“When people have made up their mind that they want to fail before they start, that’s the hardest. Because at risk are millions of people, and they matter.”
– Amina Mohammed, Environment Minister Nigeria
Nigeria’s Environment Minister is on the Vogue Magazine’s photo shoot in Paris for a very important global issue.
Amina Mohammed was among 13 women who posed for Vogue Magazine as a flag up campaign for climate change at Cop21 in Paris.
“In Africa, you don’t just think about the children that you bear,” says Amina Mohammed, special adviser on post-2015 development planning to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “Every child is yours.” In Mohammed’s home state of Nigeria, she says, climate change has exacerbated poverty.
“It has come together as the perfect storm to create situations that have fueled Boko Haram, the terrorists that live in my part of the country.” But, says Mohammed, “I think we’re getting nearer the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Another Nigerian woman campaigns to raise awareness about climate change and is seen also in the spread.
“Where is the future of young people if we don’t do anything?”
– Priscilla Achakpa
Priscilla Achakpa is an environmental activist from Nigeria. As executive director of the Women Environmental Programme, Achakpa has introduced thousands of women to sustainable solutions to everyday problems, such as waste-to-energy machines that can process rice husks.
In Nigeria, Achakpa says, “The impact of climate change on women is huge. The men are forced to migrate and they leave the women, who are now the caregivers because they find they cannot leave the children . . . We don’t want a top-down solution” to climate change, says Achakpa. “We want bottom-up. But we need to be at the table.”
“For us it’s not the issue of regulation. It’s the issue of survival.” – Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim
Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim is from the Sahel region of Chad, where devastating droughts and floods are now the norm. As co-chair of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change, Ibrahim works to contain the humanitarian and ecological fallout from the vanishing of Lake Chad, a lifeline for an estimated 30 million people in Chad, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Niger.
“If women come together, they can have more impact than any agreement, than any negotiations,” says Ibrahim. “Because we know that the future—it’s coming from us.”
Sittings Editor: Michael Philouze
Makeup: Jeanine Lobell