By Usman Aliyu
Ilorin – Stakeholders at a forum on Monday called for intensive action toward ensuring sustainable peace and security of lives in Nigeria and Africa.
The stakeholders made the call in Ilorin at a programme organised by the Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies (CPSS), University of Ilorin, to commemorate the 2019 United Nations Day of Peace.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the day was “Climate Action for Peace”.
In his speech, Prof. Noah Yusuf, the Director of the centre, said that the current global climate change and its attendant negative consequences on the social life, economic development, political stability, health status and poverty profile necessitated the theme
Yusuf, who was represented by Dr Biola Adimula, a lecturer at the centre, noted that the theme was appropriate considering the damaging impacts of climate change to all aspects of human life and the way it had become a threat to peace among individuals, groups, communities, nations and regions.
The director, however advocated integration of positive climate action with peace advocacy programmes in the country and West Africa sub-region.
“The centre also pushes forward as practical measures of adopting climate action for projecting peace, an establishment of “Climate Action for Peace Desk” in relevant government ministries at local state and national levels.
The expert also sought involvement of the media in climate action for mass campaign.
Dr Shittu Raji, the Chairman of the Society for Peace Studies and Practice in Kwara, identified a high level of environmental sustainability as determinant of the anticipated peace, security and development in Africa.
According to him, the challenges of climate change have, however, largely undermined peace, security and development in Africa owing to the sustained threat to environmental resources.
The resources, the chairman, said included water, farm and grass land which were major sources of income generation and livelihood for Africans.
“The security implications of climate induced environmental degradation include forced migration, food insecurity, increased disaster risks related to floods, storms and drought among other,” he said.
In his presentation, Mr Segun Adeyemi, the state Director of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), urged government and other stakeholders to focus attention on the extensive funding of research on climate issues and development of a national accessible database management system on climate change.
This, Adeyemi said, was to ensure effective and timely response to climate change incidents in Nigeria.
He also called on all arms of government to ensure policies that support the use of renewable energy, rather than the heavy investments in coal-based energy.
“The National Assembly and State House of Assemblies should pay more attention to enacting laws that focus on conservation and environmental issues.
“The oversight functions of lawmakers should also proactively extend into climate and environmental issues.
“The Civil Society Organisations should pursue programmes and activities that create awareness about environment and disaster management.
“Furthermore, they should put pressure on the government to pursue concrete activities in germane environment matters.
“Finally, indiscriminate bush burning, which damages the soil, plants, animals should be discouraged, ” he said. (NAN)