A project aimed at increasing public awareness of, and engagement with, Nigeria’s climate change plan is seeking to boost the ongoing revision process of the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which is due for submission in November 2020.
Titled: “Promoting critical analysis of, and stakeholders’ engagement with the revision of Nigeria’s NDC,” the project is being undertaken by the Centre for Climate Change and Development of the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu Alike, Ikwo (AEFUNAI), Ebonyi State with support from the World Resources Institute (WRI).
The one-year initiative that commenced from July 2020 will, according to Project Coordinator, Professor Chukwumerije Okereke, help to widen the horizon of the discourse and compliment the current government led NDC revision process.
The project will embark on targeted public awareness and media campaigns to disseminate the information and stimulate the engagement of the wider public in the NDC revision and, eventually in its implementation afterwards.
According to him, the project was also intended to provide a platform for the general public to engage with, question, and make contribution to the country’s new NDC so that the document could truly help to drive sustainable green economic development for the country..
The professor described the scheme as “:timely project” saying it has the potential to make substantial impact in Nigeria’s and possibly Africa’s climate change policy and economic development more broadly.
He pointed out that one of the serious effect of the previous NDC preparation process was that it involved very limited public engagement.
The consequence, he said was that the country missed the opportunity to receive substantial inputs from critical stakeholders like businesses, parliamentarians and sub-national actors.
“Till date, many of these stakeholders have remained largely unaware of or had limited involvement in the implementation of the NDC. Moreover, with limited public awareness of, and engagement with the development of the original NDC, there was not much from the civil society in the way of monitoring the implementation (or lack) of the NDC following its ratification in 2017,” he said.
According to him, it was expected that the project wiould increase public awareness of climate change in Nigeria more broadly. Besides, he said it would help to widen the horizon of discourse and strongly compliment current government-led NDC revision process with the support of partnership through the Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP), by injecting academic analysis and more public debate into the process.
He said : “The project will promote series of national virtual dialogues to provide opportunity to national and international experts to analyse various aspects of the NDC.
“The national dialogue will also be a platform for a range of various stakeholders to engage in the revision of the NDC as well as monitor its implementation. The project will complement the government led process and help to open up the process to the participation of more stakeholders and the general public as well as help to increase public awareness of climate change more broadly..”
It would be recalled that Nigeria started the process of revising her Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in March 2020 year and is due to conclude the exercise in November.
The result of the process will be a revised national pledge on climate action that will be submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by the end of the year.
The NDCs are voluntary documents that governments agreed that Parties to the UNFCCC will submit to show what each government has committed to do in order to tackle climate change. Although the submission and commitment are voluntary; once a country submits their NDC, they are expected to keep the commitment or pledge made.