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Climate change effects mount in Nigeria

Nigeria
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03/08/2010

Nigeria has begun to feel the effects of climate change as the frequency and intensity of extreme events like droughts and floods have increased, the chief executive of environmental watchdog, the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) has revealed.

Ngeri Benibo, the director general and chief executive of the Agency said this while delivering a lecture in Lagos titled Climate Change and its Implication for Environmental Governance in Nigeria at the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS)/ExxonMobil annual conference.

"Based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projections, the humid tropical zone of southern Nigeria, which is already too hot and too wet, is expected to be characterised by increase in both temperature and precipitation, especially at the peak of the rainy season," Mrs. Benibo said. "Already, temperature increases of 0.2 degree to 0.3 degree per decade have been observed in the various ecological zones of the country, particularly since 1960s."

Data from the environment watchdog reveal that for the tropically humid zones of Nigeria, precipitation increases from about two to three per cent for each degree of global warming may be expected. By implication, it is expected that precipitation will probably increase by approximately five to 20 per cent in the very humid areas of the forest regions and the southern savannah areas.

Mrs. Benibo added that "climate change will have direct impacts on biodiversity, agriculture, water resources, forests, and coastal areas...also some areas will start receiving heavier and steadier rainfall and such areas will inevitably begin to experience increased rainfall induced erosion."

Unless leaders of the developed economies, whose countries account for more than 80 per cent of current greenhouse gas emissions, make a legally binding commitment as they meet next month in Copenhagen, Denmark, countries such as Nigeria will continue to suffer the effects of climate change.

Anthony Elueze, president of the mining and geosciences society said the group will continue to raise awareness on the importance of climate change, and its attendant effects on the environment.

"The choice of climate change as the topic for this year's lecture is deliberate," Mr. Elueze said. "We chose to talk about this because of the growing concern about climate change. As geoscientists, we have observed some of the consequences of climate change here in our country and we believe climate change should be taken seriously."

He said developing countries like Nigeria contribute the lowest to climate change but they are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
Government efforts

Mrs. Benibo said the federal government established the environmental regulation body in an effort to address the challenge of climate change.

"NESREA's vision is to ensure a cleaner and healthier environment for Nigerians, while the mission is to inspire personal and collective responsibility in building and environmentally conscious society," she said. "Climate change is a reality and it's the defining issue of our era."

"A lot is being done by the present administration to place climate change high on the agenda of government. However, it is now important to realise that the complex nature of climate change is beyond what government alone can handle...it calls for a public-private partnership in which the private sector actors and civil society partner together to address the various dimensions of climate change in the context of national sustainable development."

Environmentalists at the lecture argued that climate risks need to be integrated into our national development projects and strategies, including NEEDS/SEEDS, the seven-point agenda of the president and his vision 20:2020.

The participants at the lecture were of the view that this will foster greater institutional capacity and a more strategic approach, rather than a reactive approach, to mainstream adaptation into development and factor it at a strategic planning level to ensure that Nigeria can adapt well and reduce its vulnerability to the consequences of climate change.

El contenido de las noticias que se presentan en esta sección es responsabilidad directa de las agencias emisoras de noticias y no necesariamente reflejan la posición del Gobierno de México en este u otros temas relacionados.

    

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