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COP28: BHC Project Seeks to Strengthen CSOs Engagement With Climate Policy

Three not-for-profit organizations – Centre For 21st Century Issues (C21st), EnviroNews Development Network (Endenet), and Society for Planet and Prosperity (SPP) – are involved in a project aimed at improving the communication, lobbying, and advocacy competencies of climate civil society organizations (CSOs) ahead of COP28, to ensure more active participation at the global summit.

COP28, the 28th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), holds in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), from November 30 to December 12, 2023.

Sponsored by the British High Commission (BHC), the project is also aimed at developing a harmonized engagement approach for CSOs to engage with government and COPs processes.

The project will likewise ensure that there is strong synergy between CSOs the Government and other relevant stakeholders at COP28 to ensure Nigeria gets the best outcomes that will protect its people from the devastating effects of climate change.

The project plans to conduct a scoping study on Nigeria’s CSOs and other CSOs’ participation and role in climate change negotiations and UNFCCC processes at COPs in the past two years. The study will identify gaps and issues that need to be addressed in ensuring effective CSOs’ engagement with climate change processes at national and global policy levels towards COP28.

The findings of the scoping study will be used to design capacity-building initiatives, and communication plans and, facilitate multi-stakeholder dialogues with relevant government climate and related institutions to foster joint advocacy and networking in influencing climate negotiations on the road to COP28 and beyond. The project will prioritize effective communication of climate issues among CSOs.

The virtual capacity-building and knowledge-sharing sessions, which commence on Friday, November 10, are designed to navigate the various negotiating streams at the UNFCCC, explore the different negotiation interests, and crystalize Nigeria’s interest within the African climate change position.

Themed: “Nigerian CSOs on the Way to COP28: Navigating UNFCCC Processes and Participation”, Friday’s (Week One) session that focuses on “Overview of UNFCCC”, features two presentations: “Understanding UNFCCC” and “The UNFCCC Governance Structure”.

While topics of discussion for Week Two are “Climate Justice and other related concepts” and “Concept of Nationally Determined Contributions and the Paris Climate Agreement”, Week Three features “Overview of the UNFCCC Negotiation Process” and “Negotiation Streams at COP28”.

Week Four has “Understanding the UNFCCC Major Groups and Constituencies” and “Media Engagement and Coordination at COP28”.

Titilope Akosa, Executive Director of C21st, remarked: “This timely training programme will equip climate-focused CSOs in Nigeria with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the complexities of UNFCCC negotiations. By participating in an informed manner, CSOs can effectively contribute to global climate policy discussions.

“Armed with knowledge, Nigerian CSOs will be better equipped to advocate for their priorities, influence policy outcomes, expand their network, and drive meaningful change.”

Similarly, a communications plan that prioritizes campaigns on critical points of negotiations for Nigeria at COP28 such as adaptation and mitigation priorities, loss and damage, climate finance, and global stocktake will be articulated and implemented. Dissemination of relevant information among CSOs, government officials, and the public before, during, and after COP28 will be pursued.

The project is expected to link participants to ongoing processes such as the Technical Committee on Loss and Damage, the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSOC), the African Group of Negotiators (AGN), the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), Country BLOCS and other relevant climate change processes in Africa to understand the African position and mainstream it into Nigeria’s CSOs campaigns and advocacy on the road to COP28 and beyond.

Gender is a key component of the project, and a key output is dedicated to gender awareness project implementation and activities. Gender will be mainstreamed throughout the project implementation.

Dare Akogun

Dare Akogun is a dynamic media innovator, strategic communication professional, and seasoned climate and environmental sustainability journalist with over 10 years of influential contributions to the media industry.

He Currently serving as the Head of Digital Media, Senior News Editor, and a presenter at Sobi FM 101.9, a leading radio station in Ilorin, Nigeria.

Dare is on a mission to leverage his media innovation expertise and project management skills to produce high-quality, accurate, and engaging content, while advocating for reduced fossil fuel consumption, especially coal, to combat effect of global warming.

He has covered comprehensively environmental issues and COP conferences, including COP28 in Dubai last year , COP 27 in Egypt, and the United Nations Least Developed Countries conference in Doha, in 2023.

He is a recipient of fellowship to be part of a 15 team of journalists selected worldwide to cover the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2024.

He has a Master's Degree in Mass Communication, from the University of Lagos, a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the Lagos State University and also a
Certification in Business Administration and Management, from the Babson College, Massachusetts, United States of America.

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