We lost over 600 people to flood, with farms and farmlands washed away, so many households are still living in Internally Displaced Camps, with very slow response.
“It is an issue of climate finance, enough funds need to be released during the international negotiations, COP27, to tackle all of these challenges,’’ he said.
The executive director said that the government had been signatory to the UNFCCC Paris Agreement and had signed the Climate Change Act into law, adding that it was a great achievement.
He, however, said that Nigeria was lacking action and strong implementation of policies.
Terungwa said that more than a hundred African CSOs were currently traveling across 28 countries, including Nigeria to Egypt, to present their joint declaration.
He added that the country’s participants were expecting their heads of state and government to defend the interests of their own populations.
“In particularly, by supporting the agro-ecological transition and protecting the rights of farming communities.
“We must as well emphasise on the request for promoting better representation of youth and women in decision-making bodies.
“We are also calling on the developed countries to live up to their climate commitments from the Paris Agreement,’’ he said.
The Climate Justice Coordinator for Oxfam, Mr Kenneth Akpan, said that the programme was a collection of CSOs across countries in Africa.
“There was a need for coming together to have a unified opinion to approach the climate change table, to amplify the voices of Africans, particularly the vulnerable.
“We all know that Africans suffer more of this climate change which has been leading to loss of lives and damage of property,” he said.
Akpan said that Nigeria needed at least N100 billion to approach and tackle the flood issues.
He said that there were many commitments by the government to put in place to ensure that the climate change law was being implemented but there were still more efforts to be done.
Miss Oluomachukwu Okafor, from Government Girls School, Dutse, who spoke on behalf of other students, said that the artwork displayed by the schools was all about the effect and impact of climate change in the environment.
“The art shows that climate change is living already with us and must have urgent attention to address it effectively,’’ she said.
By Vivian Emoni