By Abigael Joshua
The Minister of State for Environment, Dr Iziaq Salako, says climate action is central to achieving the eight presidential priorities of the present administration.
Saako said this at the Report Launch of Mapping of Climate Change Impact, Policy and Action at the Sub National level in Nigeria, on Saturday in Abuja.
“This project is in line with key deliverables of the Federal Ministry of Environment under the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu.
“And, underscores the fact that climate action is central to achieving the eight presidential priorities of this administration.
“This project aimed to map the impact of climate change in the 36 states of the Federation, analyse the existing climate policies and actions in the states.
“And, identify the support needs of each of these states to effectively domesticate climate change policies to attract climate funds and investments.
“It also demonstrates that managing our environment and addressing issues around climate change successfully needs the full buy in of sub-national governments and in fact every Nigerian,” he said.
The minister noted that the challenges associated with climate change were not the same across the country.
“Nigeria has a tropical climate with two precipitation regimes: low precipitation in the North and high precipitation in parts of the Southwest and Southeast.
“This can lead to aridity, drought, and desertification in the north, flooding and erosion in the South. Vulnerability analysis demonstrates that states in the North experience higher degrees of vulnerability to climate change than those in the South.
“The pattern of vulnerability to climate change also corresponds to the dominance of climate-sensitive agricultural activities,” Salako explained.
He noted that the Northern regions of Nigeria, which had higher degrees of rurality, were more vulnerable to climate change.
“The North-central region has the lowest sensitivity, likely associated with its relatively stable seasonal rains and the presence of a large distribution of lakes that allow for year-round irrigation.
“The most exposed region is the Northeast, as exposure factors vary across the country. Declining precipitation that affects water supply in rain-fed agriculture is an exposure issue of priority in the north.
“While water loss due to high soil porosity is a key concern in the Southeast, which also experiences high exposure.
“The Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Environment has undertaken some activities to address the challenges of climate change in the context of its development efforts,” he said.
He said that the project measured the extent of climate change awareness and action in the states of the Federation including the FCT and investigated the willingness of states to engage and increase their climate awareness and action.
“The Project applied SWOT Analysis that is Strengths (identified advantages), Weaknesses (identified gaps), Opportunities (resources) Threats (challenges) in dealing with climate change.
“This will help tailor-made policymaking and action plans with the specific needs and vulnerabilities of each state. With this, funding support and resources can be effectively allocated and directed to areas that are most vulnerable and require urgent action.
“This project was conceived as one of the efforts to assist the State Ministries of Environment with commendable steps to galvanize awareness of climate action at sub-national levels in Nigeria and ensure improved climate action and resilience among the state actors,” Salako said.
Hon. Sam Onuigbo, Member Governing Board and Chairman Committee on Security, Climate Change and Special Interventions North-East Development Commission (NEDC), said that the country was now living with the devastating impacts of climate change.
“The objectives of this programme are aligned with the provisions of Section 5 (1) of the Climate Change Act 2021 that describes the composition of the National Council on Climate Change.
“The reason for this is to allow for resolutions and policy decisions made at the Council to be conveyed by the representatives of the sub-nationals, namely the Chairman of the Governors’ Forum and the President of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria to the States and Local Governments, respectively.
“With the responsibilities assigned to the representatives of the subnational-the governors and the local government chairmen by the Act–they should begin to make adequate budgetary provisions for improved climate change action and resilience,” he advised.
Similarly, the Gov. Mohammed Bago of Niger said that the threat posed by climate change and other human activities that degrade the environment was one of the most pressing issues of our time.
“The world is facing drastic changes in temperatures, loss of biodiversity, and other adverse effects that results from human actions.
“Therefore, climate change is real and its impacts are being felt across the globe, Nigeria is not an exception.
“The commitment and dedication demonstrated by our government, as well as the people of Niger State, have been exemplary.
“The state has taken tangible steps towards mitigating the adverse effects of climate change from implementing sustainable agricultural practices to managing water resources and undertaking efficient reforestation and afforestation of degraded areas,” Bago explained.
The governor noted that in recognising the enormity of unwholesome environmental practices, Niger State had been at the forefront of the fight against climate change at the subnational level.
“In our unwavering effort to tackle this menace of climate change and provide a sustainable environment and economy for all and sundry, the state government recently organised a Green Economy Summit.
“It has the theme “Sustainable Future: Harnessing Green Assets and Innovation for Niger State’s Prosperity”.
“The state has formulated a policy document to guide the implementation of this green economy,” the governor said.
On her part, Mrs Abiodun Essiet, Senior Special Assistant, to the President on Community Engagement (North Central Region), stressed the importance of collaboration among the stakeholders.
Essiet said that it was imperative that key stakeholders partner to address the impact of climate change at the sub-national level and work towards improved climate change action and resilience.
“This launch event provides us with an opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue, share best practices, and forge partnerships that will enable us to collectively address the challenges of climate change.”
She commended the Federal Ministry of Environment, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, and the Society for Planet and Prosperity for the successful implementation of this crucial initiative.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the “Mapping Climate Change Impact, Policy and Action in Nigeria’s 36 states” project clearly aims to map the impact of climate change.
to effectively domesticate its policies to attract climate fund and investments. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Isaac Aregbesola