IHDP Knowledge Transfer Database

National Committee Nigeria

Professor Babatunde Agbola first came in contact with IHDP at the 3rd Open Meeting of the Human Dimensions Research Community in Shonan Village, Japan from 24-26 June 1999. At this meeting, he was informed of fellow Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change (HDGEC) researchers in Nigeria and encouraged to contact Dr. Meshach Emenweke at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Awka, Nigeria, who was then a main contact for IHDP in Nigeria at that time. However, it was not possible to meet and put the Nigerian chapter on certain footing until March 2000, when Dr. Agbola took over the leads as contact for IHDP in Nigeria. In late June 2001, a group of scholars and researchers from several of Nigeria's 40 universities met at the University of Ibadan to establish a National Human Dimensions Committee in Nigeria. Supported by a seed grant from IHDP, the meeting was organized by Professor Agbola. The main objective of the meeting was to inform the national research community about IHDP's activities and to encourage researchers in the area of global environmental change (GEC) to become involved. Another main objective was to compile a national inventory of Human Dimensions research in Nigeria. To facilitate this process, participants agreed to divide the country into five geographical zones, with Zone Coordinators responsible for setting up a network of researchers from universities in a particular region. The proposed zones and their coordinators were as follows: (a) Northeast (b) Northwest (c) Southeast (d) Southwest (e) South-South It was agreed that membership in the National Committee would be open to both natural and social scientists whose work was related to GEC. In addition, participants identified various sources for cooperation and funding, including several NGOs, governmental and other institutions. Seeking a possible cooperation with START and other international bodies was emphasized but never truly realized. As the coordinators' meeting was convened on 28 June 2001, this was thus considered the date for the formal establishment of the IHDP National Committee. Key Human Dimensions Research Questions - Biodiversity - Land-use and land-cover change (covering the period of the past 300 years) - Rapid deforestation - Desertification - Recent droughts in the North severely affecting marginal agricultural activities - Soil erosion/degradation in the South of the country - Human security in the North-West (i.e. Borno region, where boundary and banditry problems persist)