With the growing climate change concerns, tree planting for carbon sequestration has over the years been a widely used method in CO2 offset. Tree planting is a method that has been engaged domestically and also on a large scale in Africa. Local NGOs over the years has been actively engaged in raising awareness about the importance of tree planting while several international organizations has also invested so much in forestry as a social responsibility. However tree planting cannot solve the huge problems of excess CO2, but it’s a method that can be maximized in trying to remove some of this excess gas.
The Tree Carbon Calculator [CTCC app] produced by the Centre for Urban Forest Research Station [US forest reserves] made me realize that tree planting for the purpose of carbon sequestration requires conceptualization. Tree planting by local NGOs and even some forestry projects initiated and funded by some international organizations but handled by local champions have failed because several aspects/factors were not properly considered.
Though this technology has been there and available to some of these international organizations, but the viability of some less useful trees in carbon sequestration process is another good reason to neglect the very important factors in tree planting for CO2 sequestration [wolves in sheep’s clothing]. At this point am convinced that a proper review of some of these forestry projects for CO2 sequestration in Nigeria will fail “the-test” and I will not be surprised to see that the types of trees planted in these projects are highly priced in the wood market.
To properly plant trees for the purpose of carbon sequestration, engaging CTCC app is highly recommended. This application in a very detailed way will guide the team involved in maximizing the result of their project. Haven used this application, I realized the importance calculations, and I got to realize that fighting climate change through this option of tree planting requires lots of strategies.
This application has its very extensive database of different trees, the biological details of various trees, their capabilities and how useful they are to CO2 sequestration.
To use the CTCC application [summary]
The application in summary collects initial project data that are quite simple, straight forward and not too scientific. This may include the age of trees, climatic zone of the project amongst others. The application then further requires the user to compare various trees, their scientific and unique characters and their biological capacity to sequester CO2. Under this aspect, there are hundreds of trees available for comparison. The use haven input the required information through a few clicks goes on to determine [produce a partial/raw result] the potentials of their project [through the input data] to reduce GHG emissions through tree shades and carbon storage over the years [forecast]. The partial result at this point will come with some scientific and detailed description of the result which is then transferred by the use on satisfaction to an electronic summary table for proper communication.
Though this app usage is not as simple as its briefly described above, but a very short term training is essential to maximize this free application.
The community of international environmentalists has again displayed their great and deep commitment to the “long-struggle” for the Niger-Delta. The community through the IUCN group [that promotes policies and actions to harmonize the conservation of nature with the crucial socio-economic and cultural concerns of human communities] championed by Prof. Richard Steiner, University of Alaska [ret.] has petitioned the Norway Government Pension Fund recommending the organization’s full divestment and exclusion of all holdings in Royal Dutch Shell Plc. This recommendation was made based on the severe environmental and social harm Shell has done in the Niger-Delta.
This new development from the group reconfirms to me the group’s effort and commitment to give souls to societies and breathe life into the dead conscience of capitalist organizations and exploiters.
While I acknowledge that it’s a great privilege for me [representing SustainableNigeriaTM] to be part of the signatories and strong endorser of this petition, I also strongly believe that the success of this petition/request will be a great and a strong defining point to the long struggle for the Niger-Delta. This request to me is very strategic, realistic and very significant to the future where business ideas and ambitions will be balanced with conscience.
Haven read through the letter a number of times, the strong message in the note that has triggered my passion for the whole process is the “call on the Norway Government Pension Fund” to reawaken their conscience and reshape the history of this long-struggle for the Niger-Delta.
If the desired/very positive result is achieved, Norway Government Pension Fund will forever be favoured in the history of achieving a sustainable Niger-Delta.
The response from a colleague in IUCN-SEAPRISE group after sharing my opinion on the recent deal between the Nigerian government and Global Biofuels, I realised that several deals on Biofuels initiated by some states and federal agencies exist. This definitely was a surprise to me and also raised my fears on the vulnerability of Biofuels to dangerous capitalists and fraudsters in the Nigerian government [both federal and state].
Some of the deals include:
- Nigerian Export-Import Bank giving $695 million to five companies investing in renewable, $12million for Jatropha project and $56 million for a sorghum ethanol project
- Dangote Group’s $7.7Billion investment in River Energy City, home of budding $2Billion fertilizer and ethanol plant project
- Global Biofuels $91 million investment on ethanol plants across the West Africa region with the expectation of 72million litres of ethanol, land-use of 65,000ha in Nigeria and 32,500ha in neighbouring countries
One thing that was clear to me from all these signed deals is that these projects will strongly depend on Nigeria’s agricultural sector which means there are potentials for strong competition on agricultural land use for food crops and agricultural land use for biofuel crops.
Biofuel especially ethanol is fast becoming an important commodity to some nations, in some nations, ethanol already compliments some crude oil extract as an energy source while it has become a strong competition as a viable energy source that has lead to the decline in the demand of pms and diesel in other nations.
