As part of the efforts towards achieving the target, the Federal Ministry of Environment, with the support of the EU, recently organised a two-day stakeholders’ workshop in Keffi, Nasarawa State.
The ministry said the workshop, which had as participants environmental journalists across print, broadcast and online media platforms under the umbrella of the Nigerian Journalists for Climate Action Network (NIJOCAN), was aimed at meeting the nation’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
It added that the programme was put in place as part of the activities rolled out under the Nigerian Climate Change Response Programme (NCCRP).
The organisers said both the Nigerian government and the EU believe that journalists occupy strategic positions in their efforts towards sensistising the citizens about the global threat, and towards ensuring change in behavioural attitudes among them.
At the workshop a new collaborative reporting project was entered into between NIJOCAN and NCCRP.
Speaking at the workshop, the director, department of climate change at the ministry, Iniobong Abiola-Awe, who was represented by the deputy director, Victoria Pwol, in her opening remarks, said: ”To support Nigeria’s efforts towards meeting the NDC targets, the European Union under its Global Public Goods and Challenges Thematic Programmes, is funding the provisions of technical assistance of the implementation of the Nigerian Climate Change Response Programme (NCCRP).”
The director added that the programme was implemented to ensure that the Sustainable Development Goals are achieved.
She said: “In addition, the EU-NCCRP contributes to the concrete achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals 13, 7 and 5, which are; climate action, affordable and clean energy and gender equality.
“The European Commission entrusted the Conseil Sante Consortium to provide technical assistance to the department of climate change of the ministry of environment, as the main beneficiary of the NCCRP.”
Mrs Pwol further stated that “it is believed that after the two-day workshop, members of the NIJOCAN following their interaction with NCCRP experts are expected to be better informed with relevant information on the pragmatic priorities and future directions of the NCCRP.
Also in his welcome address, the EU-NCCRP team lead, Todd Ngara, said climate change has massive impacts on individuals, society and the economy. “Therefore, its reporting must be apt at a time like this.”
Kayode Egbeleye, a strategic and communication specialist and Conseil Sante representative, charged journalists at the workshop to exhibit professionalism in their reporting, saying; “Your job as journalists and the role you have to play is to make sure climate change issues remain on the public agenda within and outside the shores of Nigeria.”
“It is by doing so that you could create awareness, galvanise people into action, and probably change behavior and attitude,” he added.
Mr Egbeleye said the workshop was a follow- up to the inaugural one held in March 2021 which he noted opened the participants to the kind of stories the audience would like to see and the kind of approach needed to gather, produce and disseminate such stories.
Mr Egbeleye therefore admonished the journalists to tap into the different repositories available to further build their capacities.
At the workshop, a 12-month action plan was designed by the members of NIJOCAN to help effectively report burning climate change issues and a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between NIJOCAN and NCCRP.
The MoU, which does not compel any legal, financial or any other binding obligations, is intended to guide and support collaborations between both parties.
Excerpts from the MoU read in part:”The editorial goal of NIJOCAN, which is to provide in-depth, nuanced and solutions-oriented reporting on the issues of climate change mitigation in Nigeria is to support the raison d’etre of the Nigeria Climate Change Response Programme (NCCRP).”