AE-FUNAI centre pledges partnership with youth groups on climate education
The Director, Centre for Climate Change and Development, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu Alike (CCCD-AEFUNAI), Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke, has promised to partner with youth led climate change and environmental organisations to conduct climate education programmes in the country within the next five years.
Okereke made the declaration, while delivering a keynote speech titled ‘Beyond COP26: Global Climate effort, Nigeria’s implementation readiness, and implications for the youth’ during a one-day Nigeria Youth Post COP26 Conference for South-East Geo-political zone of Nigeria, organised by Global Environmental and Climate Conservation Initiative (GECCI) in collaboration with United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, CCCD-AEFUNAI and Society for Planet and Prosperity.
According to him, the centre would provide part of the resources, intelligence and capacity to design such project. He also called on the organiser to work with other organisations to come up with suggestions on how the programme can become a reality.
He noted that the youth possess the needed energy and capacity to drive the campaign for the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), Climate Change Act and other Long term vision policies enacted by the Federal government,
He further stressed that the young people, who still have number of years would bear the brunt of the climate change, if nothing is done to ensure that government intentionally implement the content of the NDC and the Climate Change Act to avert the looming catastrophic consequences.
Okereke, however, thank the Federal Government for its commitments so far in investing and developing different climate change policies, such the NDCs and Climate Change Act aimed at mitigating climate change and ensuring adaptation in the country.
According to him, existing documents do not have well spelt out programmes that will ensure that the set target of reducing emission in the country would be achieved.
He reminded the youth that climate change challenge offers them opportunities in the areas of advocacy, innovation and climate education, and charged them to embrace the opportunities and make their voices heard in the climate change arena.
In his opening remarks, the Ebonyi State Vice President, Global Environmental and Climate Conservation Initiative, Ukachukwu Ifeanyi, said that the conference became imperative to address the role of Nigerian youths in climate change mitigation and adaptation as climate change posed a great danger to the survival of mankind.
He called on youths to come together and form a common front in the crusade for climate change action. During the panel session, SSA to the Governor on Environment and Climate Change, Sunny Ugwuocha, Dr. Robert Onyeleke, Elochukwu Anieze, Chinedu Nwasum and Nnaemeka Justus Unigwe, spoke on different aspect of the conference theme such as youth participation in climate change, legal implication of climate change policies, climate education and communication.
In his closing remarks, the Chief Executive Officer, GECCI, Elochukwu Anieze, thanked participants, who attended the conference and admonished them to pass the information and knowledge from the conference to the neighbours and friends.
The one-day conference, which was held at Muchels hotel, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, attracted young advocates, entrepreneurs, researchers, students, academia, civil society organisations, Non-Governmental organisations (NGOs) and other change-makers from the South East.