It’s Time To Take Climate Action Seriously
By Oluwaseyi Ajala
2019 CoalitionWILD Ambassador
Climate change is already having adverse and costly impacts on our lives, our communities, and our economic growth. Sea levels are rising and oceans are becoming warmer. In a few years, more intense droughts will threaten agriculture, wildlife, and water supplies. From the polar bears in the Arctic to the marine turtles 0ff the coasts of Africa, our planet’s diversity of life will be at a great risk from climate change.
Unless we take immediate action to reduce global warming emissions, these climate change impacts will continue to intensify, growing more destructive and damaging to every community, every family, and every species.
Oluwaseyi is telling climate action stories through photography across Nigeria.
Climate change is already increasing poverty levels and is becoming a cause of death, according to several scientific reports. A World Bank report estimated that an additional 120+ million people globally are likely to be pushed into poverty by 2030. Between 2030 and 2050, the World Health Organization predicts an additional 250,000 deaths yearly due climate change impacts. This is serious and dangerous!
Over the past three years, I have been working to address this crisis and prepare the most vulnerable groups of women and children in rural Nigeria for the impacts of climate change. My efforts have included helping disadvantaged children receive education and to assist women with access to necessary resources for better livelihoods, such as safe water and new information.
Although small, I know my work is positively impacting the communities I am interacting with. But I believe effectively addressing the climate change crisis requires more global attention and greater efforts.
Three examples of climate change initiatives that are important to begin implementing on a global scale are:
1. Advancing public policies to cope with climate change.
Advocating and promoting critical global, national, and local policies that strengthen the capacity of those living in poverty to adapt to climate change is needed to build more resilient communities. Public participation needs to increase in order to raise environmental awareness in daily life. Additionally, policies that strengthen effective mitigation and adaptation strategies in the areas of governance, human resources, institutional structures, public finance, and natural resource management should be the prioritized.
2. Educating businesses to reduce CO2 emissions.
Businesses and industries can’t change what they aren’t measuring. It is imperative to require businesses to measure the levels of greenhouse gas emissions they generate. With this information, businesses are able to create benchmarks, develop policies and procedures to lower their emissions, and be able to track their progress in reducing their carbon footprints.
3. Support vulnerable groups to develop the necessary adaptations to climate change.
Empowering vulnerable communities through sustainable development projects and providing access to quality information and resources will help these marganalized groups to anticipate and prevent disasters. It will also give space for the development of community-owned projects and improvements, dedicated involvement, and innovative solutions only able to be designed by those who know their regions and areas best.
I will leave you with this reality:
On this same planet, somewhere some children are not going to school because they must walk miles in search of water for their family. For some, they simply sleep hungry due to climate change impacting their farms and crops. There are ways you can help them, and that we as a global society can improve their lives for the future. Join me to fight climate change!
Nigeria’s Oluwaseyi Ajala is a 2019 CoalitionWILD Ambassador. With over 3 years of experience in non-profit sector, Oluwaseyi is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Environmental Sciences where he is acquiring the needed knowledge, tools, and skills to promote solutions for climate and environmental issues.