Thursday, 23.06.2022 - Friday, 24.06.2022 - The Wells Charlton Hotel and Apartments, Abuja

Multistakeholder Forum on Climate Change as a Security Threat

“Though agriculture represents the cornerstone of the economy in Africa, accounting for a significant proportion of livelihoods, the peasant population, which constitute the majority are currently the worst-hit in terms of exposure and vulnerability to climate change-induced shocks. The spate of conflict between farmers and pastoralists with respect to access to natural resources that are linked to arable land and water for farming and grazing has been alarming across states in the region, due to harsh climatic conditions” – Dr Chris Kwaja.

Among experts, policymakers, governments, development professionals and sustainable development enthusiasts, there is an overwhelming consensus that one of the biggest contemporary security threats facing the world in this century, is climate change. Since the Paris agreement, it has become clear that climate change affects everyone differently, and that it is exacerbating fragilities within local communities in the global south especially Nigeria.

To further build on the outcomes of our previous activities on climate change and human security, FES-Nigeria organised a two-day multistakeholder forum that brought together climate change and security experts from our previous engagements, as stakeholders who helped examine the new threats, and offered several recommendation points. The forum facilitated the conversation around climate change as a security threat looking at Nigeria as its case study and explored how environmental events happening around the region had continued to shape Nigeria’s internal responses. Migration as an effect of climate change within the Sahel region, livelihood, responses, forced displacement, national and global responses, among others were also analysed.

One of the recommendations that emerged from the forum is the need for countries within the Sahel especially Nigeria to conduct a Vulnerability Assessment to determine the deleterious impacts of climate change; the difference in its impact on individuals, communities, states, or geographic regions; the adaptive capacity of the entities impacted upon, and institutional capacity of authorities to respond to the effects of climate change. Also spotlighted is the need to commission extensive research to assess how climate change affects gender within local communities in Northern and Southern Nigeria.

Experts at the forum opined that public sensitisation and awareness initiatives remain vital and veritable tools that can be utilised in passing information on preferred patterns of behaviour in response to the threats posed by climate change. From the perspective of emergency preparedness and prevention, government at all levels, including the private sector were urged to adopt a multi-sectoral response approach to climate change, with strong linkage with core areas such as industry, energy, health among others. The Greet Green Wall (GGW) project was also mentioned as a good example of how best to achieve compatibility between government policy and community response, in the light of the fact that green belt solutions have been an integral part of community response over time.

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