Lagos State Office of Civic Engagement On Gender Based Violence

 By
Hon. Taiwo Ayedun
The office of Civic Engagement which operates under the Deputy Governor’s Office is saddled with responsibility of enhancing interface between the Lagos State Government and Lagosians.  Among its duties is to enable the government have better insight into peoples’ challenges, needs and peculiar problems; and on the other way, to let the people know how they can deploy government’s apparatus to help them solve their problems and engaging in mutual partnership and cooperation on public matters.

One of the ways in which government is tackling women related issues is by addressing gender-based violence in the State.   Gender based violence is on the increase and below are the strategies with which Office of Civic Engagement has been working to reduce the menace:

Strategies
1.      Counselling: The OCE provides counselling supports for women who come out to report any anticipated case of gender violence ranging from rape attempt, to domestic violence, forced labour, forced prostitution and many more; while the office provide referrals on already blown cases or mild cases to Domestic and sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT),  Office of Public Defender and Citizens Mediation Centre (both under the Ministry of Justice) accordingly.

2.      Advocacy Supports: The OCE in some cases engages Civil Society organisations focusing on Human Rights issues to carry out advocacy against violence against women. The OCE has register of civil society organisations across the state and  encourage the organisations to provide voluntary supports to the victims  and advocate for positive changes in  behaviour to end violence.
3.      Financial Supports: The OCE provides soft funding to women who are going through various difficulties, some of the problems traceable to one form of abuse or the other in the past but which has continually affected their psychic and physical well-being. This financial supports help them in the rehabilitation process or starting life again.
4.      Mediation
The office also mediates at addressing issues capable of snowballing into violence against women, sometimes community related or family matters. We should bear in mind that when issues concerning men but with reflex impacts on women are addressed, gender violence has also been addressed. A good example is if a major crisis breaks out among commercial transport operators in a park, women become victims of attack and rape, so we act to prevent such scenario in order to save women from being violated and molested.
5.      Public Enlightenment
The office also carries out seminars and symposiums from time to time in partnership with other ministries and departments and do invite women to benefit from matters that concerns their rights and well-being. This is another way to nip in the bud matters capable of affecting the women in our community.
Conclusion
The Office of civic Engagement is committed to working in synergy with all stakeholders to end all forms of Violence in Lagos state.

Hon Taiwo Ayedun is the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Lagos State
on Civic Engagement

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Women Reject EU’s Interference In The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative

 

African women reject the European Union’s unnecessary meddling in Africa’s Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI).  African women are very concerned at the manner in which some European countries, France in particular, influenced some African leaders to hastily approve projects without having a transparent process with social, environmental and gender criteria in place.

 

At a board meeting in March in Conakry, the European Commission and France in collusion with a few African countries repackaged existing European Union projects for Africa, but which did not originate from Africa, as first batch of projects to be approved by AREI.

 

The way and manner these projects were introduced and approved- by bypassing AREI’s process being developed for social and Environmental criteria- is a very negative sign, setting the entire process off on a negative footing, refusing African people’s transparent decision making, and entirely against the principles by which AREI was created.

 

African women insist that European Union cannot dictate for Africans over any issue especially the one concerning universal access to clean, appropriate and affordable energy for all.

 

Women are particularly concerned about the unnecessary interference by European Union and France particularly as it can jeopardize the noble objective of AREI in providing people-centered and gender responsive clean energy solutions capable of addressing the chronic energy poverty which affects women in Africa disproportionately.

 

African women join their voices with other Civil Society Organizations in Africa to condemn the undue interference of European Union in AREI. African women stand for a strong and independent AREI, with full and meaningful participation of women’s organizations in all levels of the decision-making processes.

 

For and on behalf of African women

 

Ms Priscilla Achakpa, Executive Director, Women Environment Program (WEP), Collette Benoudji Coordinator  Association Lead Tchad and Ms Titilope Akosa, Executive Director, Centre for 21st Century Issues (C21st)

 For further information:

Centre For 21st Century Issues (C21st)

6, Balogun Street, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria

Email: titiakosa@gmail.com

 

LAGOS CLIMATE MARCH

People's climate march
Civil society organization’s march for climate Justice

STATEMENT BY CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS IN NIGERIA ON THE PEOPLE’S CLIMATE MARCH IN LAGOS

 

 

The civil society march for climate justice in Lagos, Nigeria.
The civil society march for climate justice in Lagos, Nigeria.

 

PREAMBLE

On Sunday 21st September, 2014, we witnessed the swell of global support for climate justice as people from different corners of the globe gathered in New York City to march for climate justice.

Today, Monday 22nd of September, 2014, the good people of Nigeria stand in solidarity with the peoples of the world to demand climate justice from world leaders that will gather at the United Nations climate summit on 23rd September, 2014.

