By Gabriel Ewepu & Fortune Eromosele – Abuja
AS environmental issues continue to give concern across the world, ActionAid Nigeria, AAN, Friday, disclosed that Nigeria will loose N38 trillion to climate change by 2050 if cutting down trees and indiscriminate bush burning continues.
The Country Director, AAN, Ene Obi, disclosed this during the commemoration of the International Day of Rural Women and launch of the #EarthWalk Campaign, with theme: ‘Rural Women Cultivating Good for All.’
Obi, who was represented by the Director of Resource, Mobilization and Innovation, AAN, Andrew Mamedu, noted that for Nigeria to have a sustainable food system, challenges of climate change and hike in cost of food prices must be addressed urgently.
Obi said: “Climate change will cost Nigeria between six percent and 30 percent of its GDP by 2050. And this is worth between $100 billion and $460 billion, which is N38 trillion will be lost to climate change.
“2022 budget is N16 trillion so that means that two years the budget will be lost to climate change, that is the minimum. But the maximum gives us $460, which is N170 trillion, and in 10 years, our budget will be lost to activities of climate change in Nigeria alone.”
Meanwhile, she warned against indiscriminate cutting down trees and burning of bushes as they contribute to climate change immensely, appealed to people living in rural communities to desist from the act and embrace the warm fragrance of nature.
“As we reflect on the impact that climate change has on food security, it is important to note that 70 per cent of Nigerians are smallholder farmers with relatively low-level technologies.
“Smallholder farmers, particularly women have been devastated by unpredictable climate, falling crop prices, failed intervention promises, and economic tensions that have caused repercussions on the market and their livelihoods.
“Despite the planet’s capacity to provide sufficient and good food for all, an increasing number of people are not getting enough food and nutrition. The COVID-19 pandemic, climate and environmental crises have compounded food insecurity in many parts of Nigeria, and the world.
“Significant loss of income and limited access to social protection fueled this problem globally and approximately 2.37 billion people did not have access to adequate food in 2020, which is an increase of almost 20 per cent or 320 million people in just one year”, she said.
Explaining essence of the #EarthWalk Campaign she said, “Symbolically, we are leveraging the #EarthWalk Campaign to amplify the call for rebuilding the broken global food system using the bottom-up approach.
“There must be broad-based, diverse, and healthy food crop production for local, national, and regional markets. This is critical to supporting rural women’s livelihoods and ensuring food security for all.”
She (Obi) commended the role rural women play in food systems ranging from production to processing, preparation, distribution, and consumption as they secure household and community nutrition.
Earlier, an advocacy and sensitization march was held in Dakwa community in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, against climate change, which saw some of the campaigners bearing placards with inscriptions such as: ‘One planet, one chance, planting trees can reduce the rising heat, awareness without action is worthless, global warming bad for farming, promote climate justice, climate justice now! Silence is disastrous. ‘
Meanwhile, the Village Head of Dakwa, Shauiba Samu, appreciated ActionAid for its campaign against practices that contribute to climate change, and promised to educate members of his community against indiscriminate bush burning and other insidious practices capable of deepening climate change.