REPORT ON THE 2021 ONE (1) DAY CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP FOR WOMEN IN CLIMATE CHANGE MANAGEMENT AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, WITH THE THEME “DEVELOPING WOMEN LEADERSHIP; POLICIES AND FINANCING OPPORTUNITIES” ON FEBRUARY 26th, 2021, AT THE UNITY HALL, DELTA STATE GOVERNMENT HOUSE ASABA, DELTA STATE, NIGERIA.
Prepared by Freeman Elohor – Centre Coordinator for African Centre for Climate Actions and Rural Development (ACCARD).
Climate change poses a significant threat to both development and human existence. It has remained one of the greatest challenges of our time. It affects everyone and everything with devastating effect on the overall environment, leading to huge biodiversity, property as well as human losses globally. Sadly, these impacts and livelihood looses are worse and reported mostly in rural communities, with women and young girls largely affected and the most vulnerable. It is therefore, important to increase women (including young girls) participation and leadership to contribute to climate change solutions as well as green development at all level. This is key not only to narrow the existing governance and knowledge gaps but also, to reduce the additional risk posed by global climate change on women including the resulting disease burden.
This year’s edition “Developing a road map for women leadership; policy and financing opportunities, built on previous gains (the outcome of the 2020 workshop edition), to create an innovative financing mechanism and technical assistance, to unlock the climate finance and renewable energy potentials of Delta State, important to drive the small-scale and medium enterprises (SME’s).
Also, to fast-track the building back better covid-19 green recovery of the Delta State and Nigerian Niger Delta, to create more job opportunities for not just the women but young people in line with Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) and 2063 of African Union.
The proposed is a laudable collaboration that also showcases the leadership of the Climate Investment Funds, WorldBank, African Development Bank (AFDB) and other developmental programmes aim to accelerate development and cleaner energy across Nigeria and Delta State in particular, as well as the role women and other key stakeholders can play in the respective.
1.1 The Workshop Objective are to:
- To build capacity and leadership, especially for Women, including young girls in climate change and funds management,
- Enhance women participation in climate change action/ advocacy, solutions and solutions.
- Increase support and investment opportunities for women to lead the climate change fight, especially at the grassroot.
1.2 Expected Outcome
At the end of the workshop participants achieved the following;
- Gain adequate transferable knowledge in climate change management and green development especially at the community level.
- Better understanding of climate change vulnerability and adaptation in Nigeria, particularly in the Niger Delta and Delta State.
- Gain in-depth knowledge of climate change impact, governance and policy gaps in Delta State and Nigeria.
- Enhanced knowledge of the different climate funds and existing projects as well as areas to collaborate efforts and opportunities for women.
- Help Women community leaders, farmers and MDA’s, to promote environment and climate change in their respective communities and Ministries / Agencies.
- And help the State Government and the Ministry of Environment provide useful platforms and activities to promote climate change ad environmental management in the State.
Welcome and Opening
According to Freeman Elohor Oluowo, the Centre Coordinator for African Centre for Climate Actions and Rural Development (ACCARD) in his opening speech said. The 2021 event with the theme; Developing a road map for Women leadership policy and financing opportunity was put together to increase knowledge for women leadership and participation in climate change solutions and community development in Nigeria and Delta State in particular.
In his words, participants should at the end of the workshop develop the needed transferable knowledge, innovative and entrepreneurial skills as well as, leverage on the networking opportunities to lead and/or take bold climate actions in their respective communities. This according to him will help to narrow the existing gender gaps especially for women in climate change governance and the leadership deficit across sectors in Delta State.
He concluded by adjoining participants especially women leaders from Delta State, to take advantage of opportunities and knowledge from the workshop to support efforts at the grassroot as well as, lead initiatives that will help Nigeria to progressively achieve Agenda 2030 of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals and 2063 of the African Union respectively.
Speech by the Secretary to the Delta State Government – Hon. Chiedu Ebie
The Secretary to the Delta State Government while welcoming participants for the workshop on behalf of the Delta State Government – thanked the organizers of the event especially ACCARD, Climate Investment Funds (CIF) and the WorldBank. He noted that climate change remains one of the greatest challenges of our time. It poses a significant threat to both human existence and sustainable development with devastating effect on everything including human and biodiversity.
In his words, the effects are more felt by rural communities, with rural women and young girls as the most vulnerable. It is therefore imperative to support women participation in the search for solutions in climate change and green development at all levels.
The top representative of the Delta State Government believes that the outcome of the workshop and activities CIF, WorldBank and AfDB in line with their mandate will support women role and other stakeholders can play to promote the SMART and PROSPERITY Agenda of the Delta State Government. He concluded by assuring of the openness of the Secretary to the Government and the administration to collaborate, to accelerate development in the State.
