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Osun Climate Change Agenda in Progress – Consultant

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Professor Chinwe Obuaku, Consultant to Osun State Government on Climate Change, Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development

By Sola Isola

Consultant to Osun State Government on Climate Change, Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development, Professor Chinwe Obuaku, has said that the Climate Change agenda of the Osun state government is in progress.

She stated this in a featured obtained by Osun Spring Correspondent, noting that Governor Adeleke is fully committed to the the agenda and results will soon begin to show.

“This is to introduce our Osun Climate Ambassador Campus Initiative (OCAC), as part of our Osun Climate Ambassador project (OCA)  

“It is worth noting that climate change has been recognized as the single most important threat to the future well-being and prosperity of our planet and all who inhabit it. Climate change impacts ecosystems and societies, and continues to intensify with further warming. Biodiversity loss caused by climate change affects food and water security and increases the incidence of disease and natural disasters. This increases human conflict, displacement and health impacts, including loss of life.

“Furthermore, economies are also impacted, as countries struggle with the increased
costs of healthcare, damage to infrastructure and the costs of adaptation measures. Costs related to climate change are increasing annually. Much of the Climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts to date has focused on states and regions in the country,
where there are greater resources to invest in community initiatives and development of interventions to mitigate or adapt to the effects of climate change. Conversely, most resource poor states, having contributed proportionally less to the emissions causing global warming, are disproportionately affected by climate change. In these states, the impact is severe, affecting livelihoods, leading to increased poverty and intensifying vulnerabilities.

“More community efforts and institutional capacity development are needed on contextually and culturally appropriate strategies and interventions for effective mitigation and adaptation in populations most affected by climate change due to their geographic, social and/or
economic circumstances. Without partnerships, collaborations and capacity development at the community level, such vulnerable groups will be at even greater risk from the impacts of climate change including future weather events. Further to this, climate change has been a featured topic of His Excellency, Governor Ademola Nurudeen Jackson Adeleke’s statements since his resumption in office.

“In declarations of his one year anniversary, the Governor referred to climate change as “one of the greatest challenges and threats towards achieving sustainable development” and confirmed the states’ full commitment to playing its role in the global fight against climate change. Among the key objectives in this area, his declarations highlighted the promotion of recycling; green development and low-carbon economy; an increased use of renewable energy sources, and in particular biofuels; mitigation of the negative impact of climate change on food security and the adaptation of agriculture to climate change.

“Recycling, Tree planting, green innovation and Adaptation of agriculture to climate change were named among five priority areas that contribute to stable economic growth and achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In this regard, the governor reaffirmed the states’ commitment to strengthening green innovation and collaborative networks within the state to enhance the resilience of the state in the face of the changing climate.

“Currently, the office of the Consultant on Climate Change and Renewable Energy is partnering with MDAs and other public and private sector stakeholders to address the issue of plastic waste pollution by recycling it into useful products such as shopping bags, garbage bags, and plastic pellets for industrial purposes under the Green Initiative. As we know, one of the biggest challenges facing colleges and universities is how to get students engaged in campus recycling programs. This is where we come in. The Green Campus Initiative empowers the campus community through advocacy, education and resources in promoting sustainable innovation and building resilience. Specifically, it also aims to empower youth and women by providing them with sustainable income opportunities.

“Our office is dedicated to promoting sustainability and driving progress on environmental issues. Through research, initiatives, and educational programs, the goal is to empower people, drive innovation, and build resilient communities within the state. Our thematic focus areas include education, environment, energy, equity, and economics, and we work with a variety of stakeholders including students, professionals, policymakers, and community leaders to drive positive change in these areas. Whether through our leadership programs, fellowships, conferences, or community service events, we strive to engage, educate, and inspire individuals to take action and make a difference in the world.”

About the CCCI project

Governor Adeleke has committed to CAP and the Paris Agreement by appointing a state consultant, setting up an advisory council and through a public declaration- this makes him our CLIMATE CHAMPION. The Governor’s public commitment is being backed up by a series of community impact projects that focus on climate change adaptation and mitigation. The CCCI and CIP are created to address the issues of sustainability in Osun state, at all levels. These initiatives are managed by the Consultant on Climate Change, under the office of the Governor and in collaboration with various MDAs and private sector sectors.

The goal of the CCCI and CIP is to make Osun state environmentally-friendly by creating climate champions and leaders at various levels to drive the implementation of the CAP. These desired changes would require cooperation among all citizens, sectors, organizations and institutions within the state.

