Community Livelihood Alternative:A strategy to save mangroves, reduce flood risk by Future Green ESL
Given alternative livelihood opportunities, coastal communities can conserve mangroves to serve as flood defense and reduce flood risks
Mangrove forests serve as sink for green house gases and as defenses against coastal floods. This dual ecosystem function of the mangroves is important for climate change mitigation and adaptation in coastal areas of the world. Likewise, the supporting services of mangroves provide breeding habitats for fish, periwinkles, shrimps, crabs, etc, which local coastal communities harness for food and income generation. Unfortunately, this unique ecosystem is on the decline and at the verge of been totally lost. The popular assertion is that, the decline is as a result of urbanisation and oil exploration in the region. While this is true, however, a study conducted by this proposal creator in one of the coastal communities in the Niger Delta of Nigeria, showed that over exploitation of the mangrove resources for livelihood needs places huge additional stress to mangroves in this region. Mangrove forests are converted to farmlands and the trees are cut for fuel, house construction, local craft making and so on.
Consequently, many coastal communities in the Niger Delta are loosing their lives and primary livelihoods due to increased vulnerability to floods as a result of the disappearance of mangroves which usually serve as defense in times of coastal flooding. They are also now exposed to the high intensity of sunlight and heat waves as the land lay bare of trees to regulate sun rays.
Therefore, there is urgent need to conserve the mangroves of the Niger Delta region. But to achieve successful mangrove conservation, there is need to take into consideration community livelihood perspective. It is in the light of the above that Community Livelihood Alternative (CLA) was conceived.
CLA will be used as advocacy tool to contribute towards mangrove conservation in anticipation that it will help protect coastal communities from the impacts of coastal flooding. CLA proposes alternative livelihood and income opportunities for coastal communities to reduce pressure on mangrove forest.
Is this proposal for a practice or a project?
What actions do you propose?
Actions proposed include:
1. Baseline assessment of livelihood needs of the communities and their vulnerability to climate change induced sea level rise and flooding.
2. Sensitization programme on mangrove conservation as a climate change mitigation and adaptation option, the need for behavoural change and lifestyle alternatives to protect the mangroves in coastal communities in the Niger Delta from further depletion.
2. Training and skill acquisition programme on alternative income generating skills that are less or not dependent on natural ecosystem resources (examples - tailoring, bid making, digital education, etc)
3. Monetary subsidies for the local people purchase of cooking gas, energy saving stoves and a demonstration of how to use these alternative cooking fuel to reduce deforestation and use of firewood that releases carbon to the atmosphere
4. Provision of basic social amenities such as electricity, piped water supply, toilets, schools, information resource centres, recreation centres, etc to local coastal communities in Niger Delta. These will enhance change of behavour and lifestyle of the community.
6. Set up of community based early action and monitoring centre for floods in each community where community members can have opportunity to come together and discuss further action plans and ensure sustainability of the most profiting plans
7. Integration of CLA plan and socio-economic incentives for coastal communities into climate hazards mitigation and adaptation policies, mangrove conservation plans and coastal zone management plans
Who will take these actions?
CLA will be a collaborative effort of stakeholders and actors such as federal and state ministries of environment, private companies, international and local organizations, academia, consultants, and community members.
Future Green ESL will lead the facilitation, consultation, and engagement of the stakeholders.Our first step will be to lobby governments at all levels - local, state and federal to incorporate the CLA project into their development polices and include the funding of the project into budgetary allocations.
Then we will partner with the Federal and State Ministries of Environment, Forestry departments and other agencies for integration of the project in their Mangrove forest management plans.
We will approach private companies operating in these coastal communities like the oil exploration companies and financial institutions to incorporate CLA projects into their Corporate Social Responsibility Plans.
We will seek for International Agencies support with funds for implementation of the capital projects and some local NGOs and individual philanthropist to sponsor the trainings and sensitization programme.
Local consultants, training institutions and private business owners will be be engaged for the training and skill acquisition programme.
Community members will be carried along from design to implementation of the projects. They would also be included in the monitoring and evaluation of the outcome.
Where will these actions be taken?
CLA is primarily designed for coastal communities in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria . However, a pilot would first be carried out at two coastal communities in one of the Niger Delta states to be selected by random sampling, thereafter, the project would be replicated in the other coastal communities in the region depending on the impacts of the pilot and availability of funds.
