African Climate Change Adaptation Initiative, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (ACCAI-UNN) in partnership with Women Environmental Programme (WEP) organised a one day civil society dialogue on building trans-disciplinary climate change adaptation capacity. The dialogue which aimed at bringing the actors in the Civil Society Organisation (CSO’s) NGO’s CBO’s in Nigeria together so as to develop working strategies in the fight against climate change and its effects on African Continent.
The dialogue enabled NGOs/CSOs to interface and share their various experiences on climate change initiatives with the Director, ACCAI-UNN, Mrs Anthonia Achike and other major stakeholders. Ultimately, NGOs found worthy and ready to commit to the cause of mitigating the effects of climate change as well as willing to enhance the coping capability of the populace through advocacy and capacity building would sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ACCAI-UNN and other international stakeholders in climate change adaptation initiative.
Speaking at the dialogue, Prof Anthonia Achike, who is also the Director, Center for Climate Change and the Project Director, ACCAI-UNN said there is need for CSOs to work harmoniously and intensify our efforts toward enhancing the adapatability of the vulnerable population. She said, first thing is, we must accept the fact that climate change has come to stay with us, thereby we must learn and teach others on how to adapt to the effects of climate change.
While giving the overview of ACCAI-UNN, Prof Anthonia Achike said ACCAI-UNN was Established in 2010 and it is sponsored by Open Society Foundation. She explained ACCAI has been working in collaboration with other 7 universities across the African Continent which include University of Ghana, Legon, Makele University, Ethiopia, University of Dar es salam, Tanzania, University of South Africa among others. These universities have all started PHD, Post Graduate Diploma as well as Short Courses/Diploma in Climate Change Adaptation for NGOs and PHD Exchange Programmes between these institutions other international institutions.
She alluded that Climate Change Economic Policy Innovation (CCEPI) is among the internationally approved curricullum on climate change. It is a young programme and has been accredited by National University Commision. ‘Basically, our mission is build climate change knowlegde community in Nigeria and to engage CSOs in their full capacity’, she said.
She further stated the objectives of ACCAI-UNN which are:
– Building Trans-disciplinary adaptation Initiative.
– Building Capacity on possible climate change effects on the populace.
– Encouraging implementation of policies on climate change
– Providing framework for policy makers on climate change.
She mentioned the activities and programmes of ACCAI to include:
– Educating people on climate change
Dr Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, OON, Coordinator, ACCAI-UNN and CSOs Consultation who also spoke at the dialogue said climate change has come stay with us. “Sub-saharan Africa is the least prepared in terms of climate effects” she affirmed. Humans are the major contributors to climate change; our daily activities from carbon emission to indiscriminate cutting down of tree have worsened the effects of climate change in the last couple of years. She posited that although tonnes of carbon that are being emitted in the developed nations like China, UK, USA and Australia are quite higher compare to Africa, yet we are the most vulnerable population. This she said, is due to lack of reliable structure and policy to address the effects of climate change in most African countries.
Mrs Priscilla Achapka, Founder Women Environmental Programme (WEP) being the host at the dialogue said CSOs are the mouth piece and channels through which societies air their views particularly on the matters that have to do with developmental and policy making. She expressed gratitude to all NGOs present for their commitments towards making a difference and encouraged that our interaction on adaptation capacity to effects of climate change should not be like an ad-hoc type. ‘we would need your continuous interaction so as to bring about desired change, she said.