Stakeholders in the environment sector have called for collective efforts towards mitigating the effects of climate change.
They made the call during the National Consultative Workshop on Pre-Conference of Parties (COP 25) organised by Climate & Sustainable Development Network (CSDevNet) in Abuja on Wednesday, November 20, 2019.
Dr Uzodinma Adirieje, President, Society for Conservation and Sustainability of Energy and Environment in Nigeria, said that humans were the most affected by climate change.
Adirieje, therefore, said it was important for everyone to collectively protect the environment and mitigate the impact of climate change.
He said more than half of the SDGs were linked to climate change which showed how important is was to tackle the issue.
“We are at a big crossroad in human development. Everything nature has bestowed on us is at war with human beings.
“From the technologies we apply to the
pollution we are all inhaling, to the refuse scattered around both degradable
and bio-degradable, to the generators we use and vehicles that carry us around.
“We are tampering with our environmental equilibrium especially our climate.”
He said Nigeria must embrace renewable energy, embrace green economy, green environment and green energy which would help reduce the impact of climate change.
According to him we must do our best to protect and preserve our environment, yes, we can, yes, we should.
Also speaking, Mr Ochuko Odibo of the Nigeria REDD+ Programme urged participants and Nigerians to come up with nature-based solutions, build resilience and adaptation measures.
According to him Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) is a nature-based solution that has become a successful programme under the UN.
“I want to challenge us to start thinking, you can do REDD+ in any state as long as there are trees irrespective of if those trees are depleting.
“You can be the next person to come up with a solution to address the issue of climate change; I want to challenge us as Nigerians to start thinking of how we can solve this problem that will be adopted internationally,” he said.
Also contributing, Dr Pricilia Achakpa, Founder, Women Environmental Programme (WEP), said CSOs’ involvement in climate change activities was key because they provide oversight to the government.
Achakpa said that nobody was linking the issues such as flooding, herders and farmers clashes, Boko Haram and drought experienced in different regions in the country to climate change.
Her words: “We need to come together, and we need a voice that will hold government accountability, we cannot always antagonise government.
“Gender issues must also be looked into in the National Determined Contributions and must be discussed as we go for COP because no one will beat our drum for us.”
Mr Atayi Babs, National Co-ordinator, CSDevNet, said the time to act was now if “we want to leave a better planet for our children”.
Babs, represented by Samuel Jinadu, Programme Officer, CSDevNet, urged participants to come up with local solutions to address climate change.
According to him we must know what you all are doing at the local level and in your Various communities.
“Whatever we discuss and arrive at here Will be deliberated at COP25, so your voice needs to be heard.”
Dr Peter Tarfa, Director, Department of Climate Change, Federal Ministry of Environment, in his address said a lot of activities were being done in silence to achieve the Paris Agreement on Climate change.
Tarfa, represented by Chioma Edeh, Principal Scientific Officer in the Department, however said government could not do it alone and platforms should be created to discuss how to address the situation.
According to him, the Ministry is coming out with a mapping on Monitoring Reporting and Verification (MRV) in 2020 which would put figures on activities of our reduction footprint.
“So, this will allow everyone have access to information and data on what we have done.
“We have a lot going forward. A lot of have been done on all the sectors the National Determined Contributions focus areas, but we cannot put figures to it until we have the MRV.
“Government cannot do it alone we have to create a platform where we can all discuss how we all can address the situation.
“The activities towards COP25 is not solely on the government we are open to observation, suggestions, interactions, whatever it takes for the government to come out with a very objective and good outing is welcomed.”
Mr Pius Oko, Project Officer, CSDevNet, had earlier said that the workshop was aimed at getting government and CSOs perspective as a build up to COP25.
Oko said the initiative seeks to sustain synergy and collaborative effort in Nigeria and the global call for action against climate change, and responses to the challenges posed by global warming.
The workshop is being organised in collaboration with the Nigerian Civil Society Framework on Paris Agreement and SDGs (NCSFPAS) and the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA).
Other partners are ECOWAS, Department of Climate Change, Federal Ministry of Environment and other key collaborating agencies at the national level.
CSDevNet is a network of over 300 civil society organisations cutting across the six geo-political zones in Nigeria.
By Okeoghene Akubuike