THE climate change phenomenon in recent decades has become a cause for global concern. Just like other nations, Nigeria has stepped up actions to mitigate and adapt to the threats posed by climate change.
Similarly, states have taken up the challenge. Lagos State, faced with the threat of SLR and flooding, is one of such states, hence, the move to venture into preparing a climate change policy.
Last week, the state Ministry of Environment in collaboration with the United Nations Development Progranmme UNDP, met with experts at a three-day workshop to validate the state draft Climate Change Policy and Action Plan.
The event had in attendance policy makers, civil societies, academia, environmental experts, private sector guru, international organizations and the media from around the world.
Some of the personalities that deliberated on the draft include: Prof Niyi Osuntogun; Prof Jide Alo (FAS), Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic and Research, University of Lagos, UNILAG; Prof. David Okali, Nigerian Environmental Study/Action Team NEST, Ibadan, Oyo State and Peterson Olum, an environment and climate change consultant, from Kenya, among others.
At the workshop, Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, said the draft policy was aimed at addressing the impact of climate change in state, noting that the journey leading to the draft of the policy and action plan was tortuous.
“Our approach to climate action is guided by two considerations: first, the need to be pragmatic and sustainable: we bear in mind the costs and the trade-offs involved and thereby adopt policies that balance both economic growth and sustain the environmental.
“Secondly, the imperative of collective action at the local and global levels; at the local level, we have inexorably been engaging different stakeholders at individual and corporate levels to form a strong partnership between the public, private and the people.” Bello said.
According to him; “The state government, with the holding of the three-day workshop has demonstrated its continued commitment to seeking and formulating policy framework necessary for mitigating and adapting the society to the impact of climate change.”
However, the final product of the draft is expected to be a document that will be given speedy approval of the State Executive Council.
The Ministry of the Environment MoE, of the state government will be responsible for the implementation of the policy, working in close collaboration with other key line ministries. The policy recommends that various implementation instruments be developed for its operationalisation. These include an elaborate State Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan.
The Climate Change Department within the MoE shall coordinate and manage the implementation of the Policy so as to enhance synergies and minimise duplication of efforts.
It shall work jointly with existing relevant state and national governments’ agencies, departments and institutions as well as other agencies, departments and institutions that may be established in the implementation of the policy.
As a coordinating institution, the Climate Change Department shall be vested inter alia with mandates to design climate change strategies and plans, design relevant projects, promote the introduction of climate change in education curriculum, and initiate relevant climate change capacity building projects.