The Executive Director of Foundation for Peace Professionals also known as PeacePro, Mr Abdulrazaq Hamzat has described climate change as the number one problem facing Nigeria and the world.
Abdulrazaq Hamzat, who is a peacebuilding professional also noted that, more than 50% of Nigeria’s security challenges started as a climate change problem.
This position was made while delivering a paper titled “Climate Change is a Water Problem” during a webinar of World Environment Day hosted by International Human Rights Commission in Karachi, Pakistan.
According to Hamzat, Nigeria is currently battling with many crisis, which include but not limited to insecurity.
“But in the true sense of it, if one takes a critical look at the situation in the country, one would realize that more than 50% of Nigeria’s security challenges are largely climate change problem” he said.
Hamzat explained that, Farmers-Herders clashes and Banditry, which are major security concerns in Nigeria that is pitching the southern part of the country with the North started as a problem of climate change, in which herders finding it difficult to feed and preserve their aminals in their usual environment due to disruption in the ecosystem, began to search for conducive environment for sustenance.
“In the process of moving around in search of food, herdsmen begin to direct their aminals into farms, thereby causing crisis with farmers, a crisis that has now escalated into armed conflict in some environment, leading to invasion of many communities”.
Hamzat added that, in addition to the farmers-herders clashes, cattle rustling is another challenge that came out of the disruption in global ecosystem.
According to him, while herders are moving around to new environment in search for food, many herders lost their cattles to criminal acts of cattle rustlers and in some situations, many herders even loose their lives. And in an effort to protect themselves from the rustlers, many herders began to acquire arms, especially AK-47.
“Herdsmen that has lost their cattle with no means of livelihood saw the prospect in crime as a means of survival, starting with revenge against their former attackers, then suddenly to banditry, which has now become a major occupation”. He said.
Speaking further on climate change, Hamzat maintained that, “disruption in global ecosystem which is described as climate change has impacted the world in complex ways”.
“In Africa especially, climate change is an increasingly serious threat, as the continent is the most vulnerable to ecosystem disruption”.
Citing a report by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change, Hamzat explained that the vulnersbility of Africa to climate change is driven by a range of factors that include weak adaptive capacity, high dependency on ecosystem goods for livelihood and less developed agricultural production system.
He maintained that, climate change is the number one problem in the world and he urges the United Nations to hold every nation accountable,inline with the degree of their contribution to the problem.
“Africa is the least contributor to the ecosystem disruption, but it is the most affected by it consequences and in finding lasting solution to the challenge, the United Nations must device a scientific means of measuring nation’s contribution to the problem and get them to take responsibility” he said.
Earlier, Four Former Presidents and Prime Minister, namely Former President of Ecuardor, Mrs Rosalia Arteaga, Former President of Mauritius, Dr. Ameenah Firdaus and Former Prime Minister of Guinea Bissau, Mr Rui Duarte De Barros and former Interior Minister of Pakistan, Senator Raheem Malik call for quick action in tackling climate change, urging global community to work together to restore our ecosystem in the interest of future generations.
They maintained that, developed Nations cannot continue to pay lip service to the issue of climate change because they are the highest contributor to the problem.
Similarly, the World Chairman of International Human Rights Commission, Dr Shahid Amin Khan urges the world to make peace with nature by growing trees,rewild our garden, change our diet and clean up rivers.
Dr Khan also assured the gathering that the resolution of the event shall be passed to the United Nations and form basis of further engagement on the subject.