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SPP, DCC Unveil Initiative To Rate, Rank Nigerian States’ Climate Governance Performance

The Society for Planet and Prosperity (SPP), in close collaboration with the Department of Climate Change (DCC) of the Federal Ministry of Environment in Abuja, has announced plans to officially launch the rating and ranking of the climate governance performance of Nigeria’s 36 states in July 2024.

The statement was made on Thursday, June 13, 2024, at the inaugural coordination meeting of climate change desk officers from Nigerian states, which was convened by the DCC.

SPP President, Prof Chukwumerije Okereke, while presenting the state of play of the rating and ranking project, said the project builds on the mapping of the climate change impact, policy, and action of the states, which was executed by the team last year in collaboration with the DCC and the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF).

He said the current project would provide a single rating and ranking report of the performance of the 36 states of Nigeria.

Professor Okereke said the rating and ranking were done based on five governance criteria, namely, (i) climate change governance administrative structure, (ii) presence or absence of climate policy and action plan, (iii) extent of climate change project implementation; (iv) extent of incorporation of climate finance in state budgets; and (v) online visibility of state’ climate activities.

Professor Okereke said the ranking and rating exercise is based on the responses provided by States Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries, and Climate Desk Officers across the 36 states, as well as extensive independent verification done by the research team and the Department of Climate Change staff.

Professor Okereke said he was confident that this rating and ranking exercise would raise awareness of climate in the states and create an atmosphere of positive competition and a race to the top among the states, consistent with what he has seen in other countries where such projects have been done.

Professor Okereke stated that the states with the highest-ranking scores would be recognised during the report’s launch, which is expected to be held in the last week of July.

During his keynote address, Mahmud Adam Kambari, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, expressed his delight at the official launch of the Subnational Coordination Meeting on Climate Change, stating that climate change is a major emergency and one of the most pressing issues of our time.

He underlined the fact that the purpose of the coordination conference is to strengthen the synergy between national and subnational actors in order to achieve better climate governance in the country in line with the Presidential Transformative Agenda of the President.

The Permanent Secretary described subnational climate change officers as key personnel in the fight against climate change, given their role in translating global climate goals into concrete actions and policies that resonate at the local level.

Dr. Iniobong Abiola-Awe, Director of the DCC, while presenting the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the subnational coordination meeting, highlighted the key objectives of the meeting to include improving collaboration and knowledge sharing among Subnational Climate Change Desk Officers, promoting effective climate change action at the subnational level, and targeted training and capacity building of the desk officers.

Dr. Abiola-Awe urged climate change desk officers to be responsive and on time at all meetings, as they are expected to attend and offer updates on climate change initiatives, successes, problems, and lessons learnt in their respective regions during the monthly sessions.

In closing, Prof Okereke congratulated the DCC Team on the successful coordination meeting of Climate Change Desk Officers from Nigeria’s 36 states, which he said will have a massive impact in helping to align state climate action with national climate priorities and objectives.

By Wole Adegbule, Society for Planet and Prosperity

Prof. Okereke Organises IVLP- Funded Tree Planting Exercise In Enugu

International climate expert and leading advocate for climate action in Nigeria, Professor Chukwumerije Okereke has organized a climate education and tree planting exercise in Enugu State.

The state tree planting exercise is one of the programmes mapped out for the implementation of the International Visitors’ Leadership Programme (IVLP) impact award given to Prof.l Chukwumerije Okereke by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.Nigeria

The exercise involved the planting of 35 ornamental trees along the road from P&T Bus Stop towards Ziks Avenue in a bid to raise awareness about the dangers of climate change and urban air pollution and the positive role of urban greening in combating both challenges.

The state tree planting exercise was flagged off by the Hon. Commissioner for Environment Enugu state who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of State Ministry of Environment Mr. Albert Obiora Ekete.

The flag-off was witnessed by 24 young leaders present, staff of the state ministry of Environment, CEO of Eco-cyclers, Ms Oge Nwonye, a Member of the State Government Palliative Team, Mr. Basil Ojengwa, and many other volunteers who joined the exercise.

The young leaders had been selected from over 4,000 applications to be trained on the fundamentals of climate change science, urban air pollution, and climate advocacy to equip them to become more active citizens and more effective in spreading the message of climate action.

A total of 35 ornamental trees (Green Ficus) were planted by the participants with help and support from the staff of the State Ministry of Environment that came with the Permanent Secretary.

Each of the participants present planted a tree after the flag-off was done by the Permanent Secretary. The campaign also involved an arrangement with the State Ministry of Environment to water and care for the trees to ensure they survive and flourish.

He said that trees symbolize a profound commitment to addressing the pressing challenges of air pollution and climate change that have been plaguing the state.

He said that trees stand as silent sentinels, poised to purify the air, mitigate the effects of climate change, and restore the balance of the local ecosystem.

Professor Okereke thanked the Hon Commissioner for Environment, Prof Sam Ugwu, the Permanent Secretary Albert Obiora Ekete, and the entire staff of the State Ministry of Environment for supporting the exercise.

He thanked the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and their implementing partner Meridian International for giving him the opportunity, to contribute to climate awareness, leadership training, and the sustainable development of Enugu State through the IVLP impact program.

He assured them that he is committed to working with them to empower more young leaders in the state and beyond to become active citizens in promoting stronger climate and environmental action in the state.

The young leaders were informed that the next activity will be the school visit to educate the students on Urban greening and tree planting.

For the organization and implementation of the programme, Professor Okereke was actively supported by Eco-cyclers, the Center for Climate Change and Development, and the Society for Planet and Prosperity.