This new commodity also has its many controversies considering the energy consumed by the process itself, the increasing commercial value and the need to source it from the very limited agricultural resources that also feeds the ever increasing world’s human population. Some African nations are already victims of the negative effects of growing biofuel crops which includes land-grabs and the exploitation of local farmers.
With my relatively short experience in environmentalism, I can assert that Nigeria has all the characteristics of a nation that is highly vulnerable to fraud and exploitation in the process of building a biofuel industry, and at this point we cannot underestimate the dangers of not coordinating the investments and the development of our biofuel industry.
Fine, the fact that the Nigerian leadership is gradually driving the nation towards renewable gladdens my heart, but the volume and the lack of coordination in these potential major biofuel projects is something very confusing and saddening too.
Some Nigerians are already struggling with the problems of food insecurity while the rural farmers’ productivity is on the decline due to the impacts of climate change. It’s sad enough that the Nigerian leadership is largely insensitive to the looming problem of food insecurity, this new unchecked interests in biofuels may be disastrous.
“Businesses will play a pivotal role in meeting the sustainability challenge of 21st century” – meaning a potential global brand from Nigeria should be ready to struggle to be at the frontline in efforts to achieve sustainability.
Sustainability in the 21st century has grown to become a key tactic for modern businesses in their bid to survive in the future. I couldn’t help but pay attention to the spotlight given to sustainability in the recent issues of my favourite journal [MHD: supply change solutions]. An Australian journal designed to cater for the supply chain needs of organizations globally, highlighting the best practises and ideas and publishing articles from “supply chain and logistics” experts [the arrangement of supply change and logistics still in debate of what comes first – acknowledged].
At this point, it’s important for me to state that I acknowledge consumerism in Nigeria is too weak to drive Nigerian businesses towards sustainability, but the ambitions and goals of Nigerian businesses to operate and expand across borders will open them and drive towards the new global culture of sustainability.
Reading through the September/October 2011 issue of the journal, my favourite article titled “2020 future value chain” in details discussed sustainable business as the business as the business of the future and described sustainability as the most important tactic for any business that needs to strengthen its brand and compete favourably in the future. From the article I realized that organizations growing the sustainability direction are driven by two things, the act of “green consumerism” and targeted government policies, where emerging green consumers demand for green goods and transparency in the chain of production and governments also bend organizations in order to meet their global commitment to trans-border/global agreements on environment.
For organizations to smoothly go this direction, the journal mentioned the need for organization to start to commit to the protection of forests [e.g. running paperless offices], reduction in the release of green house gasses, need to start measuring carbon emissions and being transparent with the results, sincere consumer engagements, compliance with both local and international standards of operations amongst others.
Few months later when I got the November/December 2011 issue, to my surprise, the same article titled “2020 future value chain” was featured again with clearer recommendations for companies and super examples of how global brands has gone green. In the article, after identifying sustainability as a strong tactic of the future, the article detailed how PepsiCo China has significantly helped improve agriculture in the rural parts of China, how PepsiCo China has installed necessary infrastructure [roads, green electric supplies and co], how PepsiCo China has installed water conserving, pivot irrigators, sand dune stabilizing crops to protect rural communities from erosion caused by sand storms. The journal also detailed PepsiCo China’s very strong and productive partnership with farmers and how they are helping the farmers to adapt to climate change. The journal also highlighted a new coca-cola Hellenic recent project of designing and building energy efficient bottling plant in Northern Ireland, while Nestle has also established sound partnership with cocoa farmers in some developed countries. So many other global brands with large markets in Nigeria were discussed in the journal.
Nigeria has very large market/consumers that are powerful enough to command these beautiful projects from corporate organizations as part their responsibilities, but Nigerian consumers are too weak to shape out the right demands [their rights] and the leadership unfortunately lacks vision and is struggling with corruption, making them vulnerable to the immoral games of big corporate organizations. But the good news is the global trend is about to “pull” Nigerian business too, globalization has made it easy for organizations to tap into opportunities in foreign markets and thankfully there are “global standards for global operations”. Nigerian business from my observations are highly ambitious, driven to optimize the opportunities globalization offers, so it’s now necessary for them to blend with international practises that largely demands for responsible and transparent business operations.
“It’s now clear that great nations of the future will compete based on their level of innovation and the extent of their energy independence”
Sustainable economy is a concept that is growing out of the global green revolution that appears to be the foundation of modern development plans in developed nations.
Building a sustainable economy is all about building a green economy that is more resilient to the volatile and fragile energy market in the period of uncertainties.
Building a sustainable economy is all about building new industries that will focus on the development of clean energy while Nigeria tries to meet up in this next phase of global development that will be based on new principles emerging from the new “green economics”.