We are concerned that climate related disasters have claimed thousands of lives, wiped out resources and sunk many into deeper poverty. Africa remains on the frontlines of climate change and continues to be vulnerable to its impacts.

We are disturbed that climate challenges are rooted in the global patterns of injustice, discrimination and inequalities which can only be reversed through profound transformative systems change at all levels of governance.

OUR DEMANDS

• We reiterate the calls and demands made by various civil society organizations, women’s groups, indigenous groups and social movements from all over the world by calling on world leaders to take urgent action to secure the lives and livelihoods of the poor, vulnerable and the disadvantaged who are also deprived of the means to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
• We call on world leaders, to make bold commitments to deep emission cuts that are targeted towards limiting temperatures to well below1.5 degrees Celsius at United Nations climate summit on 23rd September 2014. These commitments should not be watered down under the “pledge and review system”- a system which is subject to whims and caprices of developed nations- but should be activated to translate into legally binding commitments under the United Nations framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC) policy space.
• We demand for a climate change deal that is rooted in science, equity, justice and based on historical responsibility.
• We call for legally binding solutions that reduce national greenhouse gas emissions to levels consistent with scientific recommendations that prevent the worst impacts of human induced climate change
• We reiterate call on world leaders to mobilize effective political will for a meaningful legally binding agreement in post 2015 development agenda
• We call for an economic system that works for people and the planet; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities
• In the context of Nigeria, we demand an immediate end to gas flaring and call for the implementation of the UNEP Ogoni report.
• We call on federal government and all relevant stakeholders in the power sector to speed up power sector reforms and ensure access to regular and affordable power supply to all Nigerians
• We demand access to affordable, renewable and efficient energy services for all.
• We reiterate the calls for the immediate passage of climate change bill by the National Assembly
• We request that efforts should be intensified in the implementation of the necessary framework for combating climate change in Nigeria
• We demand that states and local government should give adequate attention to the issues of adaptation and mitigation of climate change including tree planting and the creation of green jobs
• We call for the creation of a future with clean air, a healthy environment, good jobs, and resilience in the face of a changing climate for our children and people of Nigeria
• We demand for the promotion intergenerational equity and meaning youth participation in all the design and implementation of climate change adaptation and migration programmes
• Legally binding solutions that reduce national greenhouse gas emissions to levels consistent with scientific recommendations that prevent the worst impacts of human induced climate change

To change everything we need everyone.

Signed

• Climate Aid International
• Nigerian Conservation Foundation
• Centre for 21st Century Issues
• Climate Wednesday
• Centre for Grassroots and Environmental Concern
• Foresthwyse
• Enough is Enough
• HEDA Resources
• Climate Change Network
• My Nigeria Online
• Nigerian Youth Climate Coalition
• Earthlight
• Sustainable Research and Action for Environmental Development
• Initiative for Nature and Human Development
• Centre for Climate Leadership
• Ansar-u-deen Youth Movement
• Nasrul-Lahi-L-Fatih Society (NASFAT) Youth
• Young Volunteers for the Environment
• Saving Lives Nigeria
• Nature Cares
• Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Youth Fellowship
• Freedom Network
• National Association of Nigerian Students

AFRICAN CIVIL SOCIETY COMMUNIQUE TO THE FIFTH AMCEN SPECIAL SESSION, GABORONE, BOTSWANA – OCTOBER 2013

We, the representatives of African Civil Society Organizations and Networks under the auspices of Pan African Climate Justice Alliance met in Gaborone, Botswana, on October 12-14, 2013 for the Pre-AMCEN African Civil Society Consultative Workshop, ahead of the 5th Special Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN). The Workshop also served as the UNEP Regional Consultative Meeting with Major Groups and Stakeholders in the Africa Region (MGSF) in preparation for the Global Ministerial Environment Forum and 15th Session of the Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum scheduled to take place in 2014.

Aware that the IPCC-WG I released in Stockholm, Sweden in September 2013 raised red flag on the rapidly heating earth and the certainty of man’s contribution to the growing concentration of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere;

Further aware that the adverse effects of climate change manifested by prolonged droughts, shifting seasons, rising sea water levels, tropical cyclones, land slides, newly emerging environmental refugees, and diseases have compromised Africa’s right to development and attainment of national sustainable development and poverty reduction aspirations;
Concerned that the last two decades have been characterised by unfulfilled promises and commitments by developed countries to Africa in particular hence breeding an atmosphere of ever-diminishing trust and confidence in international negotiations processes;

Further concerned of the cruel irony that a people who have lived for so long in harmony with Mother Earth, imprinting the lightest of footprints, now suffer a crisis they contributed the least towards it cause;
Inspired by the need to strengthen our voices as civil society and community groups to contribute to our Governments’ Positions on various global standpoints.

