By Kingsley Adegboye
Participants at the just concluded 4th Lagos Climate Change Summit, have called on the the Federal government to take the lead in integrating the states into its efforts at combating the challenges of climate change. They also called for good synergies between policy makers, scientists, the citizens and other stakeholders.
A 27-point communique issued at the end of the three-day summit which had Vulnerability and Adaptability in Nigeria: Lagos State Agriculture, Industry and Health Sectors in Focus, as its theme, the experts urged the state to work closely with the Federal Government to improve its accessibility to various global resources to address climate change as well as explore additional bilateral relations to enhance its capacity to respond to climate change.
They charged Lagos state to collaborate with the Federal government to establish an enabling environment, including tax incentives, that will facilitate large-scale adoption of LPG cookers and accessories as well as other energy efficient cooking appliances at affordable costs to the semi-urban and rural households.
Furthermore, the participants urged the Lagos state government to strengthen its research capacity to gather, analyse and disseminate climate change related data such as high resolution digital elevation land-use patterns, meteorological and oceanographic data to facilitate the determination of climate change risks, impacts and adaptation as well as planning.
They called on the state to develop a comprehensive coastal adaptation strategy and identify cost effective and appropriate adaptation options for different areas and infrastructure at risk.
Calling for the enhancement of the capacities of Local Government Areas in order to enable them lead the way in climate change adaptation, the experts urged the state government to adopt a bottom-up approach to climate change adaptation and partner effectively with private sector operators and civil society organizations.
They advocated a comprehensive response approach that will include climate change information system, flood risk analysis and operational adaptation strategy, with emphasis on increasing people’s resilience.
For the effective management of the coastal and marine ecosystem in the face of climate change, the experts called on the state to invest in the empowerment of research institutions to predict local impacts, partner with adjoining states to build regional response capabilities and flexibilities, prepare for adjustment to shoreline changes and protect the livelihoods of the affected people, particularly the fishery sector.