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Federal Ministry of Environment Inaugurates State Climate Desk Officers’ Coordination Meeting

This is contained in a statement signed by Ms Dolapo John of the Department of Climate Change and made available to newsmen on Friday in Lagos.

The statement said that the meeting was officially inaugurated by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Environment, Mr. Mahmud Kambari, who also delivered the keynote speech.

Kambari said that “the onset of climate change presents an unprecedented threat to our planet, with far-reaching consequences for our environment, economies, and societies.”

He said that subnational climate change officers play an important role in translating global climate goals into actual actions and policies that are relevant at the local level.

“Your work on the frontlines of climate action, implementing mitigation and adaptation measures, is essential in building a more sustainable future for our citizens and safeguarding our natural resources for generations to come,” Kambari said.

While noting that previous meetings had taken place, Kambari said that the purpose of the launch was “to re-enact and foster existing synergy of the national and subnational towards aligning and meeting the Ministerial High Impact Deliverables in line with the Presidential Transformative Agenda.”

He also said that the gathering was an opportunity to relaunch the Toolkits for the States’ Climate Action Communication, which the Ministry has produced and will soon be sent to the 36 States and the FCT to improve reporting on national climate action.

He said that the coordinating conference “provides a unique opportunity to foster collaboration, exchange best practices, and forge partnerships that will strengthen our collective impact on climate change mitigation and adaptation.”

“By coming together as a community of dedicated professionals, we can leverage our expertise, share lessons learned, and explore innovative solutions to address the complex challenges posed by climate change in our regions and states”, Kambari said.

The statement quoted Dr. Iniobong Abiola Awe, Director of the Department for Climate Change, as saying that the Coordination Meeting is a critical platform for implementing the outcome of the 17th Session of the National Council on Environment (NCE) Resolution 9Ai.

Awe said that the outcome states “the need for effective communication, collaboration, and synergy between the Federal and States in all environmental issues to enhance performance and better implementation of National Environmental Policies.”

According to him, the platform is expected to serve to bridge the existing communication gap, provide a platform for knowledge-sharing and capacity development, and an enabling effective reporting of climate action.

She added added that the platform seeks to jointly synergize efforts at national and subnational levels to achieve climate commitments.

“egular meetings will allow Desk Officers to share information, best practices, and coordinate efforts to improve climate resilience and link subnational climate action with national climate goals and priorities,” Awe said.

The director said that the discussions will allow state climate officers to find synergies, gaps, and areas of collaboration with other stakeholders such as government, civil society, academia, and the commercial sector.

She further stated that the platform will provide a chance to increase the ability of skill development for state climate desk officials through targeted training workshops and knowledge sharing activities.

She said that the department of climate change has formed a secretariat to manage coordination meetings and guarantee that the vision and objectives were implemented.

The statement said that Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke, President of Society for Planet and Prosperity (SPP) also made a presentation on the status of the Sub-national Climate Governance Ranking Project, which is being done in collaboration with DCC.

Okereke congratulated the Federal Ministry of Environment and the DCC for the inaugural coordination meeting and expressed belief that the initiative and platform would go a long way in helping to plug the current gap in climate change governance in Nigeria by promoting stronger climate action.

Okereke said that the Climate Governance Performance Ranking of States builds upon the Climate Action Mapping initiative, which was completed last year in conjunction with the DCC and the Nigeria Governors Forum.

According to him, the ranking and rating project is now designed to establish a single comprehensive ranking of climate governance for the 36 states of the Federation.

Okereke said that the ranking considered five factors: climate governance and administrative structure, climate policy and action plan, climate change project implementation, climate finance and budget, and online visibility.

He said he was confident that the climate governance rating initiative will spark health rivalry and a race to the top among state governments.

He said that the mapping initiative completed last year was already having a major positive impact, with a record number of states now working to develop climate policy and action plans.

He noted that the final outcome of the rating and ranking exercise with the accompanying report would be released in a big national event in July, with the first three states getting awards jointly presented by the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Society for Planet and Prosperity.

He urged the state Desk Officers to remain focused in promoting climate action in their respective states.

He pledged the commitment of the Society for Planet and Prosperity in building the capacity of the Desk Officers and organising training programmes for them.

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