Jo volunteers in Nigeria to promote action on climate change

Jo visited Nigeria last week to advise Parliamentarians on Nigeria’s response to climate change.

Jo at the Cross River State Forest: L-R: A local forest worker; Jo Swinson MP; Mr Odigha Odigha, Chairman of Cross River State Forestry Commission; Feyisayo Ilesanmi of Nigerian Climate Action Network.

On the week-long visit organised by Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), Jo advised Nigerian politicians on their strategy for passing a bill to establish a National Climate Change Commission, sharing with them her experiences of passing bills at Westminster. The bill would put Nigeria at the forefront of the African response to climate change.

She also visited the forest in Cross River State, where logging has been banned in order to prevent deforestation. Deforestation is responsible for 20% of global carbon dioxide emissions. The Forestry Commission is working with the UN to find ways for local people to make a living without damaging the forest environment.

Commenting, Jo said:

“I am grateful to VSO for giving me this great opportunity to help Parliamentarians and activists in Nigeria strengthen their government’s response to climate change. This is a critical time for their campaign, as this bill must be passed before Nigeria’s elections are held next year.

“I was pleased to be able to share my knowledge of campaigning in the UK Parliament, everything from high level advocacy to using social networking to get the message across.

“VSO offer some fantastic volunteering programmes overseas for people with all levels of experience and qualifications, and I would strongly encourage anyone who is interested volunteering abroad to go to their website at”

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