Speech by the Commissioner for Oil and Gas
The Commissioner for Oil and Gas represented by Mr. Edwin Onobraekpeyan, the Director for Gas in the Ministry of Oil and Gas, Delta State thanked the organizers for putting his event together to build capacity in Delta State, especially for women. He lauded the initiative and appeal that the workshop series be sustained for the betterment of not just the State but Niger Delta at large.
He highlighted activities and policies in place through his Ministry to reduce green house gas (GHG) emissions contributing to climate change that are associated with oil and gas sector.
According to him, the Ministry is doing its best to regulate the oil and gas sector in the State, and will improve in strategies to regulate them and gradually transit the sector to more efficient and cleaner technologies. He however, noted some of the challenges in the system to include weak regulatory instruments and implementation of standards call for more stakeholders’ collaboration, like the work of ACCARD in the State and Niger Delta characterized by oil and gas activities.
Session 2: Climate Change Vulnerability and Local Adaptation Measures in Delta State: Role of Women.
The Honourable Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Chris Onogba in his presentation defined climate change vulnerability as the degree to which a system is susceptible to and unable to cope with adverse effects of climate change, including to climate variability and extremes. He however noted that, vulnerability is a function of the character, magnitude and the extent to which a system is exposed, sensitive and/or adaptive to climatic changes.
According to the Honorable Commissioner, environmental and climate associated policies and strategies has significant effect on gender relations especially in developing countries, including Nigeria. Particularly, poor women face serious gender specific inequalities and barriers are seen to undermine their abilities to adapt to climate change and other climate events such as drought, soil degradation and deforestation, etc.
Mr. Onogba said, overcoming these barriers was key to achieving the objectives of major international frameworks including the 2030 Agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris agreement, for example.
He noted that, vulnerability remains a major challenges for women globally, especially those in the coastal communities of the Nigerian Niger Delta, not only because they are prone to environmental degradation but also excluded from global policies. He lamented the huge policy (-ies) concerns owing to the increases in the environmental disasters especially from the oil and gas multinational companies leading to pollution (land and air) and gas flaring.
Mr. Onogba emphasized the importance of exploring feminist solutions to addressing the many environmental challenges. He noted that women voices are not adequately heard and calls for efforts to advance sound legal, social and gender policies that will give recognition to their unique contributions and skills.
According to him and in the light of the above, the Delta State Government through the Ministry of Environment and the Department of Climate Change is mainstreaming gender includes vulnerable groups and women into the adaptation and sustainability plan of the State. That conscious steps are been taken to reduce the impacts of natural disasters by providing water, food and energy.
Also, efforts were in place to increase women representation and involvement at all level of the decision making processes on climate change, capacity building for local women especially, to analysis and evaluate environmental risk, provide access to technology and finance as well as, promote social protection programmes for vulnerable communities, households and individuals including for women.
Climate Smart Agriculture, Food Security and Economic Empowerment for Women in the Niger Delta Nigeria, by Dr. Kenneth Senior Director, Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria.
Dr. Kenneth began by saying climate change has gone beyond the rhetoric and as mere academic assertion to become a more visible issue affecting everybody. And that several scholars have explained why climate change will have an irreversible consequence on the climate contributing to humanitarian crises by 2030, sea level rise and complete liquidation of Arctic ice during the period of 2030 to 2050 unabated.
According to him, it is becoming more evident with the growing numbers of heat waves, flooding, migration, social dislocation, poverty and food scarcity, together will negatively impact on the three basic human needs namely food, shelter and clothing’s respectively.
The situation will be worse in developing which includes Nigeria due to poor technology and weather dependent practices such as farming and fishing especially in the Nigerian Niger Delta characterized oil and gas pollution, he added.
Therefore, there is need for them to adapt climate smart agricultural practices will include inter-cropping, mixed farming and climate adaptive agro-forestry to sustain agricultural production and fight food insecurity. He said such investment is the guarantee for industrial crop production, sustainable income, and robust value chain to support both employment creation and foreign exchange in the region.
In Dr. Kenneth closing statement alarmed the rate of deforestation in Nigeria with rain forest estimated loss of about 400,000 ha from 2006 to 2016 alone with an annual deforestation rate including mangrove of 40,000, which was documented by the Federal Ministry of Environment in 2019.
He noted that the country was losing huge shrubs values, for example gliricidia and pigeon pea that enhances soil fertility and trees known to enhance biodiversity, increase soil carbon, conservation and minimize soil erosion.
