The German Government, through the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Lagos, has joined Creative Youth Community Development Initiative (CYCDI) – Solution17 for Climate Action and the United Nations Information Centre for Nigeria (UNIC) to promote Climate Change Adaptation as a build-up to the crucial COP26 – UN Climate Change Conference, scheduled to hold in Glasgow on 1- 12 November 2021. The campaign, tagged #NaijaClimateNow which began in June 2021 is currently calling for doers, creators, innovators, scientists, students, youths, and entrepreneurs to design and implement solutions towards Climate Change Adaptation in Nigeria through tech-driven sustainable businesses and projects in climate smart agriculture, eco-friendly growers, waste to wealth, food processing programme, food preservation and others.
The registration, which was originally scheduled to close by 31 July 2021 was extended to 31 August 2021 to allow wider registration and submission of solutions in the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria. According to Foluke Michael, Project Director of CYCDI – Solution17 for Climate Action, the project was designed to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent a climate crisis. Solution17 for Climate Action has embarked on massive climate adaptation projects through Green Recovery to build back better in Lagos and Nigeria. Naija Climate Now was launched to support green businesses in climate smart agriculture, food processing, water resources, product value chain, tech for climate, biodiversity protection, and others. The support from the Government of Germany will help promote the Green Entrepreneurs to champion Green Recovery in Lagos and across other Nigeria states. It will also cover the training of 34 finalists, incentives for growers and some equipment to support climate action enterprises beyond the project life cycle.
COVID-19 and impact on the economy
The impact of COVID-19 has resulted in an enormous economic loss. This is aside the constant devaluation of the naira and massive insecurity that has caused shortage of food supply across Nigeria. The rate of poverty has drastically increased in Nigeria. Households have lost about one-quarter of their incomes, and over 17 million people were added to the poverty class in the country. Also, Lagos State has witnessed a 3.44% growth rate, with over 20 per cent vulnerable to poverty.
Impact of climate change on the economy
Agriculture is the key source of food in Nigeria, and it employs over 70 per cent of the country’s labour force and contributes up to 40 per cent of its national economy. Nigeria is exposed to a range of climate conditions and extreme weather events. One of the important ways climate change affects development and livelihood in Nigeria is through its impact on agriculture.
The impact of climate change has become more extreme in recent times, leading to the loss of land resources, low agricultural productivity, food scarcity and economic hardship, and also fuelling herder-farmer violence in the South. Extreme climate events like flooding, drought, and extreme temperatures have resulted in soil degradation, which has led to low crop yields for most small-scale farmers. When food systems are supplied by rain-fed agriculture, even moderate rainfall patterns can substantially negatively impact productivity and food security.
Naija Climate Now
With registration now extended to 31 August 2021 from its earlier 31 July 2021 date, “the project will welcome applications from anyone under 35 years old in Nigeria who has ideas or solutions. Submission can either be by individuals or teams. All eligible entrants must apply online. The process includes screening and interview sessions, presentation of finalists and a virtual Innovation Hub to develop and co-create climate change solutions,” said Foluke Michael. She added: “Later in the year, the project will showcase Nigerian-made solutions and technologies to address climate change at a special COP26 Summit and Art exhibition.” The support by the German Government and United Nations through UNIC will reduce the rate of unemployment, poverty, zero hunger and climate change in Nigeria