A stakeholder’s engagement workshop on issues relating to climate change and its effect on the society organized for relevant ministries and agencies in Ondo State by the West African Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), Federal University of Technology Akure, FUTA has called for joint action to tackle the many adverse effects of climate change. The Workshop was held on Thursday, December 15, 2022 as part of activities signposting the commemoration of 10 years of training students by FUTA-WASCAL for Doctoral Research Programme in West African Climate System (DRP-WACS)
The panelists ,comprising representatives from the ministries of Environment, Agriculture, Physical Planning and Urban Development, the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Ondo State Waste Management, the Town Planning unit and some Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) all agreed on encouraging a synergy between the academia, relevant ministries, departments, agencies , MDAs and other stakeholders. They also called on government to increase funding for all MDAs related to environmental matters to enable them proffer solutions to the already obvious devastating effects of climate change including flooding , desertification impacting negatively on food production, environmental problems and climatic induced health and economic challenges .
In his remarks at the occasion, the Director WASCAL, FUTA, Professor Debo Adeyewa appreciated the candor of the panelists and the participants saying the issue of climate change and the environment concern everybody. “We are impressed with your suggestions from this roundtable discussion. The matter is not about government alone but all of us. We are the Climate Champions who should see things going wrong and work towards righting them. We are the managers of our environment. Let’s work together to save it. WASCAL is a key driver in training and capacity building on climate and related matters. Let’s mobilize all resources (human and material) to make our environment better and safer to live in,” he told the participants.
He said WASCAL FUTA is not just for environmental matters, but also builds capacity and develops knowledge across West Africa. He listed part of its success story to include churning out products working in different sectors of the economy to address climate issues and added that WASCAL has great partnership with regional and global organizations like the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank, UNDP and several others. He said WASCAL FUTA has become an indomitable leader with bright future and working on using Artificial Intelligence to solve climate issues in the West African sub region and across the continent. Professor Adeyewa further described WASCAL FUTA has the best destination for studying climate related matters as it is the most preferred destination for applicants aspiring to study in the sub region. He highlighted the Centre’s visibility and outreaches to include reaching out to secondary schools, higher institutions and involvement in corporate social responsibility to host communities and others during crisis period. Professor Adeyewa commended the donor country, Germany, for investing heavily in climate matters in West Africa not minding the distance and assured the German government that the programmes at each Centre across the sub region will continue to wax strong and champion the cause to make the environment better.
The Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, where WASCAL is domiciled, Professor Adenike Oladiji, represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Development, Professor Philip Oguntunde in a good will message congratulated WASCAL FUTA at 10 and urged the Ondo State government to leverage on the advantage of the Centre in Akure to collaborate to tackle climate matters. “If the German government can invest so much in West Africa, I think our government too can do better. This stakeholders meeting was deliberately brought close to the seat of power in Alagbaka so that all relevant ministries and agencies can partake. FUTA is open for collaboration. No one has control on the climate and things keep changing every day, but we can all do our best to mitigate it. Our weather has become dynamic. There are lots of things we can do together. Let us make Ondo State the front runner in capacity building on climate matters,” he said.
Good will messages poured in from Deans of Schools from FUTA, Commissioners and stakeholders in the environmental industry with all of them harping on the need to mitigate climate change through collaborations. The Ondo State Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Sunday Akinwalere said “Climate Change has become a central issue globally. As a government we have tried so much on mitigating it through inter-ministerial committees. We are trying to reengineer our operations to meet further challenges. We are also willing to partner with WASCAL and other reputable organizations to tackle climate related matters.” His counterpart in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Pastor Olufemi Agagu said “nations across the globe keep bringing up action plans that will mitigate climate change. This is very commendable. With this workshop, our eyes are better opened to this issue ravaging the environment globally. We are better informed now and we are willing to collaborate.”
At the workshop, lectures were held on various related topics. Professor Debo Adeyewa, Director, WASCAL DRP-WACS, opened the floor with a lecture titled Impacts of WASCAL in the Development of Climate Change Science in West Africa, while Dr. Gbore Imoleayo, an Alumnus, WASCAL DRP-WACS, FUTA, spoke on Climate Change: Past, Present and Future Trends; Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Multi-sectoral Applicability and Dr. Vincent Ajayi, Associate Professor, Meteorology and Climate Science handled the topic Assessing the Outcomes of Climate Protocols; COP, Paris Agreement and Kyoto Protocols.