Enugu State government plans to establish a trust fund for climate-related activities, which will be driven by young leaders and plant about 10,000 trees in a pilot scheme in the Udi local council of the state.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Chidiebere Onyia, made this known when he received renowned climate change governance scholar and advocate, Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke, and young climate leaders in the Enugu State government house to discuss their vision for how Enugu State might become a greener and more resilient city.
He stated that the Ndubuisi Mbah administration is taking the issue of climate change seriously. “The evidence can be seen in the modification of the State’s Ministry of Environment to accommodate climate change and appointment of some senior officials in the climate change sphere to ensure success and sustainability,” Onyia said.
The visit is one of the activities planned as part of the implementation of the International Visitors’ Leadership Programme (IVLP) impact award given to Okereke by the U.S. Department of State Bureau for Education and Cultural Affairs.
The IVLP impact project, which was implemented in partnership with the Society for Planet & Prosperity, Centre for Climate Change & Development (CCCD) Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike & Eco-Cyclers is designed to train young climate and environmental advocates from Enugu State and environs on the role of urban greening in combating urban air pollution and climate change.
Thirty-one young climate leaders were selected from a pool of over 4,000 applicants to participate in the prestigious training programme. The purpose of the visit was to inform the state administration about the activities carried out under the project’s activities and their impact.
These activities included two-day training on climate change, urban greening, and air quality measurements. It also included a climate education exercise involving over 7,000 children from three public secondary schools in Enugu, as well as the planting of over 100 economic and ornamental trees in strategic locations throughout the city.
Young leaders also took advantage of the visit to express their vision and ideas for transforming Enugu into a green and climate-resilient city in keeping with the city’s reputation as a clean, ambient, and family-friendly metropolis. The young leaders were accompanied in the visit by the State’s Commissioner for Environment, Prof. Sam Ugwu.