UNDP Country Director, Mandisa Mashologu
Nigeria, with support from the United Nations Development Programme, held an inception meeting to develop the nation’s Third National Communication (TNC) on its emission and removal of greenhouse gases (GHGs), as prescribed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Bennett Oghifo reports
As part of their commitment to honouring Agreements on climate change, which seeks to lower global temperatures below 2ºC, Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are expected to send reports, known as National Communication, to the secretariat, providing information on emission and removal of greenhouse gases in their various countries.
The National Communication (NC) is submitted every four years to the secretariat by each Party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It provides information on emissions and removals of greenhouse gases (GHG) and details of the activities a Party has undertaken to implement the UNFCCC, among other information about the status of Climate Change in the country.
Nigeria, with assistance from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP Nigeria), has provided two National Communications to the UNFCCC secretariat.
Recently, the Federal Ministry of Environment’s Climate Change Department, also with the aid of UNDP, brought together stakeholders in Keffi, Nasarawa State to aggregate information that would constitute the Third National Communication (TNC).
The preparation of the Third National Communication (TNC) and the strengthening of institutional and analytical capacities would enable the country to prepare improved climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, enhanced technology transfer for adaptation and mitigation, and functional sustained institutional capacity for developing future national communications.
Role of UNDP…
It is determined that UNDP Nigeria assistance to national climate change effort within UNDAF 2014 – 2017 recognizes an increase in the country’s vulnerability to climatic changes and identifies that sustainable funding is critical to addressing the challenges effectively.
In his remarks at the TNC workshop in Keffi, UNDP Country Director, Mandisa Mashologu said, “United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Environment have over the years invested in the preparation, collection and validation of data on GHG emissions which have resulted in the successful preparation and submission of Nigeria’s First and Second National Communications to UNFCCC.
“The Third National Communications (TNC) will therefore be building on the strong national capacities developed with the support of UNDP and lessons learnt over the years.”
The TNC, Mashologu said “takes on a whole new significant meaning, coming on the heels of the country’s active participation in the negotiations, ongoing development of a Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and ratification of Paris Agreement by the President, with which Nigeria has clearly demonstrated political will and commitment to tackling climate change.
“This is why a national institutional framework approach that will ensure full participation of relevant MDAS in the identification of potential for options for GHG emissions reduction across all sectors, sourcing of the necessary data is being promoted to improve the quality and consistency of the data and ensure reliability.”
Federal Government’s position…
At the opening of the 2-day Inception Workshop, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, Dr. Shehu Ahmed said the main objective of the meeting was to create an enabling process involving all relevant national stakeholders to prepare and submit Nigeria’s Third National Communication (TNC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
According to Dr. Ahmed, Nigeria ratified the UNFCCC and submitted its Initial and Second National Communication reports in November 2003 and June 2014 respectively. “It is in line with fulfilling its obligations to the Convention that the Government of Nigeria through the Department of Climate Change, Federal Ministry of Environment is initiating the process of preparing the Third National Communication report on Climate Change.
“The First and Second National Communication provided the baseline information on inventories of greenhouse gases, mitigations, vulnerabilities and adaptation to climate change, awareness and education activities and proposed projects for further monitoring and mitigating climate change.”
He said, “Preparing National Communication report presents huge opportunity for the collection of climate relevant data that will help us to better plan our economies and also respond to global challenges of climate change and commitments. In fact, the Third National Communication should present an opportunity to transform the process from merely reporting to development of a strategic and policy support tool.
“Fully aware of the seriousness and urgency of climate change and with a deep sense of responsibility for a long-term development of mankind, Nigeria has reaffirmed its firm commitment to sustainable development that takes cognizance of the need to mainstream climate change into its development process and plans, aimed to position the country to become on the top 20 economies in the world by 2020, and to promote climate resilient environmental sustainability in the context of national development.
He noted that “Nigeria is highly vulnerable to the impact of climate change. It poses a serious threat to our national sustainable development, efforts to reduce poverty and the overall socio-economic well-being of our citizens.”
He recalled that Nigeria signed the Paris Agreement in September 2016, committing the country to pursue efforts towards its implementation.
“Also, we submitted an ambitious Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) now NDC of a conditional commitment of 45%, and an unconditional commitment to further reduce GHG emissions by 20% by 2030. Presently, activities towards the development of the sectoral plan for implementation of Nationally Determined Contribution are ongoing.
“Besides putting great efforts to access global climate finance through the development of a Nigeria National Readiness Plan for assessing the Green Climate Fund (GCF), we are developing pipeline of projects to be submitted to the Green Climate Fund for funding.
“Moreover, we are interfacing with the National Assembly to develop a robust Legislative Framework to strengthen policy and actions on climate change and to provide measures that are developmental, evidence based, balanced and fully integrated in line with national aspirations.”
The Federal Ministry of Environment, he said “has Instituted national Climate Change Knowledge fair and exhibition, which is to serve as the national forum for information and a gateway to national and global knowledge providing fair access to knowledge and information to as many on climate change issues.”
He assured that the Ministry was committed to implementing the overall mandate of the Climate Change Convention and its Protocol. “We will continue to work towards the provision of adequate budgetary allocation for climate change activities. This present administration acknowledges that inaction is even far more expensive as it will hinder the actualization of Mr. President’s change mantra and the Sustainable Development Goals.”
The Permanent Secretary appreciated the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) “for their invaluable support and partnership. We are grateful for the selfless service and commitment towards our national development.”
Dr. Yerima Peter Tarfa, Director, Department of Climate Change, while welcoming participants, noted that “Climate Change has emerged as one of the most important issues facing the global community in the 21st century.
“It is expected to pose a serious threat to development and livelihoods, and the effects will be felt more strongly by the developing countries, that rely on the natural environment for their livelihoods and have less capacity to adapt to the adverse impact of climate change,” he said.
Dr. Tarfa said the purpose of preparing National Communications was to ascertain the level of Greenhouse Gas composition in the atmosphere, the Vulnerability, Adaptation and Abatement analysis of impacts of Climate Change. “It also serves as a basis for reference on future auditing of Greenhouse Gas Inventory in the country.
“The Department of Climate Change in collaboration with the UNDP have organised this stakeholder’s inception workshop, which has brought together the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change (ICCC), Academia, relevant private sector organizations, NGOs, and the Media to among other things assist all stakeholders and partners to fully understand and take ownership of the project.
“As we are gearing up now for the preparation of the Third National Communication, we need data, more especially Primary and spatial data to understand the processes at play and build projections we can trust. These are essential for sustainable development planning and strengthening resilience in our communities.
“Also, we need to fill the knowledge gap observed in the BUR and the previous national Communications. We therefore count on you as custodian of some of the needed data and information to make it available, when we come calling in the near future.”
He acknowledged the strong commitment of the UNDP as the Ministry’s for their continuous support towards national efforts in tackling climate change strategic partner and Nigeria government towards the environment and climate change issues and are committed to continue our engagement and support to the government to achieve our jointly stated goals.