Climate activists, under the platform of Peace Advocacy and Sustainable Development Outreach (PASDO), at the weekend marched to the Anambra State Government Secretariat in Awka, the state capital to demand action on climate change from the executive governor of the state, Prof Chukwuma Soludo.
PASDO’s march was to commemorate the upcoming 2022 World Environment Day tagged, “Only One Earth”. The World Environment Day is celebrated on the 5th of June every year.
Speaking with our correspondent, the organising secretary of the rally Chidimma Uwakwe, said the objective of the outreach was to draw the attention of the state governor and encourage him to take climate change adaptation seriously.
She said, “It is sad that Anambra state suffers the worst impacts of climate change in Nigeria and Africa, but doesn’t make efforts to access international climate change adaptation funds to help it tackle the problems. That is what we want to change,” adding “We have a guest climate change expert with us who is billed to deliver a lecture to the honorable commissioner later”.
During the lecture session , a climate change expert, Elochukwu Ezenekwe, harped on the phenomenon of climate change; how it could be tackled and how its negative impacts cut across the work of most of the government ministries in the state.
He also discussed the concept of climate justice and went informed about climate Change Adaptation Funds which he said developing countries could access to help them tackle the impacts of climate change in their areas.
The lecturer, tasked the governor to set a target of securing up to $20m in climate change adaptation funds for the people of the state during his tenure.
The lecturer said “This is something we can do. The governor should not be scared to set an ambitious target and challenge the experts to work”.
In case of paucity of funds to hire the right human capital, Ezenekwe volunteered to help out, stating that he had worked in various international organizations, including the world’s largest climate change research body – the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Responding to the lecture, the Commissioner for Environment, Engr. Felix Odimegwu, thanked the experts for the visit, while expressing surprise about some revelations made.
In the words of the commissioner, “I know about climate change. It is something that is affecting everyone and it is a big issue internationally. We have a Climate Change Desk in the Ministry and I have had several discussions with the staff.
But this is the first time I am hearing about the adaptation funds. I didn’t know such funds exist but I will like to make my own investigations”.
The commissioner for environment agreed with the expert on the need for Anambra State to be up and doing in going after such opportunities.
“We need to change from being passive, from waiting for these things to come to us; we need to start going after these funds and opportunities wherever they are”.
Engr. Felix Odimegwu is expected to transmit to the Governor, the document submitted by the organization with a three-point recommendation for the Governor.