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Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams A Paper delivered at the Review/Validation Workshop for the Manuscript-

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Presentation on theme: "Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams A Paper delivered at the Review/Validation Workshop for the Manuscript-"— Presentation transcript:

1 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams A Paper delivered at the Review/Validation Workshop for the Manuscript- Reporting Climate Change in Africa: A Practical Guide for Journalists, in Nairobi, Kenya. CHALLENGES OF REPORTING CLIMATE CHANGE IN NIGERIA: Insights And Experiences Bonny Alams, Editor-in-Chief African Science & Tech Digest Magazine (Strategic Communication Specialist)

2 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA PRESENTATION OUTLINE : INTRODUCTION OVERVIEW OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN NIGERIA REALITY OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN NIGERIA 2012 FLOOD DISASTER NIGERIA Challenges of Climate Change : Implications for Nigeria SPACE TECHNOLOGY AND FLOOD MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES OF REPORTING CLIMATE CHANGE IN NIGERIA: INSIGHTS AND EXPERIENCES NATIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE AWARENESS: Communicating climate change vulnerability to the Grassroots Other Factors CONCLUSION

3 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA Climate change is fundamentally a systemic crisis that cannot be tackled through palliative. It is a crisis of a civilization built on the rapacious destruction of nature through massive consumption and waste of resources. It is the consequence of ruinous production and consumption patterns that are blind to the fact that planet earth is finite and that there must be a point when such a path becomes unsustainable in many ways. Introduction:

4 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA Adaptation and mitigation acts taken to tackle climate change impacts are nothing more than palliatives – a term most Nigerians have come to grips with as something done to ease pains inflicted on the peoples by acts of poor governance as well as institutionalized perfidy. These palliatives do not in any way solve the problem; they only help you to cope to certain degrees with the crisis. On templates for action, official negotiations have locked in action until possibly by 2020.

5 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA By that time the world may already be in the throes of runaway climate change. Hope is not lost, however. Long before the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement showed that the regaining of peoples sovereignty over political structures is possible, there was an epochal World Peoples Conference on Climate Change in Cochabamba, Bolivia, in April In order to work to restore the natural cycles of Mother Earth, the Agreement demanded the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth. This is already being promoted in the UN systems.

6 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams Many Nigerians may not be able to say the causes and what climate change means, but they certainly do experience and know the impacts. They do know that the climate is changing and that their livelihoods are being severely threatened. The impacts are all around us and some of these include: intensified desertification, changed rainfall patterns leading to unusual floods, sea level rise and increased coastal erosion. CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA OVERVIEW OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN NIGERIA

7 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams All these directly affect our fragile infrastructures as well as the capacity of our peoples to reap expected fruits of their labour in the area of agriculture due to both loss of arable lands and the increasing salinity of coastal water bodies. CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA

8 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE One of the major roads in Akure metropolis, Ondo State, submerged A community in Doma LGA, Nasarawa State, submerged Submerged Cassava Farm Affected electric poles

9 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA REALITIES OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN NIGERIA  All sectors of our socio-economic development, including the natural ecosystems, are vulnerable to climate change.  With a population of about 160 million people, 20% of which are located along the coast, climate change presents significant threats to the achievement of the MDGs, especially those related to eliminating poverty and hunger and promoting environmental sustainability.  A high population posses problem of food insecurity and serious social tensions.

10 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams  With Average Sea Level Rise (ASLR) of about 0.5m, about 35% of the delta could be lost.  With ASLR of about 1.0 m about 75% of the delta could be lost; Capital values at risk could be as high as US$17.5 billion (no development and no mitigation/adaptation measures scenario). REALITIES OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN NIGERIA Cont’d CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA

11 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA

12 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA 2012 Flood Disaster In Nigeria  The flood of 2012 which can be attributed to the global climate change aggravated by the increase in volume of rainfall and the release of excess water from Lagdo dam upstream of River Benue in neighbouring Cameroun which also coincided with the release of water from Kanji, Jebba and Shiroro Dams into Rivers Benue and Niger.  Other identified causes include poor drainage networks and inadequate culverts/canals.  In most cities, there were obstructions of water ways, weak soil texture/structure, land topography, ineffective management of solid wastes, deforestation, land degradation, sedimentation of aquatic ecosystem, precipitation and wind effects.

