Home Gender Adopt Gender, Climate Change Framework, Group Charges Govt, Stakeholders In Rivers

Adopt Gender, Climate Change Framework, Group Charges Govt, Stakeholders In Rivers

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Adopt Gender, Climate Change Framework, Group Charges Govt, Stakeholders In Rivers

Edith Onyinyechi, Port Harcourt.

In her efforts to reduce the impact of climate change, as well as address gender issues in Nigeria, Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, has charged the government and stakeholders in Rivers State, to adopt a gender and climate change framework.

Kebetkache gave this charge during her one-day policy dialogue with stakeholders on a national action plan on gender and climate change. The event was held in Port Harcourt, as part of activities to mark International Women’s Month, in partnership with Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action.

Some of the resource persons who spoke at the symposium were Co-Publisher National Point Newspaper who is also the Coordinator of, Center for Media Environment and Development Communication, Chief Constance Meju, Dr. Sandra Abolo from the health department, Mrs. Odoya Nkem from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry Department and others.

During the event, civil society group expressed its readiness to align with stakeholders in addressing the issues of gender and climate change as stated by the Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre Executive Director, Emem Okon. In her address, Dr Emem revealed that the program was part of accelerating progress towards addressing issues of gender and climate change.

The ED explained that “Kebetkache is conducting grassroots mobilization and awareness creation on Gender and Climate Change. Kebetakche is also campaigning for the sub-national government as well as local authorities to adopt a gender and climate change framework to promote a holistic response to climate change issues in Nigeria. Thus, the National Action Plan on Gender and Climate Change becomes an effective tool in this advocacy campaign.

“Kebetakche is implementing the Cross Movement collaboration project to promote gender-just climate actions. This policy dialogue forms part of the GAGGA Inter-Regional Learning and Linking Initiative. GAGGA is Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action.”

Dr Emem said that the policy dialogue aimed to ascertain that there are clear linkages between actions at the national and actions at the sub-national in response to the climate crisis.

Dr Emem further stated that “since the National Action Plan on Gender and Climate Change was adopted by the Federal Ministry of Environment, Kebetkache has been at the forefront creating awareness, sensitizing and advocating for implementation. While campaigning for the implementation of the Action plan, Kebetkache also provided information about the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

“Kebetkache has severally trained government officials in Akwa Ibom and Rivers states on the GCF. Kebetkache has also trained CSOs on the GCF to expose them to the processes of accessing the Fund. The rationale is that communities in the Niger Delta are already experiencing climate change manifestations and so should be positioned to benefit from the GCF. This policy dialogue forms part of the process to prepare groups to access the GCF.”

While wishing the participants a successful deliberation, Emem hinted that “It is understood that accessing the GCF is a complicated and technical process making it very challenging for groups operating at the local level to benefit from such funds. Engaging with the government in this program is to have a deeper understanding of government responses to gender and climate change. It will also build knowledge of the interests of government and promote collaboration and partnership with CSOs as well as local communities.

“It is also expected that the government officials represented here will provide information (if available) on their engagement with the National Designated Authority (NDA), National Implementing Authority (NIA), and Accredited Entities. The Gender Climate Justice Network (GCJN) emerged from the series of training for CSOs on GCF. Through advocacy meetings with the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC) and the Department of Climate Change of the Federal Ministry of Environment, Kebetkache elicited promises that the staff of NCCC will provide updated knowledge and information on GCF to members of the network. The confirmation of date for that engagement is still being expected.”

Speaking at the event, one of the resource persons, Mrs. Odoye Nkem, explained that the Ministry of Agriculture is engaged in a poverty reduction programme as a way of relieving people under vulnerability from climate change mitigation called Rivcares.

According to her, “Rivcares covers the 23LGAs and it is still on. It is a Community-based programme. It’s all about training and empowering people in various agricultural enterprises. There is also a nutritional programme that is targeted towards vulnerable children, it was carried out in five LGAs and the beneficiaries are more women. Also the national poverty reduction programme; 50 per cent of the beneficiaries were more of women because most of these programmes majorly focus on women as a way of promoting gender equality.”

She further charged all who participated in the interactive seminar to ensure that the knowledge gathered is disseminated to ensure that the environment is improved upon, adding that the challenge is mainly on pollution of the environment.

On her part, Chief Constance Meju stressed that as someone who works with community women in the state that, the Rivers State Ministry of Agriculture has not done anything for women that I can say is significant.

“This is a troubled state because the land is heavily degraded by oil extractive activities and climate change is heavy this way. Our coastal area especially the Ahoada axis is seriously flogged by the flood. Still, nobody is doing anything for them, I have not heard of the government going to talk with them, and there is no interaction with the community. After the flood you are displaced, there used to be agricultural extension officers, and the people need to go to the people. Agriculture is the main base of the people, whether farming or fishing. Have a database of the people who are vulnerable.”

She charged Governor Siminalayi Fubara to, “carry your actions to the communities, look out for the real vulnerable, put women in the forefront, especially these people at the mercies of flood, let them feel your impact. Wake up the Agricultural Ministry, and Ministry of Environment should do more to help communities.

On behalf of the participants, an activist, Mr. Henry Eferegbo described the event as an interesting one as the four resource persons came from the government.

Commending the group for the programme, he told Newsnowng that, “Kebetkache has been very active in issues of gender and climate change. I commend them for this effort and wish it will be a regular discussion and that Journalists will see how to use it to set an agenda for the government.

“When we do all that, it will influence the government to begin to take issues of climate change and gender very seriously. We also know that women are the worst hit. Whatever happens in the climate affects them more, today even children are malnourished according to several researches, these are issues we have to take very seriously and see how to solve them.”

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