BY MADUABUCHI EFEGADI
As the effects of climate change continue to ravage mainly Africa which, ironically, is the least emitter, communities in Nigeria’s delta region are being trained on how to access the climate change funding, which amounts to some $100 billion.
The Niger Delta, Nigeria’s oil-producing belt, is particularly harried by oil production activities, with climate change adding to their woes.
The training is therefore to enlighten the communities and councillors on the availability of the green climate funding as well as how to access it to mitigate climate change effects on their environment, said Emem Okon, executive director, Kebetkache Women Development & Resource Centre, a nongovernmental organisation.
Okon explained that the project aims at deepening understanding of gender and climate change, and to advocate gender concerns into change responses in the Niger Delta communities. She said if communities have access to funding, they can plan for adoption and mitigation measures which will help in reducing the negative implications of climate change on the people; while gender responsive will increase women participation and those with disabilities.
According to Okon, climate change has badly affected farming especially in the Niger Delta region, resulting in low crop yields, food insecurity, hunger and family crisis. These, she said, affected women most since they are key players in food production. Some of the signals of climate change include flooding, poor harvest, rising sea level, severe heat, increased temperature, among others.
Tititope Asoka, the resource person, explained that there are lots of international funding for climate change and that the G7 countries have taken responsibility to give funding to developing nations to mitigate and adapt their environment.
Akosa said communities (especially in the oil-bearing Niger Delta region) should be informed that there are international instruments that make environment polluters pay for restoring the environment; hence they should take advantage of the process.
She expressed optimism that ward councillors can be in a best position to inform their communities and their local government chairman, hence the training.
“If we must reduce the impact of climate change, we must access the fund,” she said.
She explained how to access the climate change fund via a proposal targeted at projects that have direct bearing on climate change, and sent to the Federal Ministry of Environment.
Uche Uriri, permanent secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Women Affairs, said the ministry takes seriously the effects of climate change particularly on women and advised the people to pay more attention to waste disposal.
Community leaders at the meeting promised to sensitize their communities on the effect of climate change, learn how to adapt to mitigation plans, and collaborate with governments in the Niger Delta.
The Climate Change Fund (CCF) was established in May 2008 to facilitate greater investments in developing member countries (DMCs) to effectively address the causes and consequences of climate change, by strengthening support to low-carbon and climate-resilient development in DMCs. Today, governments and intergovernmental organizations—such as the UN—are among the most significant funders of climate change action. The $321 billion in climate finance from public sources account for 51 percent of total global commitments.
Twelve years ago, at a United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, rich nations of the world made a significant pledge to channel $100 billion a year to less-wealthy nations by 2020, to help them adapt to climate change and mitigate further rises in temperature. Also, last year, just before the United Nations Climate Change conference in Glasgow, Scotland (Oct. 31 to Nov. 12, 2021), a flurry of pledges had led to hopes that, by 2022, rich nations would manage to transfer $100 billion annually.