By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote has implored State governments to provide coordinated interventions that will adequately address the challenges of climate change in the country.
The Permanent Secretary gave the charge at a two-day South-East Regional Knowledge Deepening Workshop on Climate Change in Enugu on Monday.
The Workshop was organized by the Federal Ministry of Environment in collaboration with Enugu state Government through the support of our multilateral partner, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The Regional Climate Change Deepening Workshop on Climate Change will hold across the six (6) geo-political zones to deepen collaboration and synergy with sub-national government on climate change issues, its impacts and possible adaptive and mitigation measures available to curb its effect.
Odusote said that Climate Change has become a critical issue, both for its global importance and threats to National development.
She said Nigeria recognizes with great concern’s the threat that climate change poses to livelihoods, economic sustainability and health and the imperative to embed climate change issues within the context of its work in the country.
She said the impacts of climate change in Nigeria vary in extent, severity and intensity, but the exact degree remains uncertain.
“Since climate change is now a development challenge, purely environmental and sectoral small-scale uncoordinated interventions will not adequately address the challenge of climate change in the country. This calls for an integrated State Plan of Action that drives inputs from the National Climate Change Policy and Response Strategy and other relevant sectoral policies in agriculture, energy, industry, transport and others, National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and also takes cognizance of the national imperative for initiatives to implement the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) in the framework of fulfilling our obligations to the Paris Agreement.
“Some sectors of the State’s economy are going to be more impacted by climate change than others. These sectors should constitute the main entry points for response to the challenge of climate change, and as identified in the country’s NDC, they include agriculture and forest, industry, oil and gas, power and transport.
“As committed and zealous to combating the effects of Climate Change as we may be, our efforts alone cannot give us the desired goal, until and unless the state governments share in our vision, effective collaboration and fully partnering with us in contributing their time, knowledge, resources and committed trust to support the achievement of our statutory objectives.
Director, Department of Climate Change, Dr. Yerima Tarfa in his address said the workshop will enable knowledge dissemination and discussion toward climate-resilient and low-carbon development in Nigeria.
“There is no doubt, therefore, that today’s deliberations will afford us opportunities we need in our various organizations to develop practical strategies for effective policy making, planning, budgets and investments, in the light of the spirit of the Paris Agreement.
“This will in turn help us in understanding the imperative to effectively work together towards meeting our National Greenhouse Gas emission (GHG) reduction targets, as enshrined in the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) document.
“As you are aware, establishment of Climate Change Desk Offices in all the 36 states and Development of Climate Change tool kit for States is undertaken to strengthen the institutional capacity of States on Climate Change Education, Awareness, mitigation, adaptation and Climate finance.
“This workshop will equally highlight the role of States in tackling Climate Change and in the development of the obligatory reporting documents to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement.
“More so, it is recognized that implementation of Climate Actions requires huge financial resources. This workshop will provide opportunities and options for States to access various Climate Funds available through the Climate change window.
“Accordingly, this workshop is designed to provide us with the opportunity to take stock of the activities in the state since the development of Climate Change tool kit, and to discuss the lessons learnt.
“We are looking forward to your usual active participation to this workshop, to engage all of you in these discussions, your thoughts and your comments on the topics. We have the desire to improve your skills and capacities not only in the climate change issues, but also in working together with you in the environmental issues.
In a keynote speech, Enugu State Commissioner of Environment and Mineral Resources, Prince Emeka Mamah highlighted the threat of climate change to the southeastern part of Nigeria, saying Enugu State is currently being affected by Gully erosion, the most impressive and striking erosion type, been recognized as one of the major global environmental problems.