By Dipo Olowookere
A need to come up with concrete actions on climate was emphasised at the second edition of the Climate Chance World Summit held in Agadir, Morocco.
“This edition reveals once again that international civil society continuously expect such meetings and talks, and reaffirms its determination to assert its natural role in the fight for climate,” said Ronan Dantec, President of the Climate Chance Association, at the closing of the summit.
The summit was concluded with the signature of ‘The Statement of Agadir’, supported by many Moroccan non-state actors and signed by many of the world’s major networks including CAN-International (focal point to CCNUCC, representing more than 1000 Climate and Environment NGOs); ICLEI (focal point of communities to CCNUCC), CGLU, C40; YOUNGO (the constituency of youth associations at the CCNUCC); CSI: International trade union confederation (focal point of trade union at the CCNUCC); WECF; and IPACC (Association of African Indigenous Peoples).
The event had over 5,000 participants from 80 nationalities in attendance during three days of talks and debate.
“The Agadir Statement will be brought to COP23 next November. Its adoption is a major step towards strengthening the joint work of global non-state actors. Its signature in Agadir consecrates the efforts undertaken by the Souss Massa Regional Council during the last 10 years, in order to accompany the Moroccan civil society in its fight against climate change” said Brahim Hafidi, President of the Souss Massa Regional Council, the host of the event.
Non-state actors commit through this declaration to intensify the climate action and urge the governmental parties to amplify their ambition to facilitate dialogue.
This MoU is expected to be more than intent; it is a roadmap to facilitate dialogue following the Paris Agreement, to be held in 2018.
Launch of the Climate Chance Observatory: A tool for assessing the progress of climate action by non-state actors for decision-makers.
On September 13, the Climate Chance Observatory for Climate Action of non-state actors was officially launched. This observatory should make possible the measurement of the reality of the actions undertaken by the non-state actors, their success and their challenges.
A first report will be released in autumn 2018 before the COP24 to be held in Poland.
Many personalities of the climate negotiations have made the trip to Agadir (check the list in annex), thus testifying the willingness to work with non-state actors community in the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and in achieving the objectives reaffirmed in 2015 during the COP21 and in line with the Marrakech Partnership.
“The success of this Summit is also owed to a strong African and Moroccan presence and mobilization in workshops and meetings” highlighted Ronan Dantec.
African local and regional elected representatives have launched a call for the mobilization of African civil society, of which the first step will be made at Africités 2018 in Brazzaville.
The objective is to bring a concrete answer to the initiative “we are still in” and reaffirm that specific challenges and needs in Africa can only be resolved collectively.
Climate Chance: a Summit to consolidate collective climate action
With over 100 side-events, the three-days Summit allowed climate actors to discuss progress together, exchange good practices on mitigation and adaptation and develop synergies and convergences on common themes: in particular access to finance, urban planning, migration flows, food security. These are the main topics on which it is urgent to act effectively and concretely between all the actors (local authorities, associations, businesses, trade unions etc.).
Brahim Hafidi paid tribute to the Moroccan civil society, strongly mobilized in favor of the climate “Raising awareness about environmental protection, training to the use of renewable and photovoltaic energy, development of the green economy, these are some high-impact actions effectively implemented by the associations we, the Souss Massa Regional Council, do support”.
The summit was also the occasion for the signature by several local authorities of their intention to subscribe to the initiative Under2 MoU.
Group Laments Absence of Sign Language Interpreters at TV Stations, Hospitals
By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
A former leader of the women’s wing of the Nigerian National Association of the Deaf (NNAD), Mrs Monsurat Abdulwasiu, has raised the issue of exclusion of hearing-impaired individuals, especially in major TV broadcasts.
The counsellor made the complaint to the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, on Thursday during the 2021 annual lecture organized by the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) in partnership with the Albino Foundation and the European Union (EU).
Speaking through an interpreter on behalf of the disadvantaged, Mrs Abdulwasiu said that because many TV stations across the country do not feature sign language interpretations in their major broadcast, persons with disabilities only look at images during news hours without understanding the message.
In her words, “Only the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, has a sign language interpreter during one of its news hours. In the other media platforms, there are no sign language interpreters. Even in the healthcare sector, no sign language in Nigerian hospitals.
“So, what happens to deaf people when they are reading news, and when they are sick and go to the hospital. Does it mean that we are not entitled to information and healthcare? The government needs to look into this.”
