CSR-in-Action, Stakeholders Highlight Women’s Role in Combating Climate Change

As the threat of climate change on their livelihoods and habitat intensifies, Nigerian women have been challenged to increase their capacity to create innovative solutions that mitigate this threat.

This was the focus of discussions at a recent seminar on how women in the extractive industries can strengthen the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) climate change achievements in Nigeria on 23 February 2021. Organised by Nigeria’s frontline sustainability advocacy and consultancy firm, CSR-in-Action (CiA) for the UNDP-Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in Nigeria, in partnership with the Ministry of environment, the seminar analyses various challenges caused by climate change, their impact on Nigerian women, and how women in Nigeria’s extractive industries can rise up to these challenges.

NDCs are non-binding national plans highlighting climate actions, including climate related targets, policies and measures governments aim to implement in response to climate change and as a contribution to achieve the global targets set out in the Paris Agreement.

Despite being a less topical issue in the country, Nigeria’s economy is vulnerable to the impact of climate change. According to Nigeria’s NDC report compiled in 2015, climate change brings increased variability in rainfall, resulting in flooding in some humid areas in the south and a decrease in precipitation in the savannah north. This creates a number of problems. For instance, under a business-as-usual scenario, agricultural productivity could decline between 10 to 25 per cent by 2080, according to the report.

Moderated by renowned sustainability consultant and CEO of CSR-in-Action, Bekeme Masade-Olowola, speakers at the event include the national coordinator, UNDP-NDC support program, Huzi Ishaqu Mishelia; Vice Chairman, Kian Smith and co, Nere Emiko; President, Women in Mining in Nigeria (WINMIN), Engr Janet Adeyemi; and Executive Director, Women in Management and Business (WIMBIZ), Hansatu Adegbite.

Nere Emiko spoke on how the activities of Nigerians have intensified climate change and what women in the mining industry are going through due to the effects of climate change. She also highlighted how Kian Smith and Co, a Mining firm, is working with NGOs to address climate change in the country and help women in the mining industry.

“The earth is warming, and everyone is involved,” said Janet Adeyemi, an advocate of women empowerment in the mining industry. Adeyemi said climate change discussions should involve in every sector because it is a subject that affects everyone. She also highlighted the challenges faced by women in the mining industry due to climate change. For instance, women are finding it difficult to access clean water. The experienced miner and women’s champion in the mining industry, called for women to increase their capacity to develop innovations that will mitigate the effects of climate change on their livelihood, especially in smart technologies. For instance, there is a need to come up with designs of equipment that help to reduce diesel use. She also expressed the readiness of her organisation to support such initiatives.

“Mining brings a lot of wealth and on the flip side, it is also the fastest way to the poverty of any nation because of the environmental impact,” Adeyemi said.

“The more the people speaking for women the better for us all,” said Hansatu Adegbite, “There is need for efforts at understanding what the community is going through, engage with their representatives to know their needs.”

According to Adegbite, climate change has both direct and indirect impact, and it affects women in many ways. She emphasized the need for continuous sensitisation for people to understand the issue of climate change and stressed the need to involve private sector while calling for more women participation in mining, energy, smart design and agriculture.

She also stressed the need to amplify the work of non-profit organisations like CSR-in-Action in supporting and solving problems faced by women.

Huzi Mshelia, revealed that the UNDP-NDC support program is establishing a climate innovation hub in Lagos to stimulate innovation on smart solutions to combat climate change.

Mishelia added that there are also deliberations on bringing women who are not in urban areas but are in occupations impacted by climate change into the discussion.

In closing, the moderator, Bekeme Masade-Olowola, emphasised the need to create an open-source portal for climate change to provide information and feedback.

You may watch a replay here



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