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NGO trains women on accessing loans to address climate change

An NGO, Centre for 21st Century Issues on Friday trained women on understanding climate finance and Green Climate Fund (GCF) and how to access loans to fight climate change in Nigeria.

The Executive Director of the centre, Ms Titilope Akosa made this known at a workshop in Abuja with the theme: “Climate Finance and the Green Climate Fund”.

The workshop was organised by the Centre for 21st Century Issues in collaboration with another NGO, Both Ends and the Lagos State Government.

According to Akosa, the objective of the programme is raising awareness and building the capacity of women at national and local levels to engage in climate finance and the green climate fund in Nigeria.

She said that the GCF was a fund set up by the UN  Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.

“The green climate fund is one fund that prioritises women’s issues. From the onset, they said they wanted to ensure that the money reaches men and women equally, and that they also want to address gender issues.

“Also that every area of their project must reflect an action plan that works for men and women.

“They have taken it so seriously that no matter what project proposals you want to get approved, you must have a gender action plan to ensure that women and men benefit.

“In most cases, we have always had people talk about gender and when it comes to action, money is always not allocated for it.

“This time around money is going into it and the green climate fund insist that any of their project, whatever they are doing must reflect gender and women’s issues.’’

Akosa said that the government could improve on supporting women by also ensuring a gender dimension into whatever they did.

Mr Baaki John, the Deputy Executive Director, Women Environmental Programme said that climate change had affected women, especially persons living with disabilities, hence the need to address the impact on them.

John said that GCF was set up because it was a known fact that addressing climate change was challenging, so it was necessary that developing countries accessed these funds so women groups could benefit.

He said that there was need for women groups to implement programmes that would address the effect of climate change on them because they were the most hit.

He decried the process of accessing climate finance as being very cumbersome, especially to rural women, adding, “it becomes necessary for the operators of the fund to make the protocols of accessing those loans very easy.’’

John said that although the Federal Government had tried to set aside resources to fight climate change, it needed to do more because the effect of climate change far outweighed the resources available.

A representative of Lagos Government, Ms Yewande Seriki, from the Lagos State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources said the state was currently working on developing a robust climate action plan.

Seriki said that the plan would be an evidence-based one, adding that the state had conducted greenhouse gas solution inventory with data.

“We use adequate data to gather these information, we have had various stakeholders’ engagement which have been very inclusive with representatives from different sectors.’’

Seriki urged women to make themselves available for funds like the GCF, saying, “we are the future of the nation’’.

“Like we all know, train a woman and you train a nation. So as women, we need to start taking a seat at the table which is what we are doing with this workshop,’’ she said.

The Centre for 21st Century Issues is a NGO that works to build capacity for sustainable development and poverty reduction.

It engages with youths and women, promoting environmental, social and economic justice and peace building.

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