Climate Change Is Not Irreversible, NDCs Will Mitigate Effects – Min. Amina Mohammed

From Left, Environmentalist Nnimmo Bassey, Saleh Momale, Professor of American University of Nigeria, Gregory Sclama, Chair, Senate House Committee on Environment, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, and the Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed

Despite the distressing news that Nigeria loses 1.5m trees every other day to deforestation, Minister Mohammed has said that effects of climate change is not irreversible rather can be reclaimed through the country’s NDCs, and globally, to achieve the targeted 1.5 percent carbon emissions reduction.

She further said there is need for bans to address tree cutting and logging business for exportation.

Mohammed who spoke at the Public Policy Forum on Desertification and Deforestation in Nigeria, says reclaiming deserts through trees and grass planting, and the rebuilding of flooded communities, Nigeria can mitigate the effects of the phenomena.

To ensure a multi-sectoral approach to the issue, she said great importance should be invested in the education of Nigerians on climate change, with government providing the enabling environment and space for collective responsibility to engage all levels of the society in the climate change action.

Stressing the importance of involving communities at all levels, the minister said women and children are key to the solutions, as they are the major bearers of the burdens of climate change. “We are looking to see what impact we can make in their lives.”

Chairs of the Senate and the House Committees on Environment, Senators Oluremi Tinubu and Hon. Obinna Chidoka advocated crop rotation, with specific attention to Jatropha trees and the initiation of a national programme to promote the transition and use of liquefied natural gas in cooking as an alternative to tree cutting for fuelwood and logging.

Chidoka represented by member of the House Committee on Environment, Hon. Henry Uba says Nigeria cannot continue with “‘business as usual’ attitude to deforestation.” “a clean energy policy can be put in place to encourage and enforce the use of LPG by all restaurants, hotels, public institutions, this will automatically reduce the demand for firewood and then begin a new phase of cooking culture in Nigeria.”

Chidoka expressed optimism that “the establishment of the National Agency for the Great Green Wall, the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), and the commitment of Nigeria to implement the Paris agreement on climate change (unconditional reduce her carbon footprint by 20 per cent), will commence a coordinated national approach to tackle the challenge.”

The minister noted that Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contribution to address climate change will enter into force in a few days.