Public officials, climate change awareness and ecopolicy formulation for appropriate mitigation: Lesson from Nigeria
Keywords:Awareness level, climate change, Eco-policy, public office holders
Debates globally rest on the conclusion that the environment is witnessing rapid climate change. The confirmation of this conclusion is manifest in the dimensions of devastations witnessed all over the world. From the Tsunami through the hurricanes of debilitating magnitude to drought with desert feature, the occurrence remains the same the world over. In 2012, Nigeria witnessed the worst flooding ever having swept over twelve states. Emphasis is placed on mitigating or adapting to climate change in Nigeria. The question is; how aware are public officials of climate change to guarantee appropriate mitigation and adaptation policies? The study therefore, assesses the climate change awareness level of public office holders in Cross River State, Nigeria. The study assumes that there is an inextricable link between the level of awareness by public officers and eco-policy formulation to address climate change. The study adopted the survey design method and collected data through Climate Change Awareness Test (CCAT) questionnaire and was analyzed through frequency counts and bar charts. 266 public office holders split into 133 each for political office holders (politicians) and career civil servants constituted the respondents for the study. Results suggested that climate change awareness level of public officials was low with variation in awareness level among the two categories of public office holders. Career civil servants seem to be more aware than the political office holders. The study recommended among others a rigorous sensitization of public office holders on the prevalence and dangers of climate change through consistent seminars and workshops.
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