A validation workshop was organized on Thursday 18th, August 2011 at the Event Centre, Alausa-Ikeja to capture inputs and observations from relevant Lagos State Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) and other stakeholders working on climate change related issues into a draft Policy Framework document for Climate Change Mitigation, Adaptation and Governance in Lagos State.
The draft document being one among other similar but variedly focused efforts was commissioned by the Lagos State Ministry of the Environment as part of the process of developing a comprehensive, robustly ambitious and well articulated policy document to guide and institutionalize the State’s response to climate change challenges and opportunities. Several academics, governmental MDAs, Civil Society Organizations and other stakeholders took part in the series of research, technical sessions and harmonization session that produced the document.
The process was managed by HEDA Resource Centre and other partners on the Policy Advocacy Project Partnership on Climate Change in Lagos State (PAPPCC) with support from State Accountability and Voice Initiative (SAVI). The validation session had a good representation from all invited Lagos State MDAs, the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Lagos State University, civil society organizations, the media and other stakeholders. After the slated welcome and comments by dignitaries, two presentations were made to give insights into the process of developing the document as well as into the 75-page document proper. Presentations over, the one hundred and seven (107) participants went into a breakout session to discuss the document along the following thematic areas;
- 1. Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management
- 2. Climate Change Mitigation and Low Carbon Economy
- 3. Climate Change Governance
- 4. Agriculture and Food Security
- 5. Human Settlements, Security and Health
- 6. Coastal and Natural Resources Management
- 7. Critical Issues including Gender, People with Disabilities and other vulnerable groups (elderly, children and the poor).
After thorough deliberations at the break-out sessions, the plenary was reconvened and participants unanimously acknowledged and salute the proactive and relentless efforts of the Lagos State government in responding to the threats posed to the State by climate change impacts. They noted the fact that Lagos State is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change on many fronts and therefore the efforts of the MoE to develop a policy on climate change is quite apt and timely too. They thus made the following recommendations:
- That the managers of the BRT mass transit scheme should maintain the integrity of their buses and improve on it in order to attract more users.
- That the Lagos State Government should adopt and encourage green technology in energy generation and production in the public and private sector respectively.
- That the State government should initiate renewable energy generation pilot schemes at the Local Government level throughout the state in partnership with the organized private sector.
- That the use of fossil fuels should be discouraged by providing cleaner fuel at affordable rates.
- That the Lagos State Government should take adequate steps to preserve wetlands around Lagos as well as enforce already existing laws to curb sand mining activities.
- That the Farm Settlement Programme should be replicated in other parts of the state with modern facilities to stem rural-urban migration and encourage new entrants.
- That the LSG through the Agric ministry should build the capacity of Agricultural Extension service workers on climate change effects on plants and animals.
- That the LSG should establish food storage and processing centers to reduce waste as well as ensure good return on investment.
- That Lagosians should desist from polluting our environment.
- That the LSG should stem urban migration by improving infrastructures in the rural areas.
- That the State’s disaster and emergency response plan should be updated, upgraded and further improved. The plan must pay particular attention to the plights of women, children, PWDs, elderly and other vulnerable groups in society.
The validation workshop came to a close at about 4pm with participants resolving to play their parts in reducing the State’s vulnerability as well passing on all that they have learnt at the workshop.
Suraju Olanrewaju Dr. (Mrs) Iyabo Phillips Chair, HEDA Ass. Dir. Lagos State MoE