Community Impact Projects:

Project 1:
Osun Climate Ambassadors (OCA): A core component of our work on Climate action in Osun state is the establishment of the Osun Climate Ambassadors (OCA). The Osun Climate Ambassadors (OCA) program is for civil society to translate new knowledge and skills into local climate action through community impact projects (CIP). The OCA community impact projects are citizen-created and youth-led and provide sustainable solutions to local problems that contribute to climate change.
At the broader community level, the projects aim to address topics in biodiversity, energy, transportation, food, water, and waste, and seek to build awareness, drive positive environmental change, and inspire others to act on climate change.
Specifically, we intend to achieve the following:

• Start a green team
Civil Society green teams will help in creating relevant and impactful messaging that resonates with their community. This helps spread the word about what’s happening in the state with recycling and other sustainability initiatives. It becomes a tribal movement rather than a directive from the government.

• Appoint OCAs at every level of society to create awareness and advocacy on plastic waste pollution in the state; Our ambassadors will be responsible for facilitating grassroot programs, town hall meetings and panels on climate change and how it affects various communities

• Develop climate change, recycling and waste management programs for Iyaloja and chiefs and other leaders in the rural areas

• Create collection and redemption points for waste. Here, the more waste you can collect, the more points you earn and you can exchange those points for solar lanterns, food stamps or medical services.

Project 2:
Osun Climate Ambassador Campus Initiative (OCAC):  Within the OCA program, we intend to achieve the following:

• Start a green team:
Student green teams will help in creating relevant and impactful messaging that resonates with their peers. This helps spread the word about what’s happening on campus with recycling and other sustainability initiatives. [It becomes a tribal movement rather than a directive from the administration].

• Determine our benchmark by doing a waste audit across campuses and schools. The aim is to discover the volume and type of waste that are being generated on various campuses. This helps in selecting containers with the correct capacity and placing them in the right locations. The waste audit will identify whether we need any specific waste collection containers. it provides us with a snapshot of the current situation, and gives us a starting point for setting our diversion rate goals. Setting goals will help the students know what they’re aiming for.

• Develop climate action and recycling programs for primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions

• Creating awareness for students on the impact of poor waste management by encouraging plastic recovery from the school premises through the donation of recycling bins and inculcating a culture of re-use, reduce and recycle. There are 4 main areas on campus for recycling containers to be placed: Athletics/Sports facilities; Common areas (classrooms, meeting rooms, hallways, entrance ways and green spaces); Student residence and Cafeteria/food service;

• Organize school competitions and fashion shows where participants use recyclables;

• Encourage green roofs, gardening, tree planting, etc., where we donate seedlings

• Recyclemania competition and Game Day Challenge: Create a statewide competition against other schools. This will help keep all campus recycling programs top of mind for all students. We will hold competitions on campus between faculties or departments with prizes and recognition for the winners.

Project 3:
Osun Green Boots Campaign: The Green Boots project is dedicated to promoting sustainability and environmental stewardship through various community initiatives. It is a civil society led initiative which focuses on drainage cleaning, reforestation, and cleaning of gutters, rivers, forests and green areas. The aim is to contribute to the fight against erosion and care for the environment, avoiding the degradation of ecosystems and fighting against climate change.

Project 4:
Osun Sustainability Summit: The aim of the sustainability summit is to support exchange of ideas and further the design and implementation of co-produced adaptation and mitigation strategies for vulnerable groups—those groups currently most impacted by the effects of climate change (i.e., for both physical and socio-economic vulnerability).

Other objectives include:
• Developing strategies to improve resilience to climate change which requires cross sectoral collaboration including government, academia, private industry, non-profit organizations and civil society.

• Co-development of research and solutions in partnership with communities that are affected by climate change (the UN recommends that enabling collaborative experiential learning and capacity development, is essential for long-term success.

Project 5:
Leadership program: The aim of the leadership program is to develop engagements and mechanisms towards strengthening the leaders of the future. In this regard, we have developed a climate action leadership program in collaboration with UNITAR. The programs are completely funded by the Osun state Government, where Climate Ambassadors across the state are selected each year to participate in this course.

The program offers proven tools and knowledge from experts to integrate sustainability and green transition into the very fabric of business, elevating it from mere initiative to a core strategic imperative. The program is based on Osun state’s commitment to innovation and sustainable business – and its connection to the global economy. The program will be face to face and will contain lectures, coaching, interactive workshops as well as visits to recycling plants and other companies as well as organizations within the state. 

Project 6:
Monthly panel discussions by schools: We will be having a monthly panel discussion entitled “Re-imagining Climate action: Conversations from students”.

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