Activist Urges Urgent Action on Loss and Damage Funding at COP28

Activist Urges Urgent Action on Loss and Damage Funding at COP28
Activist Urges Urgent Action on Loss and Damage Funding at COP28

Activist Urges Urgent Action on Loss and Damage Funding at COP28

In anticipation of COP28, environmental activist Ken Henshaw emphasizes the crucial role African leaders must play in addressing the issue of loss and damaged funding.

Henshaw, who serves as the Executive Director of We the People (WtP), expressed his concerns in an interview with newsmen in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

He lamented that during the latter stages of COP27, African leaders failed to actively contribute to the establishment of the loss and damage fund or offer insights on its functioning.

Henshaw remarked,

“The reality about the Loss and Damage Fund is that it’s not cast in stone. It is unfortunate and I have been one of the people pushing that it would have been very important and critical for African Governments who are most heavily impacted by climate change to come together and set an agenda for loss and damage.”

He continued, highlighting that the concept of loss and damage didn’t even exist until the final days of COP27, when an agreement was reached to create such a fund.

A committee was subsequently established to fine-tune the fund’s strategy, determining its funding sources, payers, delivery mechanisms, and more.

However, African leaders failed to contribute meaningful input to ensure their concerns were addressed.

Henshaw further disclosed that civil society organizations (CSOs) have taken the initiative to draft a document outlining how the fund should be managed during COP28 in Dubai.

He expressed regret that the Nigerian government, in particular, has yet to articulate a clear plan for the utilization of these funds.

He raised critical questions:

“We need to talk about loss and damage. What is loss? Is it roads they have been eroded by flood or is it just agricultural farm lands that are gone. How about the burial place of my grand father that has been swept away. How about my cultural artifact, how about my way life; the fact that my people traditionally for one thousand years have been fisher folks and farmers but can’t fish and farm again because their community is lost and damaged.”

Henshaw emphasized the urgency of discussing loss and damage, underscoring the diverse forms it can take, from eroded roads and agricultural lands to the loss of cultural heritage and traditional ways of life.

He also posed important questions about the fund’s nature, whether it would be voluntary or compulsory, and how enforcement and sanctions would be implemented.

He concluded,

“Will the loss and damage fund be different, will it be mandatory. If it is mandatory how do you enforce it. What will be the sanctions. Loss and Damage leaves a lot to be desired and this is just the first quarrel. There will be several more quarrels to come.”



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