The world is at the brink of this new industrial era, and from observation the green energy market has shaped out and is now expanding in value with smart nations cutting their own share out of it based on innovation and the development of super policies that helps them integrate into this emerging sector. The United Kingdom for example already controls market share worth 112Billon pounds, while the green sector employees over 900,000 people.
As the global efforts and calls to cut carbons and become more sustainable increases, this green energy market will grow significantly. Countries that take the lead in building capacities and enhancing human innovation and also able to develop adequate policies in this area will take the lead. For example Germany as a nation is considered as the expert in turbine manufacturing, Chinese considered the experts in solar energy development while other nations too are building their capacity in other areas of this emerging green energy sector.
The big lesson in all is that its time Nigeria as a nation start to remove the obstacles to innovation and start to think on how to structure this sector internally and also tap into the opportunities the sector offers externally. Nigeria is a nation of 150 million people in estimate with thousands of experts in the engineering field, experts young and enthusiastic enough to meet up with any nation of the world in this green revolution. As noted at the beginning of this short article, nations in the future will compete and grow based on their level of innovation and energy independence, and this definitely holds excellent solutions to our social problems. Involvement of Nigerian in this emerging global green sector has a lot to contribute positively in building our national image as a nation that is also ready for the future.
In conclusion, Nigeria as a nation has a lot to gain in “going-green” and a lot to gain in becoming “sustainable”.
With my relatively short years in environmentalism while I also acknowledge my very not-extended network in environmentalism, I have read so many environmental news ignored by the mainstream media houses in Nigeria. Some of these news are very shocking while some are very confusing, when you consider how very negative the impacts of the problems reported is and the fact that only a few cares to dig deeper with foreign help most of the time. The painful part is the fact that the detailed news that reflects the passion of the writer or reporter is mostly by foreigners or published in foreign media.
Today, we will use this opportunity to bring back with dates the summary of some of the environmental news we have missed or ignored, as part of our effort to draw attention to the need to protect our environment.
On the 24th of August, 2010, I got an email from an authoritative foreign website I subscribed to, with big captions and written as title though in small letters is “remember saro-wiwa”. This news report reflected the anger of foreign environmentalists on the “outrageous” UNEP report that wanted to “exonerate” Shell over Niger-Delta Oil spills in Nigeria. This email came with other detailed documents with endorsements as authentic by authoritative foreign non-profit environmental organizations and passionate environmental consultants that obviously will never cease to fight for Nigeria while we Nigerians totally “depopularize” the need to protect the environment.
The article presented detailed analysis of what the UN report has done wrong, the suspicious Shell and UNEP relationship and what they are trying to cover-up, the potential harm the report could cause and the action they took.
Another email came in on December 23rd 2010, though very personal and more of a leaked information that exposed how Shell settled a Nigerian corruption case by paying 60 million dollars in a plea bargain to a Nigerian Anti-Corruption Agency [as reported in the email] and how they abandoned their Biofuel plantation contrary to their policies and promises of becoming a strong example in the global effort to become sustainable. As usual, this was not an issue to be agitated on as a Nigeria!
Interesting news was when Nigeria negotiated 250 million US dollars in a settlement deal to drop all charges against the United States former Vice President Dick Cheney and others over Halliburton bribery scandal. As usual investigative report on this was never carried out, and the foreign media that reported this did with a great disrespect for the Nigerian leadership.
There are several other emails similar to the summaries above on “ignored-environmental-reports”, emails that reveals the failures in social responsibilities by organization that I would not want to bore you with. But you can contact me by email or tweet @ me @SusNigeria if you will like a “forward”
The question is, when will Nigerians attach value to environmentalism and when will they realize environmentalism as a great part of our quest on quality living?
Please follow the writer on twitter @SusNigeria
Please read this “sweet-bitter” news first @: http://dlvr.it/13M2ZZ
To my surprise on the 3rd of January, 2012, the day I concluded my last article on the “Potentials for Bio-fuels in Nigeria” the Nigerian Federal Government signs N424billion bio-fuels electricity generating plant deal with “Global Biofuels” a supposed “indigenous” bio-fuel producer running a project with 70% of the funds from the “Chinese Government” while it’s still sourcing for the remaining 30% from private investors! How weird can things get?
Going back to the second to the last paragraph on the last article where I noted that:
‘’This aspect of the document indicates the vulnerability of the plan for bio-fuels to dangerous capitalists or let’s say capitalists without conscience . . . bio-fuel project is something that should give a lot of preference to social development with the strong objective to enhance energy independence and grass-root economic development in Nigeria”
Reading the last paragraph of this “sweet-bitter” news @ http://dlvr.it/13M2ZZ that states the Chinese Government’s role as the main funder of the bio-fuel project scares me and to a great extent confirms my fears. Also considering the desperation of the Chinese Government to solidify its leading position in the world economy, their track record and the vulnerabilities of Nigeria and Nigerians due to corruption, poverty and bad leadership. I think Nigerians need to start paying some attention!