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Archive for December 2011

Opinion on Nigeria’s Climate Change Bill

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Based on the conclusions in the last post [climate change in southwest Nigeria], the passed Nigeria’s climate change bill on the act to establish the National Climate Change Commissions aka “The Commission” appears to be a right step in the right direction. Institutionalization of the approach to tackle climate change in Nigeria is a single big and fundamental step that will organize multiple activities directed towards climate change in all sectors [private and public] within Nigeria towards the set goals.

The establishment of “The Commission” is sure a laudable step, and to a great extent re-confirms to me our potentials to rightly combat climate change. Reading through the bill, the stakeholders of “The Commission” in personal opinion appears to have been properly defined but wrongly constituted.

I personally agree with all the sectors involved as stakeholders in building and operating “The Commission” but to a great extent disagree with the intended representatives of these sectors who are “political appointees” with more than enough duties and probably without the passion that is the strongest element to achieving the desired result in this fight. Also observed from the bill to create “The Commission” is the possibility of over-constitution of the organization exposing it to the usual problem of any Nigerian government institution “bureaucracy”, informally used to describe a “very-reactive-system” in Nigeria. This alone has the potentials to work against the efficiency of “The Commission” created to tackle a natural phenomena that appears to be out of control. Moving on to the intended duties of “The Commission” as stated by the passed bill, keeping in mind the proclaimed financial state of the nation, the needed professional capacity and the Nigerian government’s non-challant attitude on building a green energy sector, my easy conclusion is that the bill to establish “The Commission” is too bogus, too ambitious, and the timeline i picture in relation to most of the duties is not realistic.

Reading the bill further to understand the possible framework of operations, the design i kept on picturing despite my effort to see beyond that is an over-centralized organization that is extremely vulnerable to politicization considering the priority given to the need to build the framework of operations around the geo-political zones, ignoring the need to build the framework around a nationwide standardized research that clearly identifies the extent of climate change and its geographic impact in order to give adequate response proactively and professionally.

In my opinion, i think its time our government realized that the fight against climate change is a different fight, a “never-seen” before fight that requires more than they are commiting into it. Its a fight that requires the proactive commitment of the whole nation, and a fight relevant enough for the nation with huge diversity to bond over. Institutionalization of climate change far from what our government is doing requires the need to engage total quality management, where passion and extreme professionalism matters and engaged, and where timeframes for several actions is strictly adhered to. The fight against climate is the fight for national survival because climate change impacts are enough to distabilize any nation on earth.

In conclusion, the bill will need to re-define the constitution of the intended climate change commission and the mode of operations clearly defined reflecting the realities on ground. The personnel of the institution should be given the right orientation that will boost their passion, and also allow their creativity as professionals.

And finally, engaging the concept of “Total-Quality-Management” won’t be a bad idea, at least it has worked in government establishments in some countries, and its quite fundamental to the operations of most private organizations now.

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Written by @SusNigeria

December 31, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Climate Change in South-West Nigeria

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Research carried out on south-west Nigerian farmers as a postgraduate research student on climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts in agriculture revealed a lot. Using two interesting methods of data collection [i.e. semi-structured and literature review], i was able to gain informal access to these farmers, and lots of them opened up on their challenges and how they have exhausted their traditonal methods of coping with the changes they have observed in the climate.

Many farmers went back in history as far back as their childhood days, and they were able to give me a clear picture of how they have observed the decline in rainfall, increase in temperature, increase in pest infestation over the years, making it easy for me to even draw up a time-line for each farmers. To my surprise, there were correlations in the time-lines drawn up for these different farmers who practically spend all their years in rural farming [10 farmers in total or say n=10]. The farmers went back in time, giving me specifics on their experience with climate change over the years with illustrations based on their experience as villagers. The youngest of these farmers was 37 years old, while the oldest is about 80 years old.

