Relative to the other countries that Climate Scorecard tracks, Nigeria is severely lacking in the climate change research department. There are not many research organizations inside of Nigeria that are founded by the Nigerian government. This is unsurprising as Nigeria is a developing country so most of its funding goes towards other programs/projects than climate change research.
In Nigeria, a lot of the research is being done by professors in the major universities, like University of Lagos and University of Benin. For example, Professor Ilevbare Femi Monday posted research on “Investigating the Effects of Climate Change on Health Risks in Nigeria”, which can be found here. It is an interesting topic that makes the impact of climate change seem more immediate, which may make policy makers take climate change more seriously. However, research done by professors in Nigeria is not seriously taken into consideration by the government and it does not receive much funding.
Organizations outside of Nigeria actually handle the bulk of the research and funding for research projects. These organizations, most notably UNDP, UNICEF, and CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency), work together through NEST. NEST is the Nigerian Environmental Study/Action Team with a mission for “driving sustainable development with people interacting sustainably with the environment towards global development.” One of the main program areas of NEST is their Policy, Research, and Advocacy department. This means that the main objective of NEST is to conduct climate change research and advocate for policy change based off of the findings.
NEST was founded in 1987, however it has been a while since they have published a project. Their most recent project (2015) was working to improve access to water for the Orwile-Owu community, which ended up giving 100 new households clean water access. Despite what seems like inaction in recent years, NEST is working on something potentially exciting and impactful.
NEST is partnering with CIDA to create BNRCC (Building Nigeria’s Response to Climate Change). BNRCC is a project that aims to increase Nigeria’s capacity to adapt to the effects of climate change and reduce its negative impact on vulnerable geographic regions and households in those areas. The project states that it wants to accomplish this through “supporting research projects on Nigeria’s vulnerability to climate change impacts and identify adaptation strategies.” If conducted correctly and implemented, BNRCC has a chance to make a significant impact on climate change research in Nigeria. The important thing, however, is whether or not the policy makers will heed the advice of BNRCC’s findings.
Activity Rating: ** Standing Still
The introduction of BNRCC seems promising. However, it will all be for nothing if the policy makers don’t take the project’s advice.
Dear BNRCC team,
We are writing to voice our full support of this program. We believe that this project is a great step forward for Nigeria and its’ climate change research. If done correctly, this project will help save Nigeria’s climate and many lives along the way. However, in order for this project to be successful, it needs to be taken seriously by policy makers. While we are in total support of this project, we urge to make sure this study ends up in the right hands and that you try your best to convince policy makers the importance of your findings.
Professor Monday’s article:
BNRCC: Research pamphlet:
List of previous NEST projects:
Post submitted by Nigeria Country Manager Peter Hansen