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UN Information Centre, WMO Hold Media Parley On climate Change, COP28 In Abuja
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UN Information Centre, WMO Hold Media Parley On climate Change, COP28 In Abuja

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With the COP28 summit just around the corner, the UN Information Centre for Nigeria and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recently organised a one-day media sensitization on climate change and COP28 in Abuja, Nigeria.

COP28 is expected to stress the importance of collective action to stop climate change and the critical role of finance in the low-carbon transition.

The organisers noted that an aware society is the best weapon against climate change, saying that the media can play a crucial role in shaping public discourse and bearing witness to this defining crisis.

The United Nations resident coordinator in Nigeria, Matthias Schmale said evidence on the causes and impacts of climate change continues to expand as the call for climate action has grown louder and more profound.

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According to Schmale, climate change affects every country on every continent and does not respect national borders and combating climate change requires a ‘whole-of-society’ approach.

Schmale observed that the media has a role to play, which was why the sensitization featured journalists. UN Information Centre, WMO Hold Media Parley On climate Change, COP28 In Abuja

The sensitization aims to improve the quality, understanding and impact of climate coverage around the world.

Schmale who decried the severe impact of climate change in Nigeria, referencing last year’s flooding-related casualties and destruction, expressed the UN’s commitment to supporting Nigeria’s climate change efforts and urged the media to provide accurate information against a backdrop of misinformation and disinformation

The World Meteorological Organisation Representative for North Central, and West Africa, Mr. Bernard Edward Gomez, restated that journalists play a critical role in information sharing and accountability, bridging the gap between governance and communities.

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“As the Fourth Estate of the realm, journalists have a critical responsibility to inform the public about the realities of climate change.

“By shedding light on the complex issues surrounding climate change, journalists empower individuals, communities, and policymakers to make informed decisions and to act” said Gomez.

Gomez reiterated the urgency of global cooperation, referring to the Early Warning for All Initiative declared during COP27 by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

He emphasized the crucial role of the WMO in providing real-time and non-real-time data on Earth’s atmosphere and water resources, stressing its significance for accurate climate system forecast

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He said, “the impacts of climate change are no longer distant threats; they are unfolding before our very eyes, affecting every corner of the globe and Nigeria is not an exception. We are witnessing unprecedented heavy rainfall events leading to devastating floods, and rising sea levels threatening coastal communities”

Speaking also, the Director General Nigerian Meteorological Agency NiMet Prof.Mansur Bako Matazu stressed the need for localized solutions based on local evidence of climate change.

He commended journalists for feeding the Nigerian public with critical information on weather which is currently making the lives of many sectors better.

He said, “we deal with perishable products, services, and information, so we need a clearer platform to get this information fast to the public.”

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