UNIPORT lecturers launch project on climate change adaptation for women, Lecturers at the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) have launched a project, themed ‘Gender-responsive Climate Change Adaptation Initiatives in Nigerian Agriculture Project’.
The 12-month research project, sponsored by the Canadian government through the African Institute for Mathematical Science Next Einstein Initiative (AIMS NEI) fellowship for women in climate change science, seeks to increase female participation and contribution to responses to climate change.
Clara Ifeanyi-Obi, the lead researcher, said the project will be carried out in the 17 southern states, and will focus on integrating gender into climate adaptation efforts and addressing issues that hinder climate change adaptation in agriculture.
According to her, despite having more numbers in the agricultural sector, women are excluded from climate change adaptation efforts and strategies of both government and private agencies and this has affected food security in the country.
“This project is targeted to mainstream gender into climate adaptation efforts and address facts that limit people from adapting to climate change in their agricultural production,” she said.
“This negative impact is helped by the fact that women, who make up the largest population in the nation’s agric. sector, do not have knowledge and skill to adapt to climate change.
“Most of the climate change adaptation efforts made by both the federal government and private agencies seem to neglect the place of gender, especially the women group.
“It is very important that gender needs are addressed, if the country wants the climate adaptation efforts to be effective and successful.”
Samuel Arokoyu, director of the centre for research management, UNIPORT, said it is no longer disputable that climate change has affected food sufficiency in the country.
“The global economy is going down and even Nigerian government is struggling to fulfill its obligations. So, scientists and all stakeholders must come together to begin to brainstorm on how change can be effected, so that we will still be able to feed ourselves,” he said.
On his part, Andrew Obafemi, director, centre for disaster risk management and development studies, UNIPORT, said the research is timely due to the global economic downturn and climate change which provides scientists with the opportunity to come up with innovative solutions.
“To this end, this research will provide evidence-based data for policy and decision to enhance food productivity in Nigeria by building the capacity of our women,” he added.
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