By Kingsley Adegboye
Determined to combat the menace of climate change, the Lagos state government has come up a policy framework that will serve as template for combating climate change in the state.
The document which was presented for validation at a stakeholders meeting declared open by the Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello covered seven thematic areas.
They include: adaptation and disaster risk management, climate change mitigation and low carbon economy, climate change governance, agriculture and food security, human settlement, security and health as well as coastal and natural resources management.
The participants were drawn from the public and private sectors. They came from Ministry of Information, Rural Development, Physical Planning, Agriculture, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA and Civil Society Organisations.
The experts did a critique of the policy document and commended Lagos State government for blazing the trail in Nigeria through a policy framework on climate change. They enjoined the state government to accelerate the process of enacting the policy.
Lagos had in the past, instituted programmes geared towards mitigating and adapting to the scourge of climate change. Such programmes include the international summit on climate change, climate change in schools, tree planting and carbon credit among others.
The Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental services, Ministry of the Environment, Mrs.. Titi Anibaba described the stakeholders’ meeting as very necessary considering the nature, culture and location of Lagos. Represented by Head, School Advocacy Unit, Mrs. Idowu Philips, she described climate change as a global phenomenon, the effect of which include flooding.
According to her, Nigeria, particularly Lagos, is not left out in the effort to combat the effects of climate change as it is faced by flooding, food shortage and erosion.
Mr. Sulaimon Arigbabu of HEDA Resource Centre said that “Lagos State is currently developing a comprehensive policy that will provide an integrated approach to reducing vulnerabilities to climate change and also some framework for enhancing the capacities of all relevant stakeholders to implement measures”.
According to him, a comprehensive, coherent, clear and ambitious climate change policy would build the adaptive capacity of Lagosians to cope with major changes and consequences of climate change. This singular effort will also set the State on the path to energy efficiency and low carbon economy without compromising her short-term competitiveness”.