13 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams THE FLOOD IMPACT The unprecedented 2012 flood that ravaged parts of Nigeria between August and December 2012, affected over 7 million people, displaced 2.3 million people, killed 363 persons, destroyed/damaged 597,476 Houses in 34 States, 256 LGAs and 3,870 communities across the country. Buildings submerged in Gashua, Yobe State CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA

14 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA Bahago Plaza, Tunga area, Minna, Niger State

15 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA

16 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA DESERT ENCROACHMENT IN NIGERIA: 350,000 Hectares of Land Lost Annually Globally, deforestation contributes to global warming. Tropical deforestation accounts for about 20% of all green house gases and has negative impact on the economy. While some people may receive immediate economic benefits from activities that result in deforestation, those short term gains cannot offset the negative long term economic losses. In Nigeria, the immediate danger is that about 350,000 hectares of land is lost to desert encroachment annually as revealed by a survey conducted by Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE).

17 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA Challenges of Climate Change : Implications for Nigeria Food and water shortage Increase in rate of disease occurence, spread and persistence. Depletion of rain forest Flooding and desertification caused by global warming, extreme weather conditions etc. The Fulani nomads depend so much on water and grazing lands for cattle. Changes in the climate conditions which subsequently affect the traditional grazing areas and water resources, have forced many of them to move southwards away from the sahel region in search of grazing lands for their herds.

18 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA Many peasant farmers from the northwest and northeast geopolitical zones, affected by desertification within the Sahel region have also moved southwards, particularly to the north central (Meddle-belt) geopolitical zone, in search of the appropriate conditions for growing food and cash crops. The economic consequence of this is often manifested in the reduced availability of beef and milk in Nigeria, and opportunity for revenue generation in the zone. Food scarcity on the increase due to lack of appropriate response mechanism. High costs for health care. Job losses, Poverty Implications for Nigeria

19 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA NIGERIA SPACE TECHNOLOGY AND FLOOD MANAGEMENT Nigeria has deployed some space assets: Nigeriasat-1 has captured more than 3000 images. Some of the images have been used in disaster related projects e.g.  Development of Early Warning Systems for Food Security in Nigeria.  Modelling Hydrologic and Environmental Impact e.g.- Lake Nyos Dam Failure on Benue/Katsina-Ala Basin as ongoing.  Nigcomsat-1- a communication satellite in 42 0 E GEO launched 2007  Hybrid (quad band) satellite primarily provides communications services

20 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA REPORTING CLIMATE CHANGE IN NIGERIA: Insights & Experiences Let me state here, that the process of communication hinges on the existence of three key role players - the source, the medium and the target. To this end, the media provides a time tested means of linkage. It also serves a critical role in disseminating climate change effect to a broad based audience.

21 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA CHALLENGES OF REPORTING CLIMATE CHANGE IN NIGERIA: Insights and Experiences - Cont’d. As earlier mentioned, the recent flood that ravaged several parts of the country have reinforced the need for timely provision of adequate information and data which are essential in assisting policy- makers in arriving at fact-based decisions on climate change and environmental related matters. It has been observed that Journalists face numerous challenges in reporting climate change issues. Some of these challenges include: lack of advocacy plans with communication experts’ input lack of understanding of how to work with bureaucrats and public office holders, and funding, amongst others.

22 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA INSIGHTS HIGH COST OF CLIMATE CHANGE MONITORING AND REPORTAGE: Nigeria is a huge geographical space and the financial implication of traversing its length and breadth is best left to the imagination. Thus, a media organization like ours-African Science & Tech Digest, which is primarily in business, needs to limit its activities to whatever information that it can garner inexpensively. This is particularly so because most Government Agencies handling climate change programmes in the country claim not to have the appropriate funding which can enable them support the media. LESS PRIVATE SECTOR INVOLVEMENT The private sector especially those in oil and gas business needs shy away from communication and advocacy, they need to be persuaded towards investing in climate change activities. From our findings most private sector players shy away from investing in information dissemination and education, – poor access to climate change information is a major impediment.

23 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA NATIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE AWARENESS: Communicating climate change vulnerability to the Grassroots Information is Not Communication To inform is NOT to Communicate Communication presupposes DIALOGUE Dialogue is SHARING Communication is SHARING The Communication imperative

24 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA Climate Change Awareness Strategy International Organisations Technical Specialists Media Grassroots Civil Society Grassroots NGOs Grassroots Government

25 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA Government Technical Specialists MediaCivil SocietyNGOs Current Information Flow...

