One of the greatest challenges facing climate change understanding that will encourage mitigation and adaptation is a huge lack of awareness among rural communities’ inhabitants and urban dwellers.
If we must address climate change and encourage citizens to take mitigation actions, investments in public awareness are fundamental and must be done. Climate Change appears to be oversimplified and considered a global issue that cannot reach rural people. Many in rural communities believe it is fake and does not exist.
A huge deficit in climate change awareness encourages denial and misinformation. The international community, government, and non-state actors are yet to make the needed investments in climate change awareness. Efforts at community awareness and options for mitigations are greatly insufficient.
Increased climate change awareness among community inhabitants is central because it leads to their understanding that will spur support for mobilization and actions for adaptation, mitigations, and the reduction of overall vulnerabilities.
If we must create climate change campaigns that will achieve behavioural change, it must be done by having community participation at the centre of its design and implementation. Only that way can we be successful, imported ideas without community input and participation have never worked and that approach has to be changed.
Our experience has shown that when community members have a better understanding of issues affecting them, it becomes easy for mobilizing and organizing leading to unified strength and purpose in addressing it.
Increased awareness is the only way to promote climate change literacy among the people. And, that will lead to change, attitude and behavior that will encourage citizens to pursue mitigations and adaptations.
Investment in climate change is most fundamental, in our work across rural communities in FCT-Abuja, such as Yangoji, Dutse Alhaji, Bmuko and Bwari many of the inhabitants with a majority of them farmers, say they know nothing about climate change.
Mitigation and adaptation cannot be achieved without the community’s knowledge of climate change. The first thing to do is, educate them to have a better understanding of the issues, in that way mitigation strategies and acceptability become accessible and achievable.