Home News UNIPORT lecturers kick off project on female inclusion in climate change adaptation

UNIPORT lecturers kick off project on female inclusion in climate change adaptation

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Lecturers at the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Nigeria, have launched an exciting project, dubbed ‘Gender-responsive Climate Change Adaptation Initiatives in Nigerian Agriculture Project’.

The research project will last for 12 months and is backed by the Canadian government through the African Institute for Mathematical Science Next Einstein Initiative (AIMS-NEI). The AIMS-NEI fellowship for women in climate change science aims to drive female inclusion and contribution to responses to climate change.

According to the lead researcher, Clara Ifeanyi-Obi, the project will be carried out in the 17 southern states in Nigeria, with a focus on integrating gender into climate adaptation efforts as well as addressing key issues that hinder climate change adaptation in agriculture.

In her opinion, despite having a higher number of players in the agricultural sector, women are excluded from climate change adaptation efforts and strategies of both government and private agencies. This exclusion has resulted in food security challenges facing the country.

Ifeanyi-Obi disclosed that the 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.

One reason for low output in production is because women, who make up the largest population in the nation’s agriculture industry, do not have the know-how 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”, she stressed.

Commenting on the critical effects of climate change on food security, Samuel Arokoyu, director of the center for research management, UNIPORT, said,

“The global economy is going down and even the 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 affected, so that we will still be able to feed ourselves”, he said.

On his part, Andrew Obafemi, UNIPORT’s Director of Center for Disaster Risk Management and Development Studies, 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.

He believes that this research will provide evidence-based data for policy and decisions to enhance food productivity in Nigeria by building the capacity of women.