To celebrate International Women's Day, the NGF hosted an interactive dialogue with key female climate change advocates and representatives via Twitter Spaces to elaborate on Sustaining Climate Change Activities in Nigeria.
Climate change in Nigeria is significant and is evident in increases in temperature, rainfall; rise in sea level and flooding; drought, desertification, and land degradation.
The effects of climate change can be felt in a lack of fresh-water resources and a loss of biodiversity. To celebrate International Women’s Day and better inform the public on the role of the states in tackling climate change, as well as interventions from Climate Change Advocates, the NGF hosted a Tweet Space Dialogue on March 16th at 9 am.
The speakers included Mrs. Solape Hammond, the Special Adviser on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) in Lagos, Adenike Oladosu, an Ecofeminist, Ecoreporter, founder of ILeadClimate Action initiative, Joy Egbe, a Climate Activist & Social Entrepreneur and from the NGF, Mr. Eghosa M. Omoigui who is the Head of Stakeholder Relationship at the Nigeria Governors’ Forum Secretariat.
Mr. Eghosa M. Omoigui stated that there are high and lofty targets when it comes to achieving sustainable development goals and that one of the strategic objectives is the mainstreaming of gender, youths into climate change interventions and to reduce the impact of climate change in the environment.
He added that there are three policy measures to achieving the SDG goals. For one, it would be to ensure that women participate equally and actively alongside men and are able to take up leadership positions throughout the climate change program management cycle.
The second would be to bridge the data gap on gender and climate change. Thirdly, he emphasized that we must invest in women, youth, and other vulnerable groups to participate actively and effectively in national climate change responses. At the dialogue, Mrs. Solape Hammond stated that Lagos has a resilience office that is one of the 50 cities supported by Rockefeller to define a resilience plan that was developed in 2020 and it’s been incorporated into the climate action plan by the Ministry of Environment.
She added that the resilience office has a plan to respond to changes. Therefore, ensuring that the impact of climate change is minimized. ‘‘Our office, the sustainable and development office which has the responsibility of mainstreaming the SDGs across the state also works with the ministries and agencies and across the private sector and development partners to implement certain initiatives,’’ stated Mrs. Hammond.
Mrs. Solape also stated that climate change does not only affect the environment. It has a foot in everything. That is also is a factor in poverty affecting women.
For example, women have to use firewood because they can’t afford to buy a cylinder of gas and it affects their health. ‘‘Women struggle from the problem, and they can also be part of the solution. We must give women more options when it comes to cooking.’’
The Special Adviser further stated that the office of the SDG is always ready to partner with private institutions to arrive at solutions towards climate change.
Joining the discussion was also Adenike Oladosu who is an Ecofeminist, Ecoreporter, and Founder of ILeadClimate Action Initiative. She stated that what her organization does is try to give women access to resources.
‘‘Through the UNDP grant that we receive, we were able to give women access to organic fertilizer to improve productivity.’’
Adenike added that land is a key aspect of tackling the climate change crisis.
She said that if women have full rights to own their land, it could be a solution multiplier in tackling climate change crises in strengthening the girl right child’s education and improving their savings and bargaining power. Adenike further elaborated that women without rights become vulnerable to crises. When there is a spike in flood rates, we often see a rise in child brides.
‘‘Today’s girls are tomorrow’s women. When they become child brides, it deprives them of different rights. This all affects their progress,’’ said Adenike.
To tackle this, Adenike said that we must look at gender bills and policies.
That it is necessary to have the right structures that would enable the policies to thrive. Joy Egbe who is the Co-founder of Newdigit Technologies said that through her organization, they endeavor to train young people, fresh graduates on green businesses and innovation.
She stated that their vision is to eradicate energy poverty in Nigeria. Joy added that through advocacy, she learned that it was not enough to tell people that they should cut down trees and turn off the lights.
She stated that we must have solutions for vulnerable people who depend on this for survival. What is needed is to empower more people to be part of the solution.
The dialogue ended with some questions from the listeners who wanted to know about alternative renewable sources of energy and how more young people can be part of the solution to climate change.
Joy answered that one alternative source of energy is ‘‘Just Add Water,’’ which is in its pilot stage but it is powered by hydrogen and is a portable device that can be used to cook.
As for the question on how to get more young people involved in the process of climate change, she stated that it matters to conduct a community assessment.
That what is needed is for young people to search into their own environment and communities to figure out problems that are keen to their environment.
All speakers agreed and emphasized that climate change is not for one individual only, but all must take an active approach to solve the problem within their capacity in their own community.
You can listen to the recording here: Sustaining Climate Change Activities in Nigeria