Youths in South-west Climate Incubation Hub Urge Effective Policies, Regulations

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Bennett Oghifo

There is need for effective policies and regulations to address environmental challenges, particularly climate change, some youths in the South-west have said.

The advice was given by participants at a Youth Climate Incubation Hub, organised by the Federal Ministry of Environment with assistance from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The two-day climate change incubation hub brought together youth representatives from six states in South-West Nigeria: Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Ekiti and Ondo

Their ideas were crystalised into four areas: Environmental Education and Literacy; Enviro-prenuership and sustainable solutions on waste, water and climate change; and Deployment of climate smart technologies

They youths recommended that the youth platform should be sustained so as to give voice and opportunity to network among youths; institutionalisation of the regional climate change hub as a growing structure; and further engagement of the youths that have converged at the regions as they have brilliant ideas that can be supported.

To further strengthen Nigeria’s position as a member country of the UN’s Youth Engagement and Public Mobilisation track at the Climate Action Summit, this month, UNDP and the Federal Ministry of Environment hosted a Regional Youth Roundtable on Climate Action to unlock innovativeness in Nigeria’s Climate Change Action.

Youth Climate Incubation Hubs were held in the six geo-political zones of the country. Participants at the Premier Hotel Ibadan deliberated on climate change innovations, and evolved some of the most innovative ideas from the South-West region of Nigeria. The aim of the summit was to consider ideas that would be presented at the climate change national summit in Abuja.

The climate change hub identified 60 youth with ideas that can be incubated, with 10 youth representing each state from the South-West.

They observed that The participants recognize the need for discussion and action on climate change; Nigeria needs to intensify climate action to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030; Effective implementation of Climate Change Conventions should remain a focus in Nigeria; Technology plays an important role in Climate Change Action and should be pursued; and Monitoring, Reporting and Evaluation are an important aspect of climate change action.

According to the participants, their objectives were: to establish Youth Regional Climate Change Innovation Hub that would serve as a platform for continuing interface of young people with Government and Development partners for the implementation of practical Climate Solutions.

They were also to harvest and collate Innovations/Ideas that will be show cased at the UN Climate Action Summit in September 2019, from youths who are actively taking climate action and leading innovative ideas in the area of climate change across Nigeria and beyond.

They gave some of their expectations “Opportunity to network with other youths, hoping Government would partner with participants with good ideas and implement the ideas; better understanding of implementing climate change ideas; identifying decisions that can help advance climate change actions; and knowledge on government interventions (past and present).

The South-West Hub was facilitated by stakeholders, TalentPlus Resources International (TRI). Executive Director, TRI, Aderonke K-Eseka explained that the innovation hub would afford youths sharing their most brilliant ideas in South-West zone.

The Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources Oyo State, represented by the Director, Pollution Monitoring and Quality Control, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Mrs. Modupe Adeleye opened the Summit and eulogized the youth for participating in increasing debate on climate change and emphasized Oyo state was open to partner with stakeholders with brilliant ideas on climate change. Afterwards, Sa’adatu Gambo, Madaki, Senior Scientific Officer of the Department of Climate Change, Ministry of Environment made her presentation on climate change and Nigeria’s commitment to tackling it.

At the close of the South-West Zone Summit, special gratitude was extended to participants by Mr. Muyiwa Odele and Mr. Olumide Idowu who appreciated their presence while noting that the Federal Government and International partners remain committed to adopting the brilliant climate change ideas from the youths.

Rev Nnimmo Bassey of Health of Mother Health Foundation (HOMEF) and team lead for the coordinating organizations (HOMEF, ICCDI and TRI), congratulated all participants and TRI for a successful two day summit. Participants resolved to continue actions on climate change while networking with each other. They indicated their intention to continue to implement their ideas as they look forward to possible partnership opportunities with other stakeholders.