The Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has said proper legal structures were being put in place to sustain the drive towards reducing the effects of climate change.
Dr Uduaghan who dropped this hint in Asaba, at a stakeholders forum on Territorial Approach To Climate Change (TACC) with the theme, “Delta Beyond Oil-Opportunities In Climate Change,” stated that the legal structure was necessary for the state and its people to key into the Green Economy Initiatives of international agencies.
He said that putting up proper legal structures would ensure that government would be
properly guided to continue with efforts to make the environment friendly and enable the state government access funds from international agencies to develop quick-win projects to reduce the effect of climate change on Deltans.
Governor Uduaghan also opined that individual attitudes contribute adversely to the degradation of the environment, disclosing that “some persons recently arrested for defacing newly constructed roads and walkways are being prosecuted in the court of law.”
“We have to help ourselves when it comes to dealing with issues of climate change. It breaks my heart when people cut down trees, we should as much as possible try to preserve the trees as they do more for the environment than just provide sheds,” the Governor said, adding that people should also be conscious of those things they take for granted and desist from clogging the drains with refuse.
He used the occasion to observe that though the 2012 flood disaster was devastating, it was a blessing in disguise as it has created awareness that climate change is real and all hands must be on deck to stop further degradation of the environment.
Governor Uduaghan who explained that the state government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with United Nation Development Programme few years back, said that his administration was looking at ways to improve the living standard of the people of the state, explaining that discussions were on with energy giant, Philips to set-up factories in the state to produce energy-saving bulbs and other items and create employment for the people of the state.
At the occasion, the Governor inaugurated the Delta Schools Climate Club and charged them to take the climate change awareness campaign to the people of the state, emphasising that no native doctor can stop the impacts of climate change.
“l congratulate these children for accepting to be members of the club in their various secondary schools. It will help them understand what climate change is all about and also educate others. There is a lot we can do to minimise the effect of climate change. Climate change is not all about flooding. I want to charge them to educate people in their communities on the need to take climate change serious and preserve trees in their communities,” he said.
In a welcome address, the State Commissioner of Environment Mr. Frank Omare, said Climate Change was real and that the state government has done a lot to avert the effect of climate change on Deltans.
He stated that strategies have been put in place to help avert the effect of flooding on Deltans this year stressing that the demolition of illegal structures on water ways have been carried out, drains cleared and Deltans educated on how to adapt to climate change among others.
Mr. Omare observed that the stakeholders meeting would afford Deltans the opportunity to brainstorm on the way forward in the issue of climate change.
Those who spoke at the occasion include the Executive Director of R20, Mr Christophe Nuttal, the R20 Climate Financial Consultant; Dennis Welsh, Communication Manager to the Governor of Delta State who is also, the coordinator of the Delta State Green Economy; Mr Paul Odili, the Director-General of the Nigeria Metrological Agency represented by Mr Kingsley Osawaru, the Director-General of NESREA; Dr Ngere Benebo, Prof. Rosemary Okon, Chief Newton Jibunor, Dr Felicia Adun,
traditional rulers and other stake holders commended Governor Uduaghan for his passion towards reducing the effects of climate change.
Mr Nuttal specifically said Delta State is the arrowhead and the regional headquarters of R20 in Africa, disclosing that the stakeholder’s forum would provide a blue print that will enable investors from all over the world to invest in the Delta State green economy promising to work with the state climate change team to achieve this objective.