As a precursor to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP27, Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP) in partnership with other Civil Society Organisations convened the Arts for Climate. The Art for Climate was part of activities for the African Climate Caravan taking place in 28 African countries. The African Climate Caravan is a movement that is harvesting African Climate stories from communities that are being impacted.
In Nigeria, Government Secondary School students from various districts in Abuja were selected to create artworks that depicted the impact of climate change in their communities. The artworks illustrated the various causes and effects that contribute to the degradation of society. The art works clearly communicated climate change from the perspective of the youth. An address by a youth representative of GIFSEP, Miss Doosuur-Chisom Ogbonna, during the event, outlined the importance of youth participation in climate action and accountability.
Mr. Micheal David, team leader of GIFSEP emphasized that in order to produce better and more equitable results, the proceedings at COP27 should adequately represent women and young people. In addition, he urged developed nations to allocate $100 billion annually for climate action in developing nations in order to uphold their climate commitments. He requested that they contribute fairly to the climate crisis, which disproportionately impacts Nigeria and the rest of Africa. “This unified movement reflects the gravity of the climate catastrophe in Africa,” he remarked. Mr. David also stressed the significance of the Nigerian government taking actual action on the ground in addition to signing agreements and making policy declarations.
Following the exhibition of artworks at the Millennium Park, CSOs marched with banners and placards to the Ministry of Environment to show their support for climate justice in Africa. While at the ministry, awards were presented to the most compelling artworks on display. After a round of brief speeches, the audience were thrilled to a spectacular ethnic dance and song from the Tiv and Gbagyi culture in Nigeria. At the end, with a unified voice, the people of Nigeria are demanding for climate Justice.
Doosuur-Chisom Ogbonna and Joseph Ibrahim