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April 15, 2024
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Leaders from Nigeria’s Northwest states back the Kano Declaration on climate and environmental issues.

Representatives of the seven states in Nigeria’s Northwest region signed the Kano Declaration on Climate Change and Environment when they converged on Kano for the Northwest Commissioners Summit on Climate Change on Thursday, February 29, 2024.

The declaration underlined the seven Northwest states’ pledge to the conservation of biodiversity, rural integration, enhanced collaboration and partnerships, adaptation finance, sustainable development, and climate security, among others, in the region.

The seven states in the region comprise Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Jigawa, Sokoto and Zamfara.

Convened by the Surge Africa Organisation, a climate policy, resilience building and media non-profit, the one-day event was aimed at promoting dialogue, collaboration, and fostering inter-state strategies on climate change in the Northwest region of Nigeria.

It brought together respective State Commissioners and House Committee Chairmen on Environment and Climate Change from the relevant states to deliberate on vital issues that intersect climate change, sustainable development, and climate security.

With the escalating climate crisis in Nigeria and the passage of the Climate Change Bill into law, Surge Africa believes that state governments must urgently increase their ambitions around mitigating the social, economic and environmental crises exacerbated by climate change, especially in fragile ecosystems like Northern Nigeria.

Key objectives of the summit included promoting resilience development, exploring strategies to enhance community and ecological resilience in the face of climate change impacts, and facilitating the collaborative development of State Action Plans on Climate Change for each of the seven Northwest states.

State governments, partners and relevant stakeholders expressed support for Surge Africa’s proposals for the adoption of a State Climate Action Plan and State Climate Fund, acknowledging the importance of these frameworks in fostering a sustainable and resilient future for the region as enshrined in the Kano Declaration on Climate Change and Environment.

The Founder of Surge Africa, Nasreen Al-Amin, underscored the need for government and stakeholders’ collaboration on climate change and the importance of the summit.

She said: “The summit revealed the readiness of states to collaborate with civil society organisations (CSOs) and development partners to advance state initiatives. Not only is the Summit timely in terms of the critical issues that were discussed, but it also presented a unique opportunity for CSOs to partner with state actors in scaling tangible climate solutions.

“This is also where Surge Africa plays an integral role, by bringing together key stakeholders to discuss strategic frameworks such as the State Climate Action Plan and Climate Fund that needs to be developed to integrate climate adaptation at state level.”

The Kaduna State Commissioner of Environment and Natural Resources, Abubakar Buba, remarked: “Climate security is a regional problem and must be addressed as such, because the bush that runs from Sokoto to Kaduna and down to Niger State is the same. Therefore, we must look at it beyond state-level and collaboration to address these issues as a regional threat.”

The Executive Director, Bridge that Gap, Gloria Kasang Bulus, called upon state actors to confront climate security issues pragmatically.

She said: “Climate security issues manifest in various forms and pragmatic approaches need to be employed to address them. There’s been reports of violence against women along trans-human migratory routes in conflict-prone regions that should be given priority to.”

The summit was hosted by the Kano State Ministry of Environment in partnership with the Zamfara and Sokoto State Ministry of Environment. Stakeholders recognised climate change as a socio-economic development crisis, not just an environmental one, and sought pragmatic solutions to strengthen state capacity, build community resilience and improve livelihoods.

The Northwest Commissioners Summit is said to be the first in a series of Ecosystem Summits organised by Surge Africa as a testament to the organisation’s objective to facilitate climate adaptation solutions through policy, media & communications and resilience. The Ecosystem Summits are a series of dialogues and forums to promote and advance political and diplomatic commitment to climate governance in Nigeria.

 

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