26 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA Action Plans and Programs International Norms Resources Policies Roles and Responsibilities Implementation / Application Norms and Standards Research Roles and Responsibilities National Needs

27 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA Technical Specialists Communication / Popularisation Strategy Media Relations Broad Based Partnerships with CSOs, NGOs / CBOs Documentation Needs

28 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA Media NGOs / CBOs Civil Society Multipliers

29 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA Media Issues / Concept Capacity More Grassroots / field Experience More than news formats Editorial Policy Specialised Teams / Desks Documentation Community Media Needs

30 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA Civil Society Knowledge Brokerage Broader partnerships Communication Strategy / System / Skills Media Relations?? Needs

31 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA NGOs / CBOs Feedforward to Policy Level Translation Capacity Communication Strategy / System / Skills Media RelationsDocumentation ?? Needs

32 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA Faith-Based Organisations Families Places where people gather (Markets, etc) Cultural Institutions Extension Services Community Based Organisations Traditional Leaders and Institutions The Grassroots

33 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA Community VOICE Translation Capacity Communication / Advocacy Strategy / System / Skills Media RelationsICT CapabilitiesDocumentation Feedback / Feedforward to Policy Level Needs

34 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA Technical Specialists Scientists Researchers Think Tanks Multipliers Media Civil Society NGOs Community / Grassroots Traditional Rulers CBOs Faith Based Organisations Cultural Institutions, etc Desired Connection Desired Objectives

35 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA International Organisations Government Technical specialists Grassroots Multipliers Desired Interactions Grassroots as core and centre of gravity

36 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA Media Civil Society NGOs / CBOs The Multiplier Effect

37 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA Communication Resources (Data) Government Specialists Media Civil Society NGOs / CBOs International Organisations Communities Traditions and Values Outputs Messages News Opinions Announcements Advertisements Rumours Outcomes Conversations Questions Awareness Knowledge Internalisation Actions Empowerment

38 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA Information Management insights Though the National media coverage of the flood disaster was fair, the International coverage of the magnitude was inadequate leading to poor international attention. Non full involvement of International media both in sensitization and situation reports. Inadequate baseline data in different sectors Lack of training for Journalists and the actors at States and Local Governments to adequately address climate change disasters

39 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA Early Warnings have not been adequately heeded to Inadequate utilization of appropriate technology such as ICT for disaster management. Poor science communication skill by Journalists covering and reporting climate change. Lack of research, independent grassroots assessment and investigative journalism Poor Motivation and logistics for Journalists. Inadequate funding etc.

40 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA EXPERIENCES Currently, there is poor knowledge of climate change due to lack of capacity building, which is a major challenge affecting the climate change reportage in Nigeria. Most Journalists covering climate change do not stay long in the beat due to frequent redeployment by their Editorial Board. There is lack of independent investigation skill of most Journalists, this forces them to rely on press releases or press briefing by the government authorities, development partners and civil societies, especially with regard to the impact, mitigation, adaptation technologies and other related issues.

41 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA There is also poor use of local languages in disseminating early warning and other relevant information on climate change in the country. There is little or no human angle stories and information gathering from the grassroots perspective. There is wide gap between the Scientists, the Journalists and Government Authorities. Although the Special Climate Change Unit in the Federal Ministry of Environment developed Nigeria’s “National Communication” under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), but not updated and inaccessible by Journalists. EXPERIENCES Cont’d

42 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) being the authoritative voice on the nation’s weather and climate has been observing weather yearly and releases annual weather forecast through the media. The quarterly update of such annual forecast by the Agency remains irregular, while most of the Journalists do not follow up such matters except when they are invited by the agency. Lack of data as well as bureaucratic bottleneck is a serious hindrance to Journalists who tend to write follow up stories on developments of weather and climate change. EXPERIENCES Cont’d

43 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA CONCLUSION Climate Change in Nigeria is a reality. As I stated earlier, the impacts are all around us. Socially, economically and health-wise we do feel the impacts As such, the media are calling for Integrated strategies to forestall any future occurrence of climate change- induced disasters in the country. This has obviously stimulated a strong advocacy for the engagement of the relevant stakeholders including the media as far as climate change policy-formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation is concerned. Another issue that is at the front burner is the need to regularize the training and re-training of Journalists on Climate change trends. Nigerian Government under the leadership of President Goodluck Jonathan has given his transformative assurance on this matter and we are keeping hope alive.

44 Challenges of Reporting Climate Change in Nigeria: Insights & Experiences Bonny Alams CLIMATE CHANGE: NIGERIA THANKS FOR YOUR ATTENTION Bonny Alams, Editor-in-Chief African Science & Tech Digest Magazine (A Strategic Communication Specialist) Noble Plaza, 3 rd Floor, 4, Awka Street, Area 10, PO. BOX 18360, Garki, Abuja, Nigeria , ,


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