Globally, the impact of climate change has continued to pose a significant threat to life (both human and animals) and livelihood. Despite their regional peculiarities, which was previously used in assessing vulnerability as well as responses, the effects on climate change depends largely on existing infrastructural development and policies in managing, mitigating and adapting to the environment impacts.
However, a comparable incident of recent flooding with devastating impacts on modern development across Europe and Asia, will most likely have severe consequences for Africa and particularly, Nigeria due to poor infrastructural development. In addition, other climate events such as wildfire, drought and other extreme weather conditions reported across the globe, are indications of the need for severe climate emergency actions. For example, catastrophic flooding was recently reported in Western Germany, Belgium and China, despite their development and climate readiness that was built over time. An estimated $1.5b USD has been proposed to fix damaged railway network in Germany, which also recorded the loss of 180 human lives.
This amount surpasses the total (fiscal and recurrent) annual national budget of many countries including Nigeria with less developed infrastructure and responses. These threats are evident and seem to affect everyone and everything, with devastating effects leading to loss of biodiversity, property, potential disease outbreaks, human and animal lives. Sadly, they are predominately felt in rural communities with women and young girls - as the most vulnerable population group, and contributing to rural emigration, unemployment, poverty, disease and food insecurity in Nigeria.
It is therefore imperative to increase the participation of indigenous people and rural community, in climate leadership, as well as policies, in the search for solutions and accelerating green development at all levels. This will be in accordance with Cop24 Katowice report that provided a bottom-up approach to climate change governance and grassroot participation. Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic has been reported to worsen the problems of climate change and impacts on national economies, as well as green development efforts, particularly in Nigeria. It should be noted that Nigeria, despite these, is already facing both economic and development challenges.
Thus, it is important for Nigeria and particularly, the Nigerian Niger Delta region to be placed on red alert regarding climate vulnerability index. To better understand the growing impacts of climate change, promote greenhouse gas emission reduction and other sectoral carbon footprints, this step demands a fierce urgency of now. Further, identifying climate solutions, in order to, build their local adaptive capacity, as well as resilience is also necessary. One way of advancing the knowledge of nature-based solutions is to engage stakeholders at the sub-national level, to contribute to national and international climate solutions - is a gap this conference series has aimed to decrease and eventually fill.
The prediction that economies will recover at different pace, will depend largely on the robustness of the individual economy, available institutions and development (in terms of strategies and economic drive). Sadly, most of these recoveries will be at the expense of the environment and could roll-back previous climate gains and commitments. Also, climate change in Nigeria is perceived to further increase youth unemployment, gender inequalities and human rights violation, contribute to food security problem in the era of COVID-19. The Nigerian Niger Delta, which is characterized by oil and gas activities has continued to suffer from gas flaring and oil spillages. This has resulted in huge losses of ecosystems, biodiversity, agricultural lands with significant economic and livelihood implications. The implications can potentially deepen the unemployment and restiveness (particularly among youth and women), poverty, youth migration, gender inequality and human right abuses in Nigeria and Niger Delta, in particular.
Environmental stakeholders believe that the combination of these problems will further undermine the enshrined principles of sustainable development and slow progress in climate change management. The Nigeria national and local governments could blame the shrinking national economy and poverty to covid-19, to promote environmentally unsustainable activities to increase carbon emission, deplete natural resources and fragile ecosystems.
Anthropogenic-derived climate change, which is the main driver of environmental degradation, represent a great threat to poverty reduction, gender equality and undermining the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly goal #13 - climate action in Nigeria.
The 2021 conference will build on the gains from the 2019 edition of the climate conference and regional pre-COP25 meeting which was held on October 23 - 25, 2019, to achieve the objectives below.
The objectives of the conference are to:
- Review the achievement of the first edition of the conference and the 2019 developed regional government collaboration.
- Assess the Nigeria and regional government climate action, and sustainable green development plan.
- Better understand regional government effort in tackling climate change, environmental pollution, ecosystem restoration and flooding in the Niger Delta.
- Advance the knowledge of nature-based solutions and energy transition in climate change management.
- Develop a regional roadmap for climate change management at the grassroot level, as well as receive useful contributions to Nigeria cop26 document and negotiations by regional stakeholders.
Key topics of discussion
- Anthropogenic drivers of global and regional climate change.
- Advancing nature-based solutions through sustainable approaches
- Role of regional stakeholder interactions towards climate change livelihood and Ecosystem losses.
- Redd+, carbon trading and carbon financing mechanism
- Climate financing and green bond
Academia, Government, Private sector, local & international developmental organizations, youths, multilateral institutions, civil society organization, host communities and community-based groups, journalists, etc.
- Promote regional coordination and collaboration amongst governments, private sector, academia and civil society organizations in tackling environment and/or climate change.
- Enhance indigenous and local people participation (including gender mainstreaming) in climate actions and solutions.
- Develop a regional strategy and roadmap to climate management, and alternative livelihood development at the grassroot level.
- Receive local community input - voices in the Nigeria’s revised NDC’s to Cop 26.
Theme: Addressing Climate Emergency through Nature-based Solutions
Venue: Federal University of Petroleum Resources Effurun (FUPRE), Warri, Delta State, Nigeria
Date: October 7 – 8, 2021
Time: 10 am - 4 pm daily