UNICEF Urges Youth Action on Climate Change in Nigeria’s Lake Chad Region

SPOTLIGHTS

  • UNICEF stresses the importance of youth engagement in climate action
  • Children in the Lake Chad region are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts
  • Borno State is taking steps to combat climate change, including tree planting and legal reviews
  • The Borno State Climate Action Plan aims to build resilience and carbon efficiency by 2030

From Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other international organisations have advocated for the involvement of youths in climate action as a response to the increasing impact of climate change, especially around the Lake Chad region.

UNICEF Chief of Field Office Phuong Nguyen, while delivering an address at the commemoration of the 2024 World Environment Day in Maiduguri, said children are constantly exposed to the impact of climate change, including flooding, drought conditions, and desertification.

“I urge all of us to support the Youth for Climate Action in Nigeria (YOU-CAN). This pioneering initiative leverages the immense potential of youth to drive impactful climate action across the nation,” Nguyen said.

She noted that young people play a critical role in mobilising people against climate and environmental challenges. She said the environmental impact on them further exacerbates their plight.

“Children in Nigeria, particularly in the Chad Basin region, are increasingly exposed to the adverse effects of climate change, including flooding, drought and rising temperatures,” she declared.

Phuong said the situation is escalated by worsening droughts, deforestation and poor land management, especially in Borno, affected by over a decade of violence.

Borno State Commissioner for Environment, Alhaji Mohammed Kois, said the state is raising 1 million trees this year as part of a measure to combat climate change.

“We are also reviewing the laws against felling of trees and bush burning to preserve the environment,” he disclosed.

At the event, the Borno State Climate Coalition presented an overview of the Borno State Climate Action Plan designed to build climate resilience and carbon efficiency in the state by the year 2030.

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