Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Opinion on the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC

Desert encroachment in Northern Nigeria | Photo Credit: Esther Agbarakwe
"The one message that comes out very clearly is that the world has to adapt and the world has to mitigate ... and the sooner we do that, the less the chances of some of the worst impacts of climate change being faced in different parts of the world." When Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) made this statement at the presentation on the fifth assessment report of the IPCC, it sounded like a bitter pill to swallow. The Report titled ‘Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability” places human activities at the front of climate change, and paints a glaring picture of a dark future the world faces if mitigation and adoption measures are not taken urgently against climate change.
As Environmentalists world over struggled to take in this "prophesy of doom", their Nigerian counterparts found it much more depressing to imagine the catastrophic impacts this portends for a country really doing nothing on climate change, despite it's already existing impacts.
For Nigerian environmentalist and Founder of FADE Dr Newton Jibunoh, the report has brought further attention to the need to tackle climate change with urgency especially for developing countries because of their poor capacity to mitigate the impact of disasters and poor governance that leads to the mismanagement of disaster relief efforts. "As I approach my late seventies, it is indeed heart warming to know that issues that I have been advocating for, over the last thirty years, have now come to the fore",he saysHe also alluded that citizens of these countries including Nigeria are becoming more aware of the volumes in resources that have been poorly managed in efforts to reconstruct communities and relieve suffering, making them more disenchanted.
The IPCC report indicates that overall crop yields in Africa and South Asia could decline by eight percent by 2050 and yields from tropical fisheries could decline by as much as 40 percent, while demand for food surges as diets change and populations rise in the developing world. In Africa, there will be twice as many people in 2050 as there are today, with Nigeria probably hitting 440million, surpassing that of the United States of America. Food crises will worsen for the country as the price of food is already rising due to the security unrest in some parts of Northern Nigeria where most food for the country is farmed. The developing world has smallholder farms that are responsible for up to 80 percent of food production and it is critical that we act now by investing in practical solutions that strengthen the resilience of smallholder famers and improve the sustainability of their livelihoods. Protocols and initiatives proposed in climate change conventions have not translated into positive progress in developing and underdeveloped countries because the groups who are most against legally binding adaptation and mitigation responses stand to lose a great deal, therefore they will do everything to stall the international cooperation process.
On the report, the Executive Secretary UNFCCC, Ms. Christiana Figueres had this to say, “This report is a tale of two futures – one of inaction and degradation of our environment, our economies, and our social fabric. The other is to seize the moment and the opportunities for managing climate change risks and making transformational change that catalyzes more adaptive and resilient societies where new technologies and ways of living open the door to a myriad of health, prosperity and job-generating benefits. The path of tomorrow is undoubtedly determined by our choices today. We must decide which path to follow”.
Following the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) decision to create a N1billion Fund to support climate change projects in African countries, the Director the AfDB Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department, Alex Rugamba ascertains that Africa remains the most vulnerable continent to climate change impacts however the region receives a very small portion of climate finance in comparison to other continents.
While majority of developed countries keep the rest of the world waiting for a climate deal, it has become essential for developing nations to begin to chart their own plan for adaptation, and some mitigation, as at least contributors to climate change. Nigeria must create its adaptation measures, not waiting for foreign aid. We must begin to focus on building a climate smart generation, stop unfettered exploitation of natural resources and careless growth in carbon emissions, while creating greener jobs, in a green economy.
As an organization, which has been at the forefront of promoting advocacy for over 10 years on mitigating the effects of climate change especially in Nigeria while also proffering adaptation measures to reduce impending disasters, here are some steps we proffer, which are globally accepted in tackling our climate crises;
1.      Increased use of Renewable sources of energy
2.      Adopt a cohesive and sustainable region-wide tree planting campaign framework.
3.      Invest in climate smart agriculture, empowering small scale farmers
4.      Environmental advocacy to classrooms and boardrooms thereby raising a climate smart generation
5.      Urging companies and industries to join the green transition.
6.      Research on combating health issues that will get unique and worse in the future due to the changing climate
With our initiatives such as the Desert Warriors Reality Show, Tree planting campaigns across the six geo-political zones and more recently our“Small Gardens Today, Small Forests Tomorrow”…The Forest Rangers Initiative”, it is our hope that small efforts like ours will be replicated globally so that we may collectively join hands and fight for a sustainable environment.

Written and shared by 
Fight Against Desert Encroachment (FADE)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

GLOBAL GOALS, CITIZEN SOLUTIONS: 2014 Global Philanthropy Forum Conference:

Next week, I will travel to Redwood City in California, USA to speak at the 2014 Global Philanthropy Forum Conference on Advocating for the Environment.  According to the organisers, governments can set goals, mobilize resources and coordinate action. But to combat poverty in all of its dimensions and meet ambitious new development goals, they must join forces with citizen innovators from the private and social sectors and take into account the role that both human nature and human ingenuity can play. 

Local philanthropy on the other hand is rising in Africa with strong private sector engagements in job creation and economic growth but are such  investments working with strong ethical considerations to the environment?  

Follow the @gpforg  and @estherclimate on twitter to get updates and join the conversations via #gpf14

For more info on the event, Click here

1 Billion + 3 Reasons to Think about 2030

There is a lot to think about when you are in a room filled with social media pioneers, global thinkers, and experts from one of the world’s most populous countries: India. Everything you think about, in fact, starts with the reminder that 1 billion people are counting on the answers to how we tackle the big challenges: improving global health, empowering girls and women, confronting the realities of climate change, and leveraging technology and new media to advocate for economic and social development.

1 Billion + 3 Reasons to Think about 2030

Lessons learned from #India +SocialGood


300 Million People Need Your Help, Are You In?

300 Million People Need Your Help, Are You In?

Last week in Paris marked the second meeting of the G20 Employment Taskforce- one of the six official working groups of the world’s premier economic and financial forum. At the St Petersburg G20 Summit in 2013, world leaders committed to come to Brisbane in 2014 with a concrete action plan referred to as a ‘comprehensive growth strategy’ that outlines the steps they will commit to taking to drive economic growth in their respective countries. Within each of these plans lies an ‘individual country employment plan’ that focuses on boosting employment and lifting participation. It’s the latter of these two strategies that the taskforce on employment is responsible for. As Chair of the G20 Youth Summit, I headed to Paris with a...Read More


UNDP's Helen Clark Hosts Twitter Chat for...

[PHOTO] UNDP Chief @HelenClarkUNDP discusses development goals for You+Davos+SocialGood,

UNDP's Helen Clark Hosts Twitter Chat for...

UNDP Chief discusses development goals for You+Davos+SocialGood,

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Are you between the ages of 10-24? Here is your chance to let your voice be heard!

The National Agency for the Control of AIDS and its partners including UNICEF and Population Council have launched a social media  campaign tagged #HIVmata to gather input from Adolescents and Young People (AYP) for the development of the National HIV Prevention Strategy for Adolescents and Young People (AYP) in Nigeria.

HIV/AIDS is one of the most important challenges of our generation. According to UNICEF Nigeria,  The present generation of young people is the largest in Nigeria's history. Coincidently, the higest rate of HIV infection is constantly recorded among this group 

A quick on-line survey  for Adolescents and Young People  have been developed around  variety of HIV-related issues such as HIV prevention education, condoms, HIV counselling and testing (HCT), HIV treatment, Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) for young people from  ages  gr10-24.

This survey takes 5 minutes  answers will be completely confidential and anonymous.

Getting Adolescents and Young People (AYP) to share their views  will make the development of the National HIV Strategy for AYP in Nigeria more robust.

This survey is open till the 21st of April 2014.