Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki

Some Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, including Climate and Sustainable Development Network of Nigeria, CSDevNet and Pan African Climate Justice, PACJA, say Nigeria is placed in the forefront of leading efforts in Africa to mitigate the effect of climate change.

The CSOs made this known on Wednesday on the maiden edition of Edo Climate Summit under the auspices of Connected Advocacy for Empowerment and Youth Development Initiative, CAEYDI, to mark the World Environment Day on June 5.

The summit was co-hosted by the Edo State Ministry of Environment.

Prince Isreal Orekha of CAEYDI and Mr Stephen Abuh of CSDevNet, in a joint statement after the summit stated that the summit being held in commemoration of the United Nations World Environment Day had as its theme, “The Role of State and Non-State Actors in Co-creating Strategic Reforms for Mitigating Climate Change”, adding, “This is part of the United Nations recommendations under the Paris agreement for individual countries to safeguard the health of the public and environment by reducing Green House Gas, GHG, emissions, thus combating global warming through commitments and actions”.

According to the Executive Director of CAEYDI, Prince Israel Orekha, if states and non-state actors collaborate by putting together realistic strategies to address climate change and other environmental issues, the impacts of climate change could be addressed.

He said, “We are very hopeful that Nigeria will enjoy a new dawn, especially with the recent rectification of the Paris Agreement in which President Mohammadu Buhari made a commitment for Nigeria to reduce GHG emission by 20 per cent and conditionally 45 per cent by 2020. This has placed Nigeria once again in the forefront of leading efforts in Africa”.

He said that Edo, like other States in the Niger Delta was currently threatened by climate change with growing evidence leading to extreme temperatures that result in excessive heat, decline in annual rainfall, and floods.

“The unpredictable weather conditions, air pollution, energy poverty, frequent flooding has further widened the poverty gap in the State. It also undermines the State’s contribution to both local and state development including the wellbeing of the people in the Niger Delta region. Therefore, this summit is aimed at bringing together experts in environmental matters from private and government bodies, the academia, civil society organisations, the media, as well as the Ministry of Environment. It will also include SDG desk officers and other key stakeholders who came together to discuss the vulnerability of the region in relation to threats on the environment, and balance up by developing realistic mitigation plans that best suit the State”, he said.

Stephen Abuh of CSDevNet added that the summit aspired to also develop clear action points to determine individual sector contributions to greenhouse emission reduction.

“It will also precipitate actions that will domesticate the Nationally Determined Commitment (NDC) towards implementing the Paris Agreement in Edo State and other Niger Delta states as part of the Presidential commitment. It will also provide an opportunity for plenary sessions, exhibitions, Tree planting and question and answer sessions”, he stated.

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