By Ochiaka Ugwu
Activities such as deforestation, inappropriate disposal of waste, burning of fossil fuels, and air pollution among others have contributed to the excessive change in climatic condition and the subsequent environmental degradation leading to frequent strife and contestation over natural and agricultural resources among people, the Director General of the Institute for Peace & Conflict Resolution, Prof. Bakut tswah Bakut has said.
Bakut who made this known during his welcome address on the occasion of the 2019 United Nations International Day of Peace held in Abuja at the weekend, said the conflict situation arising from the aforementioned have led to the death of thousands of persons while millions have been displaced.
Bakut noted that experts have linked accelerating migration, increased hunger, diseases and unemployment to environmental degradation which reiterate the importance of the call for “Climate Action for Peace” declared by UN General Secretary, Antonio Guterres to enhance various actions that will help to address the problem.
He however, informed that IPCR as the apex agency of the government responsible for peace promotion, conflict resolution and peacebuilding has deployed conflict sensitive and peacebuilding measures towards adaptation and mitigation of climate change in the country.
Speaking also, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Zubairu Dada who was represented by a senior Director in the Ministry, Mr. B. B. Hamman said that climate change is a threat to peace through occurrences of natural disasters like flooding and desertification which have forced people out of their homes.
Dada said there is no other time to celebrate this event order than now stating that the event was first held in 1982 after the day was adopted by United Nations in 1980.
The Chairman of the occasion and the former Senate President of Nigeria, Sen. Ameh Ebute said the theme for this year’s celebration is apt maintaining that the “word” peace is next to life as there will be no life without life.
Peace and Development Advisor, UN System in Nigeria, Dr. Takwa Zebulon Suifon who delivered Union Nations Secretary General’s Address, Mr. Antonio Guterres noted that achieving the SDGs is pillar to peace.
While thanking IPCR for striving to actualize Federal Government’s framework for peace informed that a hungry man can never be at peace with self.