12 to 14 July 2011, Benin City, Nigeria. The Government of Edo State Nigeria and UNITAR organized a knowledge sharing workshop on climate change in the Niger Delta Region to enhance capacity and knowledge about the effects of climate change and promote actions to mitigate these effects. It is acknowledged that a lack of awareness among policy makers and other stakeholders on the issue of climate change oftentimes hinders the formation of important partnerships and synergies for action on climate change.

Forty representatives from the different state departments as well as participants from academics, the civil society and private sector attended the three days workshop held 12 to 14 July 2011, in Benin City, and opened by the Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole who was represented by the Edo State Commission for Agriculture and Natural Resources.

UNITAR experts introduced the broad themes that form the framework for addressing climate change impacts at the international and national level such as; the role of science, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, adaptation & mitigation and the means of implementation. Participants also engaged in discussions to share knowledge and propose actions to address climate change in the Niger Delta.

Immediately following the workshop, participants drafted a communiqué that included resolutions on how the effects of climate change can be addressed based on their observations and discussions during the 3 day workshop.

Some of the issues mentioned in the communiqué included;

  • Encourage aforestation and planting of trees in homes, schools and other public places.
  • Take a decisive step in implementing the ban on gas flaring through the introduction of stiff penalties as well as ban machineries that are not environmental friendly
  • Make laws and policies that can effectively check burning of biomass by farmers, hunters and making the populace less vulnerable to negative impacts of climate change
  • Establish a framework that embraces research and development in alternative energy sources like solar, wind, biofuel, small hydro etc.
  • Integrate climate change studies into curriculum of primary, secondary and tertiary education.
  • Identify and maintain all existing waterways (both natural and man-made) including the moat in order to reduce vulnerability of our environment to flooding.
  • Establish and develop a collaborative agenda by all the South-South States as effort to address the impacts of climate change on Niger-Delta environment.
  • The major contributors to green house gases should be made to commit more funds for mitigation and adaptation measures.

UNITAR’s Climate Change Programme proposes a range of training programmes and methodologies to enhance the knowledge and skills of professionals seeking to understand the complexity of climate change and how to integrate this information into their daily work activities.

For more information contact ccp<a>unitar.org (please replace <a> with @ in the email address).