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Climate change control: Experts advocate measures

By on March 26, 2011

EXPERTS in environmental studies have called for different approaches to control the current climate change in the country so as to avoid serious socio-economic consequences.

A research fellow in the African Institute for Applied Economics (AIAE), Mr. Emeka Celestine Nzeh and Mrs. Rita Ogugua Eboh, the Extension Specialist II, Centre for Entrepreneurship and Development Research (CEDR), University of Nigeria, Nsukka, made this submission in their current research on technological challenges of climate change adaptation in Nigeria; insights from Enugu State.

The research, spearheaded by the African Technological Policy Studies Network (ATPS) Phase VI Strategic Plan, 2008 to 2012, noted that ‘’extreme weather events such as thunderstorms, heavy winds, and floods, which are all signs of climate change can devastate farmlands and lead to crop failure’’.

They said pests and crop diseases migrated in response to climate variations and potentially posed a threat to livestock.

“Food security is vulnerable to extreme weather events such as drought and floods. When the Sahelian zone of the country suffered drought in the 1970’s and 1980’s, harvest failure was remarkable throughout the region. Close to one million livestock were lost, affecting meat and dairy supply throughout the country. Flood hazards in both the north and south of the country consistently posed a danger to farmlands and hence, to food security,” the report stated.

On the consequences of the phenomenon in Enugu State where the research was carried out, the report said indicators of land degradation due to climate change were already apparent in Nigeria especially in communities of the state.

It stressed that deforestation, characterized by quickly disappearing forest cover, “is one symptom made worse by human intervention.”

The report further revealed that ‘’changes in temperature, rainfall and water cycle dynamics can induce other problems.’’

It said: “Changes in climatic conditions in Enugu State also modify tree growth and development, reducing the availability of non-timber forest products such as spicy vegetables and mushrooms. Climate change equally increases the incidence of pests and diseases that attack and decimate forest trees.

“It can lead to species extinction in the various ecozones of Nigeria and Enugu State; for example, the Iroko and oil bean in the South-East; various Mahogany species in South-West; the baobab and the locust bean in the North West; gum arabic in the North-East; and the list goes on”.

On the level of awareness and adaptation to the changes, the researchers noted that individuals and communities in state had adopted some behaviours or policies geared at restoring and conserving the environment.

Source : Tribune