Acknowledging the efforts by Africa to speak with one voice during the UNFCCC-COP 19 in Warsaw, Poland
Acknowledging the fact that non-state actors contribution to the UNFCCC process and its outcome is essential for informed policy formulation and monitoring of its implementation at all levels.

Desirous that the One Voice should be that of and be informed by realities of the local communities in the affirmation of the authority of the Civil Society and communities as the expression of the sovereign will of the people;
Appreciating, as a positive step, the COP18 outcome on decision made on promoting gender balance and improving the participation of women in UNFCCC negotiations and related processes;
Recognizing the progress made so far by the Africa Group, African Ministerial Conference on the Environment and African Union through CAHOSOCC to harmonise African climate change response efforts;
Declares as follows;

1. Keep Africa safe:
We support the acceptance of “loss and damage” as a key area of discussion for the new climate agreement. Africa should also continue calling for the blanket of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere to be returned to well below 300ppm CO2eq and warming to be limited to well below 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with the objective of returning to pre-industrial levels in the longer term.
Based on the accounts we have heard form the local communities, women, youth, indigenous groups of the intolerable conditions caused by climate change including a case of a pastoralist who took his life after loosing all his cattle to a prolonged drought, and based on the report of IPCC Working Group I 5th assessment, even warming of this level globally risks warming of more than 1.5 degrees Celsius in Africa, dangerous interference with our climate, and loss and damage requiring compensation. A goal of “less than 2 degrees Celsius” is no longer ambitious as accepting it would be condemning Africa to incineration and to no modern development.
> 2. Ensure poverty eradication and food Security:
> Climate change poses grave risk to Africa’s food security, and to the lives and livelihoods of smallholder farmers and rural poor communities. African leaders should thus ensure the decisions they support at global level leads to atmospheric concentrations stabilized in a time frame that safeguards food production and ecological systems to adapt naturally, and safeguards jobs and economic development. Agriculture remains one of the crucial sectors affected by climate change and which supports food and livelihoods security of millions around the world especially in developing countries. African governments should therefore put pressure to Parties and SBSTA to conclude the agriculture negotiations under UNFCCC with focus on adaptation and expand the remit to cover sustainable livestock production systems as part of solution to climate change.
3. Share the atmosphere fairly:
African people have the inalienable right to achieve sustainable development by making use of a fair share of the Earth’s global commons and resources. The carbon budget required to return to well below 300ppm CO2eq should be shared fairly with Africa taking into account the accumulative historical use of these resources by developed countries and the finance and technology transfers made available to developing countries.

4. Industrialized countries to cut excessive consumption and pollution:
Comprehensive action to address climate change should constitute drastic emissions cut by industrialized countries at domestic level. The withdrawal of Canada, New Zealand, Russia and Japan from the KP2 and the continued refusal of United States to ratify the Kyoto Protocol are not good signals to the rest of the global community. These countries should accept their historical responsibilities, reconsider their position and recommit without further delay and conditions.
Though science points to the current emissions of some emerging economies exceeding the industrialized countries, we should recognize that current atmospheric concentrations are principally the result of historical emissions of greenhouse gases, the largest share of which originated in developed country Parties. There is an urgent need for emission cuts by having specific target for all Annex I parties to reduce emissions by at least 45% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 100% by 2050 below 1990 levels.
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> 5. Protect and compensate affected communities:
> African leaders should not compromise on their demand that ensures that industrialised countries compensate affected communities and countries for the full costs of avoiding harms, actual harms and damage, and lost opportunities for development resulting from climate change. Any effort to establish adaptation as an obligation and not a right, or to use adaptation as a means to divide or differentiate between developing countries should be resisted. An international mechanism for compensation on the loss and damage caused by extreme weather events related to climate change should thus be established. Though the Green Climate Fund has been established, many observers fear that it may follow the direction of other Climate Funds before it, which remain empty shells after they were shunned by industrialized countries, that favor undemocratic multilateral institutions the can control.
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> 6. Polluter not poor pays:
> Developed countries have prospered through “cheap carbon” growth while externalizing their costs to the atmosphere and to developing countries through what has been christened “offsetting”. The costs are now born by Africa, as we mitigate and adapt to a crisis we played little role in causing. To avert a climate catastrophe and enable mitigation, adaptation and technology transfer to developing countries, developed countries must make available financing of more than 1.5% of their GDP. Efforts to shift the burden of financing away from developed countries and towards developing countries or the markets that have not worked should be avoided. Creation of “unsupported” or “market” NAMAs (actions) are inconsistent with the Convention and thus experiments that are not worth investing.
>
> 7. Transfer the tools to adapt and develop.
> A “Marshall Plan for Africa and for the Earth” is an emergency that should awaken all stakeholders. Curbing global emissions within a decade requires technology transfers on a scale never before considered. African leaders should compel developed countries to remove intellectual property rights, pay full incremental costs of technology transfer to protect developing countries and contribute for peaking and declining of global emissions. Efforts to sell rather than transfer appropriate technologies, or to strengthen rather than relax intellectual property rights should not be allowed. Developed and developing countries should support the adoption and development of indigenous and locally innovated technology as well as ensuring efficiency in technology transfer and deployment.
>
> 8. Fair not false solutions:
> Industrialized countries must not shift burdens to address climate change to developing countries, or seek to “divide and rule” the countries of the South, or to penalize developing countries through trade or other measures. Creation of global carbon markets or sectoral trading mechanisms, by which the developed countries will take more of Africa’s rightful share of atmospheric space should be discouraged.

