Gov Adeleke inaugurates Climate Change Advisory Council  

…Renames Ministry of Environment to Environment and Climate Change

 

From John Dike, Osogbo 

In his avowed commitment to tackling climate change issues in Osun State, Governor Ademola Adeleke has inaugurated Climate Change Advisory Council to address the situation.

The Governor, who pledged to do everything within his reach to tackle climate related problems, said the Climate Change Advisory Council is expected to serve as the apex driving platform for the state climate actions and interactions.

To achieve this, the Governor has also created a department of Climate Change just as he renamed the Ministry of Environment, to Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, saying all efforts are to raise the bar and affirm high level state commitment to climate goals.

Speaking at the inauguration as part of the activities marking this year’s World Environmental Day, the Spokesperson/Chairman, Governor’s Climate Advisory Council, Mallam Olawale Rasheed, said that the state Governor has approved creation of a State Climate Action Plan, the second in the country after Lagos State.

According to Rasheed: “the council will support communities and stakeholders in the form of training, resources and technical assistance; create management plans for natural resources, emergency response, state facilities and agency equipment.

“Update facility design and operation that accounts for future climate conditions. Promote research and monitoring that studies the impacts of climate change and methods of adapting.

“Engage in outreach and education on climate change impacts and adaptation. Provide agency support that provides the resources to implement resilience action.”

Rasheed said objectives of the council among others are; to reduce risk and vulnerability to climate change, strengthen resilience, enhance well-being and the capacity to anticipate, and respond successfully to change.

Earlier, Governor Adeleke who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Tesilim Igbalaye, expressed worry over the state of the world which he said is not a cheering one.

“The state of our world is not a cheering one. We all know we are facing existential threat from relentless despoiling of our environment.

“A particular trending issue is the challenge of plastic pollution. The scale of plastic pollution is growing, relentlessly. The world is producing twice as much plastic waste as two decades ago, reaching 353 million tonnes in 2019, according to OECD figures.

“Eight million tonnes of plastic waste leaks into the ocean every year, and urgent action is needed to tackle this problem. Under the ‘business-as-usual’ scenario, the volume of waste entering the environment will increase by three times by 2040.

“The threat is now beyond the environment as it poses increasing health risk onto humans as monoplastic with harmful toxins are finding their ways into our water and food.

“The calculation that recycling can tame the monster is also misplaced. The vast majority of plastics goes into landfills, gets incinerated or is “mismanaged”, meaning left as litter or not correctly disposed of. Just nine percent of plastic waste is recycled, according to the World Economic Forum.

“As a state, we support the March 2022 resolution endorsed by 175 countries at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) to start negotiations on an international legally binding agreement to eliminate plastic waste and pollution in the environment. The resolution highlights the importance of sustainable production and consumption of plastics, including resource efficient and circular economy approaches.

“We are therefore challenged to devise holistic programme to counter this threat. We recommend a combination of waste prevention, alternative materials, waste management, and improved transparency of plastic supply chains.

“I am further directing the Ministry of Environment to prepare an Osun State Action Plan Against Plastic Pollution. The plan must embrace local and international best practices alongside an implementation plan with deliverables.

‘The plan must be ready within the next three months so that implementation must commence in the last quarter of this year. By the 2024 celebration of World Environment Day, Osun must have achieved milestones in concerted efforts to control plastic pollution.”

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