The Federal Ministry of Environment has launched its inaugural State Climate Desk Officers’ Coordination Meeting, convened by the Department for Climate Change. The virtual event, held via Zoom on Thursday, June 13, 2024, from 12:00 to 13:30, marked a significant step in enhancing climate action at subnational levels across Nigeria.

Mr. Mahmud Adam Kambari, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Environment, inaugurated the meeting and delivered the keynote address. He underscored the urgent global threat posed by climate change, emphasizing the pivotal role of state-level climate officers in translating international climate goals into practical local actions.

“The work of subnational climate officers is crucial in implementing mitigation and adaptation measures, thereby securing a sustainable future for our citizens and safeguarding natural resources,” stated Mr. Kambari.

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Highlighting the meeting’s objectives, Mr. Kambari emphasized the reinvigoration of synergy between national and state entities to align efforts with the Ministerial High Impact Deliverables and the Presidential Transformative Agenda. He announced the relaunch of Toolkits for States’ Climate Action Communication, aimed at enhancing reporting on national climate efforts across all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Dr. Iniobong Abiola Awe, Director of the Department for Climate Change, described the coordination meeting as a critical platform for implementing resolutions from the 17th Session of the National Council on Environment (NCE). She emphasized the need for effective communication, collaboration, and synergy between federal and state bodies to bolster environmental governance and policy implementation.

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The platform seeks to bridge communication gaps, facilitate knowledge-sharing, and enhance capacity development among state climate desk officers. It aims to foster partnerships with government, civil society, academia, and the private sector to bolster climate resilience and align subnational actions with national priorities.

Professor Chukwumerije Okereke, President of the Society for Planet and Prosperity (SPP), commended the Ministry and the Department for Climate Change for their initiative. He presented insights into the Subnational Climate Governance Ranking Project, a collaboration with the DCC to assess and rank state-level climate governance across Nigeria.

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Prof. Okereke outlined five criteria for the ranking project, including governance structure, policy frameworks, project implementation, finance allocation, and online visibility. He expressed confidence that the initiative would stimulate healthy competition among states, driving enhanced climate action and governance nationwide.

The ranking’s final results will be unveiled at a national event in July, where top-performing states will receive awards jointly presented by the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Society for Planet and Prosperity.

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