This project could be replicated in any coastal community in Africa or other developing countries and could also be applicable to arid communities experiencing drought exacerbated by deforestation.
In addition, specify the country or countries where these actions will be taken.
No country selected
No country selected
No country selected
No country selected
What impact will these actions have on greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?
Although there is no accurate estimate of how much carbon this project can sequester through conserving mangrove, however, according to UNEP, global mangrove forests can sequester as much as 22.8 million tons of carbon per yearhttp://www.unep.org/stories/story/mangroves-spotlight
While it is also difficult to quantify the potential harm this proposal will reduce, however, a report by Reuters stated that, "Coastal wetlands remaining in the northeast of the United States saved more than $625 million in flood damages from Hurricane Sandy, around 1 percent of the total flood damages from the 2012 hurricane" (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-insurance-climatechange-research-idUSKBN1932NF).
According to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the 2012 flooding which affected 30 of the 36 States of Nigeria, affected 7 million peopled in these States, 597, 476 houses were destroyed, 2.3 million displaced and 363 death were reported with large track of farmland and other means of livelihoods destroyed. The Post Disaster Needs Assessment conducted from November 2012 to March 2013 put the total damages and losses at US$16.9bn (Tami, et. al, 2015). CLA could greatly reduce these damages if implemented.
What are other key benefits?
Expected outcomes of Community Livelihood Alternatives
1. New skills acquired by local communities
2. Reduced pressure on mangroves
3. Change of traditional lifestyle
4. Mangrove is conserved
5. Improved Livelihoods
6. Conservation conscious community
7. Flood risks prevented/reduced
8. Communities are better able to adapt to flood risk
What are the proposal’s projected costs?
We estimate that the pilot project will cost the sum of $500,000. This funds for the project can be harnessed through government budget allocation, public-private partnership, donor agency funding or as part of private company CSRs.
There are no anticipated side effects of the proposed actions rather it is a project that can bring about economic development and reduce pressure on the environment. However, like in other projects, funds may be a major challenge to the project implementation.
Also, change of lifestyle is always gradual, therefore it is anticipated that there maybe resistant at first but with time, the communities will come to appreciate their new lifestyle.
The short-term (1-15 years) impacts of CLA are:
1. Livelihood enhancement
2. Increased household income for community people
3. more responsible and accountable citizens
3. Reduced pressure on mangrove forest
It is projected that the medium-term (15-50 years) impacts will include:
1. Mangrove re-growth
2. Reduced flood events
For the long-term (50-100 years) impacts, we anticipate:
1. safer environment
2. Increased sequestration of carbon by mangrove
About the author(s)
Glory is an environment professional, a sustainable development advocate, and natural resources conservation activist with expertise in strategic environmental planning, proposal development, project implementation, policy design, environmental impact assessments, research and monitoring and evaluation of projects. She holds a masters degree in Environmental Science with specialisation in Environmental Planning and Management from UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft, Netherlands and a Bachelor of Science in Geography and Regional Planning from University of Uyo, Nigeria. She also holds a certificate of participation for the 2015/2016 Startup Programme for Water, Sanitation and Natural Resources Management Entrepreneurs coordinated by the Centre for Water Management Services, Willisau, Switzerland. Glory has over 6 years experience, working on climate change related policy and advocacy projects and research within an environment-focused non-governmental organisation. She is currently the managing director/CEO of Future Green Environmental services Limited, a company that help organizations, government agencies and private entities working in the environment, water, sanitation, energy and agriculture sectors enhance their impacts and capacity to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate project outcomes through provision of customized services in project development, capacity building, training, research and technical assistance in monitoring and evaluation of project.
Amos, E., Akpan, U., & Ogunjobi, K. (2014). Households’ perception and livelihood vulnerability to climate change in a coastal area of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 1-22. doi: 10.1007/s10668-014-9580-3
BDCP. (2007). Implementation of a Public Awareness and Public Participation Programme in Relation to Mangrove Depletion And Proposed Re-Forestation in Coastal Nigeria. Feasibility Studies report Mangrove and Nypa. Prepared for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization
Tami, A. G., & Moses, O. B. E. N. A. D. E. (2015). Flood vulnerability assessment of Niger Delta states relative to 2012 flood disaster in Nigeria. vol, 3, 76-83.