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Nigeria seeks inclusion of women in climate solutions at CSW

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Nigeria on Thursday in New York called for better representation of women in climate-related planning, policy making and implementation, given the impacts of such development on them, their empowerment and health.

Dame Pauline Tallen, Minister for Women Affairs, made the call at the UN headquarters while delivering Nigeria’s statement at the 66th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

The two-week session focuses on “Achieving Gender Equality and the Empowerment of all Women and Girls in the context of Climate Change, Environmental and Disaster Risk Reduction Policies and Programmes.’’

Tallen said for Nigeria, experience showed that women had the power to mobilise action against climate change when and if policies exist that empowered them.

She said the government of Nigeria had taken robust steps to initiate and strengthen policies, institutional frameworks, systems, and mechanisms aimed at achieving gender equality and empowerment of women and girls in line with the agenda 2030.

The minister spoke about some steps Nigeria had taken to ensure that women and young girls actively participate in environment and climate change actions and decisions.

“A youth innovative climate hub was organised across the country to harvest climate innovative ideals from the youths that will promote climate adaptation and mitigation in the country.

“Nigeria is committed to planting 25 million trees across the country using a multi-sectoral approach; distribution of seedlings and clean stove cooking gas to women nationwide to boost livelihoods and reduce drudgery among women.

“It has increased sensitisation and advocacy programmes for women on conversion of agro-wastes, industrial wastes and plastic wastes produce to more important finished products like organic fertilisers for healthy farming, pulp, and paper to mitigate the loss of trees.

“Also, it involved in mentoring programme for young women and girls in secondary schools on climate change by organising a series of activities to raise a climate responsive generation.

“This is done by educating them on the adverse effects of climate change and how to mitigate its effect and impact on people,’’ she said.

According to her, a critical evaluation recently of environment, climate change and gender policy development scored Nigeria high with respect to having in place legal frameworks that promote and monitor gender equality.

The frameworks also guarantee inclusivity of all groups in the formulation and implementation of climate change initiatives, programmes, and policies in the country.

She told the meeting that Nigeria government had and still implementing several projects, including the Great Green Wall Initiative, creation of green jobs and other initiatives by non-governmental organisations, climate smart agricultural practices among several others.

In addition, Tallen said Nigeria launched the National Adaptation Strategy and Plan of Action for Climate Change in Nigeria (NASPA-CCN).

“The Plan seeks to minimise risks, improve local and national adaptive capacity and resilience, leverage new opportunities, and facilitate collaboration with the global community to reduce Nigeria’s vulnerability to the negative impacts of climate change.’’

The minister said the Federal Government revised the 2021 Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to mainstream gender across all sectors, hence the adoption of the 2021 National Action Plan on Gender and Climate to fulfill its obligation as a party to the UNFCCC.

She said that the Nigeria’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Framework also provides a broad-based framework for Nigeria to address its National Adaptation Plan effectively.

“Also, Nigeria’s National Policy on Climate Change, 2021 – 2030 promotes a low-carbon, climate-resilient and gender-responsive sustainable socio-economic development.’’

Tallen, however, said that her delegation called for a transparent negotiation of the agreed conclusion for this session.

“It is my hope that adequate attention will be given on those fundamentals that are of priority to my delegation such as capacity building, increased official development assistance and improved quality education.

“Also, issues of women and children, support to national efforts at providing access to clean and safe water, health care and sanitation, especially issues on menstrual hygiene as all these constitute critical elements that will resonate the strategies for empowering women and girls,’’ the minister said.

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