From Esther Akaa, Lafia
Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation ( GIFSEP), a Non-Governmental Organisation has trained Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) under the aegis of the Nasarawa State Network on Environment and Climate Justice (NASNECJ) to enable them advocate for climate justice in the state.
GIFSEP is implementing a five-year project in the state known as the African Activists for Climate Change (AACJ ) in partnership with OXFAM with support from Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of the Netherlands and the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA).
The Project Officer for AACJ in the state, Mr Joseph Ibrahim disclosed this in an interview with journalists immediately after the training held in Lafia on Tuesday.
According to him, the training was aimed at strengthening the civic space in the state, as well as building their capacities to enable them engage more with government and other relevant stakeholders around climate change and climate justice for the wellbeing of residents of the state.
Ibrahim explained that the organisation had earlier established the NASNECJ to work as an advocacy group to engage stakeholders on the need to design policies that would ensure climate justice in the state.
“We established the NASNECJ but that the network has not really been functioning properly so there is need to strengthen their capacities and also identify areas of gaps and where we need to strengthen the network to be able to engage government more effectively.
“We are also hoping that the group would be coordinated with a leadership structure that can be more responsive and responsible for engaging with relevant stakeholders in the state,” he said.
Ibrahim said GIFSEP was engaging government and community leaders across the 13 local government areas in the state on how to adapt to climate change issues.
“We are already in the process of documenting and scaling up some of those indigenous knowledge that we have gotten from the communities on how they have been adapting to climate change effects,” he said.
Also speaking, lead facilitator at the training and Programme Manager, Eunice Spring of Life Foundation, Mr Tine Agernor said the training was aimed at creating a platform for transformational change in the context of climate justice to facilitate collaborative engagement and information sharing in the state.
“This training will help participants to track and report the outcomes of climate actions and community engagement. It would also hold stakeholders accountable for their commitments to sustainability as well as empower citizens to drive climate actions in their communities,” he said.
On his part, one of the participants at the training who is a lecturer in the Department of Geology, Federal University of Lafia, Dr Degree Umar said the training was timely as it would create space for CSOs to engage relevant stakeholders towards addressing climate change impacts in the state.
He, therefore promised to use the knowledge gained to contribute his quote in order to attain climate justice.
The Voice reports that about 40 participants attended the training and leadership structure was established and inaugurated at the meeting.