The first national youth consultation on Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that held on September 11th, 2020 hosted over 300 participants from within and outside Nigeria. The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) office in Nigeria in collaboration with Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Environment and the International Climate Change Development Initiative (ICCDI) organized the virtual consultation to bring meaningful youth engagement into Nigeria’s NDC enhancement and in tracking the implementation process.
The Director of Centre for Policy Research and Development Solutions, Samira Ibrahim, moderated the over 2-hour long session that encompassed various input modes including presentations, discussions and recommendations. Her Excellency Honourable Minister for State Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, opened the event and in her remarks, reiterated President Buhari’s commitment of actualising concrete steps to harness climate innovative ideas through youth inclusion in climate governance design. In addition to stating the contributions and supportive actions implemented by the government so far, she asserted the Ministry of Environment’s readiness to partner and collaborate with youths in the review and implementation procedure of the NDC. The Resident Representative of FES Nigeria, Dr Daniel Mann pointed out the importance of creating engagement spaces between the government and youths to challenge the status quo and develop social and climate-just solutions.
The opening remarks were followed by presentations from three speakers: The Coordinator for the UNDP NDC Support programme in Nigeria, Huzi Mshelia; Co-founder, ICCDI, Olumide Idowu; Environmentalist and Climate Talk podcast host, Seyifunmi Adebote, respectively. Mr Mshelia, during his presentation on the ‘Current state of Nigeria’s NDC and enhancement process’, explained that the enhancement menu in the process of revising Nigeria’s NDC, ahead of 2030, includes consultation, revision and update of targets and policies, sectors update, cost analysis of implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. He further highlighted the four areas of focus of the NDC initiative programme - financial flow analysis, organised private sectors engagement, climate change activities registry creation, and socialisation of ongoing initiatives. In between Mr Mshelia’s presentation, the Lead Consultant on the NDC Youth Manual, Solomon Adefolu introduced the government-led Youth Manual initiative. Mr Adefolu mentioned that the educational tool targets Nigerian youths aged 5 – 25 years and aims to empower youth contribution to climate actions towards the delivery of the NDCs.
Olumide Idowu of ICCDI spoke on the ‘Priorities for Nigerian youths in the NDCs’. In his talk, he lamented the inadequate engagement of Nigerian youths in the successful implementation of the NDCs. He thus cited urgent priority areas for youths in Nigeria as climate education/advocacy, climate migration, green business, youth innovation hub, adaptation and mitigation, action for climate empowerment (ACE) and climate finance. Amid the involvement of youths, Seyifunmi Adebote in his presentation enlightened the participants on ‘Sectoral needs - real-life example of how the youth can be engaged/have been engaged/have played a role’. He hinted that effective youth involvement is strengthened by youth familiarization with relevant documents and engagement with organisations, groups, networks as well as key stakeholders.
Thereafter, Chiagozie Udeh, Project Assistant at FES Nigeria, expatiated on the newly established eight thematic Youth Working groups (YWGs) that will serve as official engagement mechanisms for youth interfacing with Nigeria’s Ministry of Environment and Department of Climate Change to mainstream youth engagement across the sector. The YWGs are on agriculture, energy, oil and gas, industry, transport, water, waste management, and cross-cutting issues (finance, gender and others). He encouraged participants to apply to join the Youth Working Group for Nigeria's Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).
One of the outputs of the consultation process will be a policy framework document of ‘Youth input towards the NDCs’ that will capture concrete policy inputs of attendees and Nigerian youths at large.