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ICPR partners Cross River border communities to mitigate climate change

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The Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ICPR) and stakeholders in Cross River State border communities are collaborating to mitigate challenges of climate change with a view to preventing conflicts that might emanate from global warming.

Director General of ICPR, Dr. Batut Batut, disclosed this in Calabar at a one-day workshop on Climate Change Remediation, Peace Building Advocacy and Sensitisation Drive in border communities of the state.

Batut, who was represented by Head, Gender Peace and Security Unit of ICPR, Mrs. Grace Awodu, said if climate change affect livelihoods, there would conflict for survival, noting that this could be prevented by sensitising the people on the reality of climate change.

“We are here to sensitise people on the reality of climate change on the environment especially border communities and to let Cross River people know that they are not the only ones affected, as well as stress that there is the need to recognise the challenge to prevent conflicts.

“The first law of nature is survival, everybody wants to survive. Now if the climate is affecting livelihood, it means that people will want to do everything possible to survive and in attempting to survive, they might have to confront other people.

“Climate change also leads to humanitarian emergencies because people are forced to migrate from their natural domains to survive, leading to scrambling for limited space and resources,” she said.

She explained that during their visit to Ikang in Bakassi Council, the people complained about depletion of the mangrove that provides natural protection that traps carbon in the environment, adding: “Carbon degrades the environment and this will will create more problems.”

She said ICPR and other stakeholders would partner creatively in generating ideas for survival without necessarily depleting the environment.

Also speaking at the workshop, Chairman of Bakassi Council, Iyadim Aboni, said communities that have both land and sea borders were affected by militancy, excessive logging and smuggling.

He said waste materials from Calabar were being washed into the coatal areas causing environmental hazards in the communities. He lamented that Federal Government’s ceding of Bakassi to Cameroon generated most of the problems, especially militancy, adding: “There were no militants in the area until government ceded Bakassi to Cameroon.”

Presenting a paper on Climate of Environmental Changes: A Study on The Impact of Socio-Economic Livelihood, Human Security and Sovereignty in Nigerian Border Communities, Director of External Conflict Prevention (ECP), Chukwuemeka Mba, explained that the global community had continued to experience rising sea levels, extreme weather conditions and increase concentration of greenhouse gases.

He said Africa seemed to be mostly affected and had suffered adverse effects of the backlash of climate change due to lack of adequate mitigation strategies.

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