Tag Archives: COP17

Nigeria- Empty Handed in Durban

30 Nov

By Ewah Otu Eleri, Executive Director, International Centre for Energy, Environment & Development

The Durban Climate Change Conference started this week. Nigeria will be represented with over a hundred official delegates. This comes in addition to scores of NGO representatives and the media. In past meetings, the Nigerian contingent had been one of the largest of all countries. Ordinarily, this should signal the level of importance we attach to the issue of climate change. But this has not been so.

Ahead of this climate change conference, the Nigerian media had increasingly demanded to know what key issues the country will take to the negotiation table. Over the past three years, calls for clear national positions on international climate change negotiations have become relentless. Our government has relentlessly responded with a deafening silence.

Under pressure from civil society, the government has developed a “position paper”. This has neither an actionable political commitment by the Federal Government or clear priorities for our country. This sense of drift and lack of political leadership on this issue cannot continue.

Climate change will be one of the main forces shaping our country in the next twenty years. For instance, the links between worsening climatic conditions and national security, especially in parts of the North may only get stronger. If no action is taken to address climate-induced desertification, the agricultural economy in the North will crumble. More young people will be out of work and religious extremism will be there as a last resort. Our policy makers are yet to wake up to this reality.

Nigeria’s stakes in international cooperation on climate change are many and compelling. But if these issues are too complex for the attention span of our political leaders, perhaps we should simplify them. How about a one-point agenda? Could Nigeria offer to end gas flaring in exchange for investments in gas power plants, gas gathering and transportation systems? Our country requires about 7.5 trillion Naira new investments in clean gas energy projects. Here will be a chance to end the electricity supply crisis, reduce the environmental pressure on the people of the Niger Delta and make Africa’s most important contribution to reducing emission of these harmful gases. How about that?

But why is the current government not taking appropriate actions on climate change? The reason is simple. Measures to address this problem are fundamental to our economy and political life – be it petroleum or agriculture. But the officials currently running Nigeria’s response to climate change neither control the economy nor have political power. That’s why we are stuck.

Until we reform climate change governance and ensure that it is integrated into economic decisions, the current drift will continue. Like Copenhagen and Cancun climate change conferences with huge Nigerian entourage, we are heading to Durban empty-handed and may return empty-handed. The year 2012 must therefore be a year of climate change governance reform. If we don’t get it right at home, our hopes of success in international negotiations will be blighted.

UN-REDD Programme Approves US$4 million in Critical Funding for REDD+ in Nigeria

22 Oct

At the Programme’s recent Policy Board meeting, UN-REDD partner countries share valuable lessons learned in implementing their National REDD+ Programmes.


[BERLIN, GERMANY, 17 October, 2011] During its seventh Policy Board meeting 13-14 October 2011, the UN-REDD Programme approved US$4 million in funding for Nigeria‘s National Programme for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+), bringing the total amount of approved funding for UN-REDD National Programmes to US$59.3 million.

These critical funds support the capacity of national governments to prepare and implement REDD+ strategies with the active involvement of local stakeholders, including Indigenous Peoples and other forest-dependent communities. The ultimate goal of these country-led REDD+ efforts is to contribute to the global fight against climate change. With this most recent funding allocation to Nigeria, the UN-REDD Programme is now providing direct support to 14 countries while also working with 21 other partner countries across Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean (see full list of all 35 partner countries and more details  by clicking below).


Deal's sealed. Nigeria's National Coordinator for REDD+, Salisu Dahiru (left) and Policy Board co-chair Alexander Müller shake hands.


REDD involves some kind of incentive for changing the way forest resources are used. As such, it offers a new way of curbing CO2 emissions through paying for actions that prevent forest loss or degradation. These transfer mechanisms can include carbon trading, or paying for forest management.

There are so many questions concerning REDD. Like how the REDD mechanism  will link to existing national development strategies, how  forest communities and indigenous peoples can participate in the design, monitoring and evaluation of national REDD programmes, how  REDD will be funded, how countries will ensure that benefits are distributed equitably among all those who manage the forests and finally, how  the amount of carbon stored and sequestrated as a result of REDD be monitored.

Questions that might  be answered at United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, COP17/CMP7 in Nov/Dec 2011.