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Biya’s Climate Change Observatory Still Awaited 

By Francis Tim Mbom

Two years ago, President Paul Biya dazzled his peers at the United Nations Summit with a snappy proposal to set up a climate change observatory. The observatory, according to the proposal, would help the rest of the world monitor the effects of climate change and, maybe, turn up solutions on how the rest of mankind could escape from its threatening adversities.

But the years have gone by and there is still no observatory.
Geologist, Dr. Samuel Ayongeh of the University of Buea, told The Post in Limbe on June 4 that after Biya’s return home, some experts drawn from eight ministries and all the State universities were pooled into a committee to draw up proposals to the formation of the observatory.

Ayongeh said the committee working under the supervision of the Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection rallied their proposals into one single pack which were further scrutinized by a sub-select committee at the Prime Minster’s Office and then forwarded to the President.
"The team produced a proposal which was set up by the Presidency by consideration by the Head of State. The Head of State declared and announced that he knows exactly what he was thinking of," Ayongeh said, adding that "we are now awaiting the President’s response as to what the committees did."

Ayongeh was speaking to The Post at the close of celebrations organised by the Fako Divisional Delegate of the Environment, Peter Nchia Ghong, to mark World Environment Day.
Climate change refers to global warming which is the increase of the average temperatures of the earth’s near surface, air and oceans.

The major cause is said to be the result of the unrestrained emission of some ozone layer depleting gases like carbon dioxide, methane and others from industries, car exhaust fumes and others, especially by the developed countries of America, Japan and China. On May 29, the Kofi Annan-led Global Humanitarian Forum released a report focused on the effects of climate change which said that about 300,000 annual deaths around the world were attributed to the adverse effects of the changes in climate.

In the Report, the erstwhile UN scribe noted that the most affected countries were those the poorest on planet earth with a population of some 700 million inhabitants. "…a majority of the world’s population does not have the capacity to cope with the impact of climate change without suffering a potentially irreversible loss of wellbeing and risk of loss of life.

The populations most gravely at risk are over half a billion people in some of the poorest areas that are also highly prone to climate change – in particular, the semi-arid dry land belt countries from the Sahara to the Middle East and Central Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, South and South East Asia, and small island developing states." The Report further says, with hope, that when countries gather in Copenhagen (Denmark) this December something concrete would be done to see how countries, especially the rich, can begin to take their responsibility to reverse the trend.

"I hope that all Member States will go to Copenhagen with the political will to sign up to an ambitious agreement to tackle climate change. To do justice to the basic needs of people around the world, Copenhagen must produce an outcome that is global, effective, fair and binding. As this report shows, the alternative is greater risk of starvation, migration and sickness on a massive scale…" says Annan in the Report.

Tree Planting

The World Environmental Day in Limbe was marked by the symbolic planting of trees to help absorb a good amount of the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Thus, the key message was for people to endeavour to plant more trees in their own little way to help curb the intensification of global warming.