Climate Change is made up of discrepancies in the occurrence and magnitude of sporadic weather events and concomitant rise in world mean surface temperature. Perhaps, it is the most serious environmental threat facing humankind globally, essentially due to its direct and indirect impacts on virtually all sectors of the globally essentially due to its direct and indirect impacts on virtually all sectors of the global hazards through an increase in maximum temperature leading to more intense and frequent heat waves that cause cardiovascular and respiratory diseases in parts of the population particularly the aged, the sick and the urban poor. it impacts on agriculture in the length of crop cycles that lead to reduction in the quantity and quality of agricultural production, agro-related socio-economic activities, and ecological process.
The effect of climate change on countries like Nigeria is particularly of great concern due to limited capacity in resources and expertise to cope with mitigation and adaptation. Adaptation to climate change is becoming a focus in education to include climate change is becoming a focus in education to include climate change in its curriculum as its essence is to provide leadership in research, training, innovation and sustainable development. The project aims at building capacity in research, teaching, learning and outreach at the university so as to play leading roles in climate change adaptation in Nigeria and Africa.This will also include recording and studies of climatic variables in Nigeria and globally. The centre will also collaborate with centers such as NIMET, and NASRDA centers for Basic Space Science.
To address the challenges posed by adverse climate change and climate variability on the national development efforts, there is increasing need for enhanced human, institutional and system-wide capacity building initiatives plus the provision of adequate and predictable financial and technical assistance to help countries to effectively implement adaptation and mitigation projects consistent with the national sustainable development practices (UNNEP ,2008). To achieve this, the 12th congress of the African Association of Universities (AAU), held in Abuja, April 2009, concluded that there is a need for urgent reforms in the current pedagogy, knowledge diffusion structures, mindsets of actors, reward systems, governance structures and policy frameworks for African Universities to effectively engage in higher education for sustainable development including climate change adaptation.
Current pedagogies are centrally defined by University governance structures which are very hierarchical and rigid, and in most cases, discourage the culture of shared thinking and collaboration required for addressing complex system-related challenges such as global environmental change including climate change. The different stake holders are therefore urged to deliberate and work in trans-disciplinary manner to develop topics, courses and programmes for teaching and learning in climate change adaptation.
ABOUT THE INSTITUTION.
UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA
From the history and activities of the University of Nigeria, which was established as the first indigenous and autonomous University in Nigeria to serve as an engine of socio-economic development of the country, it is well positioned to play a leading role in climate change adaptation in Nigeria and Africa. A number of departments in the University have for a long time been involved in teaching and research at both undergraduate and post graduate levels in climatic studies and atmospheric research most notably, Department of Physics & Astronomy which has produced over 15 PhDs in atmospheric/Geophysics research and is collaborating with a number of observatories in the world such as University of Delaware Harvard Smithsonian Centre for Atmospheric Sciences, U.S.A. etc
In the Faculty of Agriculture and Geography department programs in climatic teaching and research have also been going on. The University is strongly linked to all higher institutions in the country and has some ongoing collaboration with renowned National and International Institutions in the domain of climate analysis and modeling Also the University of Nigeria is housing the NARSDA Centre for Basic Space Science which has as one its mandate to carry out basic research in atmospheric sciences.
There is also a serious linkage and collaboration between the University of Nigeria and NIMET. This linkage has been extended to ACCAI.
We strongly recommend a setup just like the one being used by CBSS, which can monitor simultaneously real time atmospheric parameters and changes in different parts of Nigeria using wireless telemetry. the information and analysis so obtained can meaningfully be utilized in African climate change adaptation initiative.
Her population of over 20,000 undergraduates and over 7,000 postgraduates found in 15 faculties and 71 academic programmes and 211 postgraduate programmes are domiciled, properly position her to champion climate change adaptation strategies.
THE STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES OF ACCAI
The overall purposes of this initiative is to build and up-scale the capacity for research, teaching, learning and outreach services in climate change adaptation within the University of Nigeria. Specifically the Objectives are to:
- Assess the current climate change adaptation teaching, research an outreach at the University.
- Strengthen what the University offers already, with a vision to design and deliver degree programmes (B.Sc, M.Sc&Ph.D) or short courses that embrace adaptation to global environment environmental change.
- Enhance University teaching-research-community outreach and build the science-policy-practice interface of climate change adaptation
- Extend the initiative to benefit a wider audience and enhance the university’s visibility and capacity for dealing with climate change adaptation problems.
- Adapt research products into policy brief for the use by governments, business and other stake holders
- Design participatory strategies and approaches for communicating and raising awareness on climate change adaptation.
- Conduct action oriented research for use at grassroots level. Including in instrumentation, data collection and analysis on Nigeria & Africa climates.
- Partner with civil society organizations to take the initiative forward in other fora.
EXPECTED OUTPUTS/ DELIVERABLES
- Documentation of existing climate change results and climate adaptation teaching, research and outreach activities at the University.
- Capacity building of some selected staff and students through training workshops, conferences, and exchange visits.
- A publication on climate change adaptation mechanisms in different areas of human endeavor.
- Climate change adaptation (CCA) topics, courses, programmes (certificate and degree) developed and implemented on climate change and climate change adaptation.
- New partnerships established with local and international institutions, and existing ones strengthened.
- Formation of climate change clubs.
- Policy makers in education sensitized to support the curriculum review, teaching, research and outreach on climate change adaptation in universities;
- The initiative extended to other universities in Nigeria to achieve a multiplier effect.