Governor Babatunde Fashola
It is imperative to map the vulnerability of sea level rise on coastal areas, Director of the Climate Change Adaptation Unit of the Federal Ministry of Environment, Dr. Samuel Adejuwon has said.
He stated this at the Climate Change and Coastal States Dialogue. A two-day Workshop organised by the UNDP in collaboration with Lagos State Government at the weekend in Lagos. The theme was ‘Challenges of Sea Level Rise Induced Flooding in Nigeria; Coastal States in Focus.
States in attendance were; Lagos, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Cross River, Ondo and Ogun.
The first paper; Potential Consequences and Response Strategies to Sea Level Rise in Nigeria’ was presented by Prof. Emmanuel Oladipo; the second paper was; ‘Industrial Pollution and Water Quality in Coastal States in Nigeria’ by Prof. Labode Popoola and the third paper, ‘Climate Change and Coastal Environment: A Case Study of Lagos State’ was delivered by Prof. Jide Alo, who was represented.
Adejuwon while commenting on the presentations said different coastal states have separate characteristics and that it would be good to map individual state’s vulnerability. “We have not been able to really do this. We need to do the mapping to see the adaptation measures we can put in place in order to combat the effect of climate change.”
He also agreed with the Cross River State Commissioner for Environment who said there were other factors that cause flooding that should not be ignored, stating that there was need to do research to unearth these factors.
“All these factors are being acerbated by climate change.”
He advised states, particularly Delta to collaborate with the federal government in the demand and issuance of environmental impact assessment certificates.
On the issue of gas flaring was serious, saying many flare out dates were set but we not met. He said it would be beneficial if the nation’s industries could be powered by the gas to create wealth through Clean Development Mechanisms.
According to the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Environment, Office of Building Services, Nureedim Akinsoya the concern is about the effect of coastal erosion the five states namely Cross River, Delta, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Lagos. “The similarity is so enormous.”
He said it was important for these states to continually share technical information on these issues for them to be mitigated early. Besides, information sharing, he contended could reduce the cost of mitigation as earlier studies would guide those coming after.
Giving a rap up, Professor Niyi Oshuntogun, who chaired the first day’s sessions, commended the presenters and discussants for a job well done.
He observed that based on the papers presented that the cost of restoring the nation’s coastline was beyond the means of any particular state and that it was important for the coastline states to invite the federal government to see what it could do to restore the nation’s coastline.
Also, he said there was a need for all stakeholders to share information, adding that there was insufficient knowledge on data gathering and analysis. “There is need for capacity building in data generation.”