9. Systems change not climate change:
We should acknowledge the structural causes of the present crisis, and that the climate crisis will not be solved with the same level of thinking that created it. A new system that restores harmony with nature and among human beings should be the only sustainable way to comprehensively deal with climate change impacts. To balance with nature, there must first be equity among human beings. There is need for fundamental change to the current system of social and economic organization. A new order building on the wisdom of our civilizations to live well and to live in harmony with Mother Earth should be the common clarion call for our leaders.

10. Keep to the commitments made:
More pressure from African leaders to ensure developed countries honour and deliver on their commitment of providing US$100 Billion by the year 2020 should be exerted. Industrialised countries must scale up their Commitments to fulfill their obligation to provide adequate, new and additional funds as this amount is far from all estimates of climate finance needed by developing countries. In COP19, Africa should ask Parties to the Convention to establish a clear and transparent mechanism for monitoring, verification, and evaluation of delivery of climate funds.

Our leaders should call for immediate establishment of an independent process to conduct transparent and consultative verification on developed countries’ claim that they have successfully delivered all FSF of over USD 30 billion to developing countries during 2010-2012 in accordance with controversial Copenhagen Accord, which metamorphosed into Cancun Agreement.

In light of the past failures and lessons learned from past and existing climate funds, the Green Climate Fund must ensure transparency, openness, local communities’ easy access, country ownership and respond primarily to the needs of vulnerable communities. The Fund must respect such principles as sovereignty, self-determination the fulfillment of State obligations; “Do no harm”, Financial integrity and anti-corruption, Public consultations, “Equity, non-discrimination and inclusion”, “Compliance with International Law and Upward Harmonization with the Highest National and International Standards”.

GCF must recognize that human and environmental rights obligations have primacy over financial obligations

> 11. Gender equity and enhanced stakeholder participation:
> Though COP18 made some progress in recognizing gender in negotiating text, still much need to be done. Participation of women, youth, indigenous people and marginalized groups in UNFCCC negotiations and representation of Parties in bodies should be balanced between North and South, taking into account the respective differences.
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> 12. Defend democracy:
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> The Since the UNFCCC constitutes the fundamental legal framework on climate change African leaders should demand for establishment of effective and accountable institutions under the Conference of Parties. Any response to the climate crisis that is of the people, by the people and for the people should be the guiding principle of future efforts.

Governments across the world should end years of delay and meet their moral, historical and legal obligations. Movements, people’s organizations, civil society groups and citizens from all walks of life are gradually coming together in a global campaign on climate and environmental justice. African civil society’s desire is to stand in solidarity with the leaders of any nation who seek a solution to climate change that is founded on justice, builds on the best available science, and ensures the well-being of Africans and other peoples and countries.

13. Effective participation in Post 2015 and SDG process
Africa should promote a Single framework with poverty alleviation at the centre and the three dimensions of sustainable development (environment, economic and social). A comprehensive mechanism to deal with the environment should be developed at the level of African Union Commission and the relevant institutional framework for sustainable development should be strengthened and the collaboration and sharing of information between the African missions in New York and the Capitals should be enhanced.
14. United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA):
As the strengthened and upgraded UNEP is poised to play an effective role as a follow-up to Rio+20 in integrating three dimensions of sustainable development, the Committee of Permanent Representatives allow full participation of Major Groups. Major Groups already accredited under UN ECOSSOCC should be recognized by UNEA, while elected MGSF Regional Representatives should be accorded speaking rights at the Committee of Permanent Representatives and UNEA. Broader partnerships between UNEP and other organizations in efforts to fulfill its mandate should always be promoted, with UNEP not limiting itself policy formulation but also implementation