Responding to this, the Minister confirmed this and said he was touched by the point raised, adding that there was a need for sign interpreters during the network news and other major news belts.
Mr Mohammed then assured that he would direct all TV stations in the country, both public and private, to feature sign language interpretation in their major broadcast.
“I am going to ask the NBC to direct all our television stations to ensure that there are sign [language] interpreters in all television stations during their major news hours.
“This will not apply to only the Nigerian Television Authority. Whether public or private television stations, they must comply with the directive.
“This directive will work both ways. It means the complaint of exclusion will be tackled and the persons with disability of hearing will also be included in programs and policies of the government,” he said.
CBN to Inject Fresh N15bn into Lagos Blue Line Railway Project
By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that another tranche of N15 billion is due for disbursement to Lagos State for the completion of the ongoing Blue Line Railway project.
This is part of the N60 billion the apex bank has earmarked for the project of which the sum of N45 billion has been disbursed to the state already.
The provision of the funding by the central bank, through select banks, is under the Differentiated Cash Reserves Requirement (DCRR) intervention to ensure Lagos State had the financial capacity for the project.
Speaking after a tour at the Marina site on Thursday, October 14, to monitor the progress of the infrastructure operated by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), the Director of CBN Development Finance, Mr Yusuf Philip Yila, remarked that the “progress of the job matches the funding so far.”
“The total amount we have made available for this line is N60 billion. We have disbursed N45 billion. There’s another tranche of N15 billion.
“We are confident, based on what has been shown, that progress has been made. Disbursement of the funding is being done in tranches. So, another tranche is due.
“As the central bank, we felt it is important to come and see what is on the ground and the quality of work is quite impressive,” Mr Yila disclosed.
Evaluating the work done on the site so far, he noted the job opportunities that have been opened to young Nigerians in the state through the avenue which includes welding, fabricating and others.
He said, “There are over 500 jobs on-site here, which is a good takeaway. I am happy, having met some of the people on-site and across other stations.”
FG Approves N2.5bn for Senior Citizens to Curb Poverty
By Adedapo Adesanya
The federal government has approved N2.5 billion as a take-off grant for the National Senior Citizens Centre (NSCC), the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Ms Sadiya Farouq, has disclosed.
The Minister said this at a one-day Southern Zone Stakeholders Consultation on Development of NSCC Strategic Plan on Thursday in Lagos, where she was represented by the ministry’s acting Director, Social Services, Mr Mansur Kuliya.
According to her, the money is presently being processed for disbursement to the centre and would be used to identify the strategic priorities, processes and approaches that would provide an impetus for the centre to achieve its mandate of integrating senior citizens.
The Minister said that the centre was collaborating with relevant stakeholders to brainstorm and produce ideas for the development of a 10-year strategic plan.
“This consultation indicates the commitment of the ministry, board and management of the centre to ensure full implementation of Mr President’s agenda toward the establishment of the centre.
“The ministry and the centre will ensure that the country benefits from the wisdom and wealth of experiences of the senior citizens,” she said.
The Director-General of NSCC, Mr Emem Omokaro, in his presentation, said the consultation was to inform stakeholders about the National Senior Citizens Act and its mandate.
Mr Omokaro said the Act aligns with the National Policy on Ageing and the SDGs Agenda 2030, which was the guiding document for the operations of the NSCC and the parameters of the stakeholders’ deliberation.
Corroborating this, the Minister noted that, “This consultation is also to engage stakeholders on critical issues affecting older persons; to listen to your views, context, evidence and even myths.
“It is to bring innovative solutions that will constitute actions that NSCC should consider and the means to achieve them.
“By this consultative forum, NSCC is creating and fostering an environment of collaboration in the key decision-making process.”
The Lagos State Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr Segun Dawodu, in his remarks, said Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu was committed to reducing the sufferings of older citizens in alignment with the theme policy agenda of the state.
Mr Dawodu, who was represented by Ms Caroline Inegbedion, the ministry’s Deputy Director, Correctional and Elderly Care Services, noted that the commitment was geared toward reducing the vulnerability of elders to poverty.
He said it was also to make them economically independent and improve their general well-being.
The Commissioner said plans were underway for the construction of Day Care Centre in each of the three senatorial districts, adding that the facility was at 85 per cent completion in Epe.
He noted that the state government had a functional and well-funded Old Peoples Home to take care of its vulnerable aged people with social workers, nurses, doctors and physiotherapists attached.
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