Scholars gather over climate changeNigeria
The effects of the twists and turns of the weather have drawn the nation’s scholars to a roundtable. The academics, mostly from tertiary institutions, assembled recently in Enugu to discuss the issue as it concerns Nigeria particularly its southern parts. Although many papers were presented at the one-day international summit, there was no communiqué to outline the findings and conclusions. However, the Executive Director, African Institute for Applied Economics, Prof Eric Eboh, gave some hints as to the high vulnerability of poor countries to climate change. He identified structural weakness of the economy as one of the factors that contribute to the high vulnerability of poor countries to climate change.
The one day International Conference with the theme "Enhancing Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change in Southern Nigeria: Challenges and opportunities" was convened by the African Institute of Applied Economics at Bridge Waters Hotel, Enugu. Eboh also attributed the high vulnerability of poor countries to climate change to low institutional capacity for economic growth and lack of infrastructural and technological capabilities, advocating that adaptation strategies must be holistic, specific and dynamic.
He said there was need for the adaptation design to be multi-sectoral, multidimensional and multilevel, stressing that adaptation planning and response management should not be left to the Federal or States Ministries of Environment alone, adding that rather, there should be policy and programmatic synergies across implicated sectors including health, agriculture, urban development, water resources, science and technology and public finance.
He explained that the conference which attracted renowned professors including Professor Ukwu I. Ukwu was organized to offer an avenue to disseminated critical findings of the current research on climate change impacts and adaptation in Southern Nigeria carried out by the African Institute for Applied Economics in collaboration with Reading University UK and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. According to him, ownership and adaptation strategies should be ensured through active participation of stakeholders including local government authorities, local communities, civil society and private sectors. "Adaptation and related responses to climate change impacts should be knowledge based. Feed back and interactive relationship should be taken into account in planning and implementing polices and measures for adaptation. Adaptation strategies must focus on increasing the adaptive capacities of people, business and ecosystems. "Overall, Nigeria’s success in addressing climate change through adaptation depends upon four pillars: sustainable access to productive wealth; human health, sound education and good governance. Underpinning these pillars are the requirements of speed, scale, focus and integration ..." he stated
The African Institute of Applied Economics, he assured would on its part, continue to work in close collaboration with stakeholders to promote research based understanding of policy and pragmatic choices for climate change adaptation in Nigeria.. "Let me lastly say that climate change presents opportunities and risks for sustainable development. The choice is clear for every country: act to tap the opportunities and mitigate the risks or do nothing and suffer grave consequences. Given Nigeria’s Vision to become one of the top 20 economies in the year 2020, the choice is to act decisively, coherently and effectively,"he advised.
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