Women Role in Social Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Community development in Nigeria. Dr. Paul Igwe – UNESCO Chair, UK
Dr. Paul began his lecture by defining sustainability as a multi-dimensional concept encompassing environmental, social and economic dimensions. He explained sustainability along the three lines to include the environmental values form. This covers the renewable resources, biodiversity, pollution prevention in air, water and land, low waste and carbon emissions. The social value form, for example equality and diversity, well-being, community development and labour standard, as well as Economic value form includes profit, business stability long-term viability and returns on investments.
He noted that, sustainability largely depend on the individual capacity and groups to act, protect as well as transform their societies. According to him, where social entrepreneurs find innovation important, women are generally more altruistic and socially minded than men.
According to Dr. Paul women are more averse to competition and to successfully manage social enterprises than a pure for profit business. Noting that sustainability, environment, poverty are societal cohesion are still major social challenges to women globally.
Dr. Paul said the main issues in Nigeria are those of inequality, lack of diverse policy inclusion, together with poor knowledge sharing especially of best practices, useful to scale the social economy was still a big challenge for women in Nigeria.
He concluded that, the life of women in Nigeria is affected by myriad of discriminatory, traditional, socio-cultural practice that need to be addressed if we must harness the leadership potential of women in the country.
CIF Gender Program: from Mainstreaming to Transformative Impact. Dr. Anne Kuriakose – Senior Social Development Specialist, Climate Investment Funds (CIF).
According to Dr. Anne in her opening statement, the absence of good development – climate change could keep more than 100 million people into poverty respectively in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. This is in addition to the 71-100 million people covid-19 is perceived to push into extreme poverty.
She believes these figures may increase with climate change, which is a threat multiplier, will exacerbates the existing vulnerability of the poor, particularly women. Covid-19 and climate change is seen to threaten the recent gains on gender equality, women jobs with about 1.8 times more vulnerable than men.
Sadly, women make up only about 37% of global employment, but account for 54% overall job losses, she added. Therefore, investments in innovation in social protection with specific attention to cash transfer to women as key to their empowerment. Also, other gender responsive measure in terms of community preparedness and early warning system led by women will help in reducing the gender differential (gaps) in mortality.
According to Dr. Anne, with over 70% of African women still lack access to clean cooking and heating devices, can expose them to poor air quality and virus related mortality, as well as other respiratory illness including covid-19.
She went further to suggest the urgent need to address Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC’s) projected natural impacts, that will result in temperature rise, extreme weather heat, change in hydrological cycles, sea level rise, threat to unique systems, increase in flooding and storm surges. Several complex social responses for instance loss of livelihood, food insecurity, health fatalities, migration, conflict, damage to infrastructure and equality.
She highlighted some key gaps in climate to include, the huge gap in women and men’s mortality rate to extreme weather events. Women vulnerability to climate impacts on agriculture, fisheries, and access to farm inputs, extension and hydromet services.
She noted that, while women often engage in negative coping strategies during climate check such as reducing their food in-take during food shortage. Climate change increases women workload and time poverty through water and fuel wood collection.
Dr. Anne concluded by providing some background on the CIF and highlighting some of the new transformational change work including gender, for example the Zambia National Institution structure for climate resilience, Mexico National Development Plan 2013 – 2018.
The CIF 20 million dollar support to the African Development Bank (AFDB) with an expected co-finance of 274m from private and public sources to finance the cable car transit urban transport project in Lagos approved in April 2020.
And CIF’s multi-year women climate initiative, designed to support countries seeking to expand participation and leadership for women participation in local and national climate action planning.
Wrap-up and Closing
Freeman Elohor Oluowo, while thanking participants and speakers for the 2021 event. Reiterated the determination of the African Centre for Climate Actions and Rural Development (ACCARD) assured participants of the organization’s determination, to sustain the workshop series as an annual event, organize several small community meetings and town hall meetings in communities in Delta State.
ACCARD will continue to identify, work with the international organizations including the CIF, UNESCO Lincoln University and the State to provide expert solutions to include actions on management and useful information and opportunities that will improve livelihood for women.
The meeting which held both physically and virtually recorded a total of seventy-five (75) persons for the workshop, comprises of fifty (55) women and twenty-, excluding the press corp.
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Organizers: African Centre for Climate Actions and Rural Development (ACCARD), WorldBank Climate Investment Funds. Others are Delta State Government, Secretary to the Delta State Government, Delta State Ministry of Environment, Centre for Environment and Sustainable Livelihood Projects (CESLP), HOSTCOMM Delta State, SSA to the Governor on Special Duties.