National gender roadmap on climate change underway

Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed (third right); UNDP Resident Representative, Opia Kumah and other participants during a two- day National Consultative Workshop organized by the ministry’s Department of Climate Change in collaboration with Women Environment Programme (WEP) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Abuja, recently

Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed (third right); UNDP Resident Representative, Opia Kumah and other participants during a two- day National Consultative Workshop organized by the ministry’s Department of Climate Change in collaboration with Women Environment Programme (WEP) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Abuja, recently

Plans are now underway to implement the Paris accord and Nigeria’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), as the federal authorities have began moves for the creation of a National Gender Roadmap on climate change, which will mainstream gender concerns into national policies, plans and programmes at all levels.

The proposed roadmap will ensure that Nigeria address gender equality in climate change initiatives. In fact, more than 50 decisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) now support the recognition and integration of gender considerations.

Built into these decisions are the programmes and reporting mechanisms designed to support and promoted countries mitigation efforts such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which offers developed countries an opportunity to earn credit by implementing emissions reduction projects in developing nations.

This was hinted by the Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed at a two- day National Consultative Workshop organized by the Federal Ministry of Environment through the Department of Climate Change in collaboration with Women Environment Programme (WEP) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) office Abuja.

She said that the workshop will enable the ministry develop innovative ways of allowing gender take front stage in addressing climate change problems in the short, medium and long term.  “We must also develop and implement specific plans to fill the gaps in adaptation, capacity building, education, access to safe, affordable, available and sustainable technologies, and decision making schemes for rural women.”

According to her, women are not only vulnerable to climate change but effective actors or agents of change in relation to both mitigation and adaptation. “Women’s responsibilities in households and communities, as stewards of natural and household resources, positions them well to contribute to livelihood strategies adapted to changing environmental realities.

UNDP Resident Representative, Opia Kumah said the consultative process will create and opportunity for a better understanding of the link between gender and climate change, and more importantly, Nigeria’s commitment for implementation of the INDC to focus on community based organizations and groups that implement and take action with a gender sensitive lens.

Kumah noted that the issue of climate change will continue to expand the gap between men and women in most vulnerable communities due to the different roles and responsibilities they play in their communities. “We must therefore identify gender -sensitive strategies that ensure no one is left behind as we work towards implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and an African solution to our collective global challenges.

“We have to work in a real spirit of partnership where stakeholders concerned – local women, communities, NGOs and private sectors collaborate and develop equitable climate change adaptation strategies and responses to ensure sustainable development for Nigeria,” he said.

Earlier, the acting Director, Department of Climate Change, Dr. Yerima Tarfa said that the programme aims to bring together key stakeholders from MDA’s, CSO’s, NGO’s and gender experts to develop ways to increase gender participation in climate negotiations and other related issues.

He also disclosed that the workshop would showcase how the gender dimension will support the implementation of the Paris Agreement, in order to build resilient and more sustainable societies. Also, it is expected to define a post COP21 agenda for the implementation of the Paris Agreement that will be supported by the creation of a Gender National Roadmap on climate change.

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