Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Climate Change Adaptation and Conflict in Nigeria

"Climate change, a growing number of voices in media and policy circles warn, is raising the risks of violent conflict in the twenty-first century. Dire futures are predicted for some of the world's poorest, least prepared countries and their most vulnerable citizens. This report, (authored by Aaron Sayne, who in July 2011 published policy recommendations with background on Nigeria's Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB)), is sponsored by the Centers of Innovation at the U.S. Institute of Peace and evaluates these claims for conflict-prone Nigeria.

Based on a comprehensive literature survey, interviews with senior government officials, academics and private sector figures and the author's work as a conflict analyst in Nigeria, the report calls for a more nuanced approach to mapping the links between climate change and conflict. It reviews evidence of such links in Nigeria and outlines a process for achieving conflict-sensitive adaptation to the effects of climate change."

Click on this link for the 16-page Special Report

1 comment:

CodLiverOil said...

I skimmed the document, it makes for sombre news.

But knowing Nigerians, climate change is nothing to be taken seriously. It will be filed away, maybe a few cosmetic agencies will be declared, where not an awful lot is done but siphon away what funds should ever be directed in their direction.

The reading is grim news.

The second point of the summary

A basic causal mechanism links climate change with violence in Nigeria. Under it, poor • responses to climatic shifts create shortages of resources such as land and water. Shortages are followed by negative secondary impacts, such as more sickness, hunger, and joblessness. Poor responses to these, in turn, open the door to conflict.”

This is nothing new, Nigeria has been heading for the rocks for sometime, and to date not an awful lot has been done to salvage the situation.

“The Nigerian Response. The federal government has not done much on climate change thus far.67 Nigeria’s First National Communication on Climate Change came out in 2003, and President Olusegun Obasanjo set up a Special Climate Change Unit in the Ministry of Environment to manage the issue. The ministry’s proposed 2011 budget shows climate change–related capital projects worth about $20 million. Officials also say a draft National Climate Change Policy document is in the offing. State governments have largely been unengaged, with the arguable exception of Lagos.”

These events are already underway in the Niger Delta and Borno state. In both cases the response of the government is wholly inadequate.

I was surprised to read, that very little of Nigeria’s agriculture is irrigated.

Today, there was a program on the radio here.

Click here

One section was about the famine in East Africa. Dr Steven Mbithi of Kenya
Said the main reasons for famine are:
1) An almost non-existent mechanism to produce food surpluses and store them safely.
2) The failure of the marketing system to move from rain-fed agriculture to irrigation-fed agriculture. So should the rains fail, it doesn’t spell the end of those on the ground.

So much needs to be done, and all Jonathan and his associated bloodsuckers can do is talk of exploiting “solid state minerals”, as if that is the answer to everything, (which they clearly are not). The fact is, that the whole way agriculture is managed needs to be re-visited, and some serious money and effort must be channeled in that direction to turn the situation around.

Failure to recognize what the role of government and impress this upon all levels of bureaucracy throughout the country and get officials, who care and are motivated to work to save the country, will result in oblivion.

Nigerians can continue to deceive themselves and those fool-hardy enough to listen, in saying they have the largest population, and significant oil-reserves. But in the near future this will count for increasingly less.

Climate change is something that requires agencies to collect data reliably, accurately and consistently. Research has to initiated & maintained, and plans of action need to be drawn up & implemented. This all needs to be coordinated, so a strong government presence is needed. But as things stand the country is becoming increasingly lawless. We can see this throughout the country. Even the act of collecting data is a challenge as universities are under-funded and the standards are very low.

Both the late Yar’Adua and Jonathan both are science graduates, but the response from either is no better than someone who knows nothing about science.

If care is not taken, Nigeria is fast becoming a country that people only leave from, and the rest of the world will keep it’s distance, from a place that no one wants to remain in.