FG adopts indigenous technology in climate fight
The Director, Department of Climate Change, Federal Ministry of Environment, Dr. Peter Tarfa made this known at a two-day School of Ecology organised by Health of Mother Earth Foundation and ETC Group in Abuja.
The event attracted civil society, scientists, legal practitioners, faith-based organizations. The African countries represented included Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Togo, South Africa, Eswatini, Cote d’Ivoire, Uganda, and Cameroon.
Tarfa said that the government will undertake an assessment of technological needs of the people and utilise climate funds for its development.
He told The Guardian that the ministry will embark on a scooping mission to know available indigenous knowledge and technology, which can be applied, based on some traditional long-time observations.
On the youth involvement in climate matters, Dr. Tarfa said, the government has already put structures in the six geopolitical zones, adding that 60 youths are expected in Abuja as part of the programme.
“We see them as strategic stakeholders, and we would want to tap their energy, inventive and creativity to bring on a platform. Mr. President wants them to be in environmental or climate owners.”
The Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Mr. Nnimmo Bassey called on the government to interrogate technologies, adding that efforts to enhance the efficiency of nature have led to the loss of species.
According to him, humans have practiced traditional biotechnology, while the commercialisation of genetically engineered organisms was barely three-decade-old.
He added that contemporary global technology fetish makes it difficult for citizens to question anything techie, and there is machinery for deep-sea mining that would have an impact on marine ecosystems.
At the end of the meeting, the participants called for the establishment of an African Technology Assessment Platform (AfriTAP), which brings together civil society groups working together to track, understand and assess the implications of emerging technologies.
They also declared that African governments should urgently diversify national economies away from dependence on fossil fuels and transit to renewable energy for all, owned and controlled by people.
The meeting agreed “that seeking public free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of indigenous people and local communities must be a precondition for the introduction of any new technologies in their territories.
“A moratorium on the approval or deployment of any variant of the genetically modified organism and urgent nation-wide consultations on these and other emerging technologies.
“Governments should shift their focus from industrial agriculture as a solution to the world food and climate crisis, to agroecology; invest in research on agroecology and support small scale farmers with the provision of extension service along with infrastructural resources.”
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