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Nigeria urges good governance in Africa to tackle climate change

The Guardian

Without good governance by individual African states, challenges posed by global climate change may yet spell doom for the continent when the negative effect of earth warming due to emission of toxic substances into the atmosphere peaks.

This was the submission of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan at the official opening of the Seventh African Development Forum (ADF VII) yesterday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He stressed Nigeria’s readiness to fully cooperate with other African countries towards ensuring the continent’s adaptive capacity.

Ethiopian President Ato Girma Wolde-giorgis and African Union (AU) Commission chairman Jean Ping, listened as Jonathan, in a goodwill message read on his behalf by the Minister of Environment, Chief , alluded to the scientifically-established fact that although Africa contributes the least to the anthropogenic causes of climate change, the region would be more vulnerable to its impact.

Reports from established bodies of authority on climate change have clearly demonstrated that it is the major challenge to the continent’s developmental efforts if its leaders fail to rise collectively to confront the problem now.

“The challenges are such that could result in widespread insecurity and breach of peace both globally and on the continent. These revolve around land-use management, natural disasters in form of sea level rise, flooding and water scarcity. These will cause large scale population displacement,” Jonathan stated.

The ceremony, which started on Friday with a pre-event training workshop, kicked off on Monday, with various meetings on three sub-themes: the Evidence and Impact of climate change; climate change challenges and opportunities; and Africa and the international climate change negotiations.

The main theme of the six-day event is, “Acting on climate change for sustainable development in Africa.” Many other Nigerians also present at yesterday’s event, include the Minister of Water Resources, Chief Obadiah Ando (who left  for Nigeria before the formal opening ceremonies) and the chairman of African Business Forum and NEPAD, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. The event’s theme song, Save Our Land, was rendered by Nigerian musician, Ras Kimono.

But emphasising that migration was already posing a major challenge, both nationally and internationally, especially against the backdrop of the fact that environmental migrants were currently not provided for under the international law, President Jonathan, however, stressed that Climate Change would present a lot of developmental challenges to the continent.

His words: “The challenges would only have negative impacts that could trigger insecurity and breach of peace if we do not engender good governance across the continent. Good governance that is people oriented would help to position our people and continent to contain the negative impacts of climate change through robust adaptation mechanism and effective mitigation measures”.

“I want to express the commitment of Nigeria to continue to collaborate with other African Nations and relevant development agencies to explore solutions that could assist our people in the continent to respond to the impacts of climate change through adaptation and relevant mitigation measures”.

In opening remarks, United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Abdoulie Janneh, said confronting the consequences of the multiple crises has been a daunting challenge for Africa, although its growth performance during the period showed some degree of resilience.

He stated: “As undesirable as the short-term cyclical economic downturn may be for Africa’s development prospects, their effects are nowhere near the long term damage of climate change whose impact on economic, social and communal life in Africa has begun to be manifested in visible and measurable ways”.

He noted that the AU Commission was working closely with partners notably the ECA and the African Development Bank (AfDB) on the Climate for Development in Africa Programme (ClimDev-Africa). ClimDev is an AfDB initiative to integrate climate Risk Management (CRM) into pertinent policy and decision-making processes throughout the continent.

Earlier, during the AfDB session on Green Fund  for Climate Change, Director of Irrigation in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mr Joe Kwanashie, who stood in for Ando, enunciated what may stand for Nigeria ’s position regarding funding when he said: “We have been living with climate change in Lake Chad. In recent years we have witnessed flood in areas where it was semi-arid. This is a new phenomenon. However, we are  in full support of the principle in establishing the Green Fund, but there is a need to look into the modalities and operational guidelines”.

Speaking With The Guardian, Tukur reiterated that climate change was a serious reality, which all peoples of the world must tackle.

He said: “There should be painstaking awareness. We need to be aware and careful. It affects a lot of things. I don’t know if it was quickly discovered by the developed countries, who are the chief polluter; we are not the polluter, but the sufferer.”

Tukur said Africans should now work with one voice, adding: “We have no choice but to come together. First of all, internally we have to agree to tackle the problem and then what to get out of it.”

El contenido de las noticias que se presentan en esta sección es responsabilidad directa de las agencias emisoras de noticias y no necesariamente reflejan la posición del Gobierno de México en este u otros temas relacionados.


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