Written by: Usman Inuwa
I am Usman Inuwa and I come from the beautiful city of Bauchi in Nigeria. I have been an advocate of the environment and other fauna and flora preservation and protection for many years. I am passionate about the green outdoors and particularly enjoy spending time with wildlife. While on one of my field trips I became aware of the dangers human activities has on our mother earth and this encouraged me to make a valued effort in the work that I could do around this. Growing up I lived in a community where I remember ever so often finding relief in the cool waters of the adjacent river during the hot summers in Nigeria but now the sad reality is that this river over time shrank and eventually dried up.
The lack of awareness and knowledge among people and a government, whose priority did not meet our concern on environmental protection, drove me to make the connection of dots of extreme weather and the affects on our environment pushing our government for political drives to sustainable use of natural resources and clean energy.
This drive has led me in becoming one of the participants in the Global Power Shift (GPS) campaign this year. The GPS team in Nigeria is made up of 9 young energetic professionals who all saw the need for scaled up global action and saw this as opportunity in which to make that happen. The members of our team come from various networks and organisations who besides working on activities towards climate change and social injustice at different local levels are now working together as a team against climate issues/problems such as dirty energy, flooding, gas flaring, flooding and erosion in the six geo-political zones of Nigeria.
After the GPS kick off in Istanbul, the team worked hard at itemizing climate change issues across the country and prioritizing our implementation of activities based on impact and magnitude of damage. Nigeria being among the top 8 oil producing countries in the world with presence of multi-national and bilateral companies coupled with team research made us realize that a power shift in our country resembles strengthening our efforts on resisting dirty energy.
Global power shift phase 2 will be centered around supporting a specific struggle against dirty energy (such as petroleum and mining industries) which will be linked to our networks/partners also developing and launching our blog as a public platform/communication tool with the aim of profiling large-scale campaigns allowing our wider critique of the national energy system and our vision and frame work for energy alternatives. Team Nigeria is looking forward for a national submit that will bring about 1000 climate activists from the six geo-political zones to build their capacity and skills so that they go back to their respective regions to champion the campaign against dirty energy.
“To build a diverse and proactive National Movement to fight/tackle climate change and ensure climate and energy justice”
GPS Nigeria team has 3 main objectives:
1. Resisting Dirty Energy: To support campaigning by GPS Nigerian member groups to halt new and existing dirty energy projects and build wider awareness of the impacts of dirty energy and the need for alternative energy models.
2. Communicating impacts and struggles: To highlight the struggles of communities affected by dirty energy, climate change and its false solutions and the need for urgent action on the fundamental drivers to the public and policy-makers through media work and support member groups in strengthening their work on this in their zonal contexts
3. Communicating Alternative Energy Vision: To further elaborate GPS Nigeria vision for energy alternatives, building upon our agreed energy sovereignty position and emphasizing sustainability, public / community-ownership and control of resources which will be communicated across the 6 geo-political zones in the country
My hope is to see many more activists become empowered with knowledge and skills to effectively plan and join in the fight/struggle for climate and social justice, resisting dirty energy and championing the government for clean energy. We are in the most exciting stages of our preparation for phase 2 and continuing with the on-going linkage with other groups, organisations, networks, allies and media persons working on climate change and environmental issues.
For more information, do contact me email@example.com.