Climate change has emerged as the most severe existential crisis affecting humanity with disproportionate effects in sub-Saharan Africa where awareness is low and adaptive capacity limited. Yet communities in this region stand to be affected in a myriad of ways. The World Bank predicts that nearly a hundred million such individuals are at risk of being plunged deeper into extreme poverty making it even more difficult for them to adapt to a changing climate.
Despite the seriousness of the unfolding situation, a large section of the population in these communities even in large nations like Nigeria are unaware of the dangers and realities of climate change. Communities that are well informed about climate change are more resilient and can adapt better than those that remain uninformed. Similarly, a community with an elaborate climate change information program can share experiences and learn from best practices, and mistakes and also establish reporting procedures for adaptation which is critical to reducing vulnerability to climate change and improving livelihoods.
It is against this backdrop that the Climate Pledge Project gathered stakeholders in Makurdi to discuss "Organic Way to Improve Conservations Around Climate Change in Africa", through a two-day conference, organized by DevTrain and CoSET with support from Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Nigeria.
Dr. Hemen Butu, who delivered the keynote address, emphasized that approximately 130 million already poor people are projected to fall deeper into extreme poverty by 2030 largely due to climate change, and that Africa’s action on climate change must materialize faster than would be necessary for other locations. The continent of Africa, he said, does not have the time or resources to take a back seat in the fight against climate change; hence there was a huge need for huge capital to finance the adaptation and mitigation of climate change on the continent.
Participants were encouraged to adopt a community-led approach centered on social and behavioural changes to combat the externalities of climate change. Such as; increased tree planting, effective land usage, preference for organic fertilizer usage, proper water management practices and effective knowledge sharing.
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