Three journalists, two human rights and environmental activists have emerged as winners of the inaugural Ewah Eleri fellowship award, to represent Nigeria in the United Nations (UN) Conference of the Parties COP27 in Egypt this year.
The Ewah Eleri Climate Justice Fellowship was sponsored by Connected Development (CODE) and winners are expected to spend two weeks in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, to build relationships and be equipped to report issues affecting climate justice in Nigeria.
Speaking at the ceremony in Abuja, the Executive Director, CODE, Mallam Hamzat Lawal, said the COP, stands as the supreme decision-making forum of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
“This fellowship brings together signatory governments to thoroughly discuss and agree on how to jointly address climate change and its impacts. This year, the UN Climate Negotiations (COP27) will be held in the city of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt from 7-18 November 2022.
“This conference could be a chance to turn the Glasgow outcome into action, through implementing climate change adaptation, mitigation, and financial strategies,” Lawal said.
He noted that “Since 2011, Shell has reported 1,010 spills, with 17.5 million liters lost. Due to the injustice in the oil-producing areas of Nigeria, (CODE) in partnership with Oxfam implemented a campaign in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria and others to raise awareness on improving accountability in the dealings between host communities and mining companies”
The Executive Director, International Center for Energy Environment and Development Ewah Otu Eleri, explained that the initiative was necessary following the hazards experienced in recent times, such as flooding which had destroyed lives and properties as well as rendering thousands of citizens homeless.
According to him, it’s important for Nigeria to begin to convert climate transition to opportunities, build resilience with people through human capacity development and create more awareness of climate justice.
The winners of the fellowship include; Etta Michael Bisong, Abuja bureau chief EnviroNews advocate; Gift Olivia Samuel, Journalist with The SightNews, Mrs. Samuel-Nwokike, a graduate of Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria Nsukka and Hyeladzira Mshelia a Climate Change Activist and Programs associate at CODE.
Reporting by Julian Osamoto, Editing by Omotola Oguneye