These farmers have been productive all their lives, they have always produced for our farm-markets and in recent years they are all struggling with decline in agricultural productivity and depreciation in quality of living. All these from personal and standardized research pointed to some key things that ranges from bad socio-economic policies which is man-made to climate change that can be categorized as a natural phenomena.

Please note, article will focus on the aspect of Climate Change

The research revealed that climate change is increasingly affecting the agricultural operations in the areas studied, and farmers are unfortunately running out of their traditional options of adapting to this natural phenomena.

All the farmers showed and described to me all the methods they have engaged over the years, and how these traditional methods themselves are becoming old fashioned and facing resistant to the uncontrollable weather change not suitable for their various crops. Its was in the process that i and my team/friends got to realize that rural farming in Nigeria has lots of ideas on its own to develop and modernize on, and probably export, and it was in the process that i also got to realize how rich our traditional farming is.

Farmers showed me various local irrigation methods and how their farming societies has been able to manage conflicts surrounding the built ones, and i myself saw the limitations of these methods while i also saw the beauty in it.

The southwest farmers have sadly recorded sharp decline in various crop production, while they also expressed the increasing confusion in their ability to monitor the weather using their traditional farming schedule that appears to be racing against time.

The relatively short period i spent in the study areas, made me see the looming problem of food crises and the increasing failures of national government to avert the problem.

Finally, inquiring further on the role of government on adapting to climate change in these areas made me realize the disconnect between the Nigerian people and the Nigerian government. All the farmers acknowledged absence of their local government in their effort, and they also confirmed the politicization of their few requests by some corrupt elements of the local governments. It was clear understanding the multiplier effects of these looming problems due to climate change has never been a priority of all the local governments, and i was shocked to confirm the lack of knowledge on the extent of the problems climate change has caused in the agricultural development of these areas. Research and documentations on climate change never existed, and the link between climate change and agriculture in these areas are not defined.

My intention to do some semi-structured interviews of the local government workers/leaders never came through with all efforts, and my effort to gather enough facts through literature reviews was also weakened by the lack of properly conducted research documents.

In conclusion, there are needs to re-institutionalize any approach to tackling climate change in Nigeria. There are needs for a dedicated institution with the sole responsibility of monitoring and tackling climate change, efficient enough to coordinate micro, rural based operations professionally and proactively.

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Written by @SusNigeria

December 30, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Posted in Launch Note

Re-Introducing our SustainableNigeria Magazine!

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Our New organization as part of our effort to bring sustainability to the mainstream in Nigeria introduced the first magazine in Nigeria to solely focus on sustainable development issues. We were encouraged by a few organizations while others ignorantly felt the sustainability was far from the mainstream, and still not a marketable topic in Nigeria.

We are now using this medium to re-introduce this product to Nigerians, while we take our fight back to the grass-root. We understand this will be a tough fight, but we are ready to push it through because we strongly believe in the concept of sustainability, and we understand that it holds so many princples and ideas that will liberate the nations of the future.

Written by @SusNigeria

December 30, 2011 at 2:28 am

Posted in Launch Note

In our effort to introduce sustainability to Nigerians

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This new blog has been created in our effort to introduce the concept of sustainability to Nigerians. In addition to our efforts on twitter, this free-blog will be a great platform to share our opinion on what sustainability is, what sustainability has done in other countries, and how engagements with sustainability has added value to socio-economic development.

Our blog will welcome short contributions from sustainability enthusiasts to make it reader friendly, and will also be a platform to share ideas spontenously.

Its important to also highlight that sustainability as a concept has several dimensions or in personal opinion has several elements. These elements includes amongst others, national and global politics, social and economic aspects, leadership and governance, environment (important aspects), accountability/transparency etc. So discussions on this blog will give room to topics relating to all the mentioned aspects of sustainability.

Please note, this is not a “know-all” blog, and we are subject to corrections.

You can also read about our project here @:

http://bit.ly/hfs3FW

Written by @SusNigeria

December 30, 2011 at 12:50 am

Posted in Launch Note