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Rainforest Conservancy In Bayelsa State: Need For Action

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This initiative is aimed at the establishment of civil society-led indigenous people-owned rainforest conservancies in Bayelsa State and is in line with the principles and spirit of the Ramser Convention on Wetlands; Convention on Biodiversity (CB) and the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNCCC). It is expected that the indigenous landowners, civil society organisations and NGOs will co­manage the conservancies with government and donor agencies.

Climate change and global warming are the greatest problems of the world today. Over the last few years, and in different fora across the globe, world leaders; environmentalists; policy makers and other stakeholders have met to discuss possible solutions to the various environmental problems arising from climate change.

The environment has been decaying so fast so much that it may no longer fully support any form of life in the next few decades if humanity do not come together and fight this degradation. In this regard, humans are the most affected. There are a lot of vehicular emissions and gas flaring in Bayelsa State. There is deforestation and destruction of biodiversity. More carbon dioxide is replacing oxygen in the atmosphere. These problems have serious adverse effect on the environment and sustainability of life on the planet earth. So far no concrete action is being undertaken by the various governments in Nigeria and something urgent needs to be done.

Conservation of biodiversity and pollution of the environment. Oil extraction started in Bayelsa State some Background

Oil extraction industry and urbanisation are in plain contradiction with the 50 years ago with the discovery of Oloibiri oilfield. Today, however, Bayelsa State is one of the leading producers of oil and gas’ among the oil mineral producing states in the country. Since 1996 when Bayelsa State was created with capital at Yenagoa, there has been accelerated deforestation and loss of biodiversity in the capital city area. The city is being developed physically without any Environmental  Impact Assessment being carried out to determine the extent of environmental damage being done to the environment and the people who inhabit the capital.

To check this air pollution and loss of biodiversity problem, Development Pathfinder, an NGO, is of the opinion that a small Rainforest Conservancy Project be initiated to convince the indigenous landholding families to put their land into best practices of sustainable forest management, sustainable eco-farming and sustainable eco-tourism.

The initiative is timely so as to mitigate the forthcoming destruction of biodiversity that will arise from the Integrated Oil and Gas Project and the Gas Power Station both at Gbarain near Yenagoa.

Development Pathfinder will network with all levels of government; all oil exploration and exploiting companies and donor agencies to support this initiative since it is a global property meant to maintain the planet earth.

Definition

A conservancy may be defined as a specified piece of land or territory which natural resources must be managed under best practices by the indigenous landholding families, thus making it a civil society led approach. None, one or more villages communities may be located within a conservancy. The object of conservancy is sustainable forest management, using various tools such as forest landscape zonation; reduced impact logging; forest stewardship or certification, environmental governance, sustainable agriculture, livestock, fishing, fresh water resources management; wildlife culture and wetland management. Obviously, this will bring about tourism based community development, through ecotourism and more jobs will be created and poverty will be greatly reduced in the conservancies.

Experiences in other countries

A number of countries all over the world are into conservation. Namibia gained independence from South Africa in 1990. its land mass is 823,700sq.km with a population of about 2 million. It has four biomes: desert, savanna, woodland, and wetland. Its economy depends greatly on natural resources, minerals, agriculture, fisheries, wild life tourism. In 1996, four conservancies were in existence. By 2002, 35 conservancies have emerged. This brings some 15,300.000 hectares of land under best practices in natural resources management.

In South Africa, there are both natural and urban based conservancies. In Australia indigenous people have title to land and lease some to the government for national park and co-managed with the indigenous people. Thus in Australia, the government and indigenous people are working together to advance the environment sustainably.

In countries where oil is extracted, in South America (Costa Rica, Gyuatemala, mexico, Peru etc) indigenous reserves are operated by the natives in partnership with their governments, the oil companies and donor agencies.

Since 1990s, Cross River State communities have introduced sustainable forest management techniques. Ever since, they are not only being supported by donor agencies but also gaining a lot through eco-tourism. One of the best success stories is the Ekuri initiative in Akamkpa LGA of the state.

Objectives

-Reduction of carbon emissions to reduce climate change

– Introduction of Environmental Governance

– Introduction of Local Community Agenda 21

– Sustainable forest management

– Culture and indigenous people

-rural livelihood and poverty eradication

– Eco-tourism based community development

– Wetland management

– Marine conservancy and zoning

– Seed farm centre

-Wildlife farming

– Forest landscaping and zoning

– Sustainable agriculture and fishes

– Maintain meteorological station

-Any other activity to restore the environment in line with global demands.

Pilot Projects

There could be as many conservancies as possible particularly at industrial stations and oilfields as well as in other areas where families are willing to participate. Examples include:

i. Brass Island

ii. Gbarain Gas Plant area

iii. Egunema (100ha), Epebu

iv. Oguta (100ha), Epebu

v. Obimonoti (100ha) Otuabula II

vi. Agili Otuabagi, Ogbia

Funding Mechanism

This project expects partnership and funding from various sources-multilateral, bilateral, international NGOs; National, State and Local Authority and Private organisations. The funding of rain forest conservancy establishment is highly supported by the Multilateral Environment Agreement (MEAs) which is relevant for the state.

GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT FACILITY (GEF)

The GEF was set up by the UN system to fund projects as part of the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto protocol. It allows development providers to improve projects such as this to reduce green house gases to achieve sustainable development. Nigeria is a member of GEF and there is a Bureau in the Federal Ministry of Environment, Abuja which is supporting projects in some states in the country.

Above all, the state government should as a matter of urgency establish an independent rainforest conservancy trust fund which will not only promote project documentation and transaction cost, but also kick start small projects before soliciting for help.

Conclusion

The ability of a people or community to follow sustainable development path is determined to a large extent the capacity of its people and institutions. This statement is taken from chapter 37. Agenda 21, the blue print for sustainable futures produced by the Earth summit in 1992 at Rio De Janeiro. Brazil. But more than a decade and 3 half after, the international community continues to grapple with the theory and practice of capacity building in sustainable development and how best it can be anested.

A conservancy approach to natural resource management when indigenous people control their resources to meet global properties of biodiversity of climate change is in accordance with Agenda 21, the blue print of sustainable futures. It is also the best approach to governance for environmental sustainability in line with MDGs. Bayelsa State and indeed other states in Nigeria should therefore embrace the idea of developing conservancies so that our environment and its natural resources may be reasonably conserved.

 

Sam Egunema

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Tiwa Becomes Ambassador Of Smart Phone Brand

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Afrobeats songstress, Tiwa Savage has been unveiled as latest brand ambassador for a popular smartphone brand.
Before her official unveiling, the smartphone had teased its followers to guess who their latest ambassador by sharing a foggy image of the singer.
Officially welcoming her to their fold via its Instagram, as their ambassador for ‘Camon19Launch’, Tecnomobileng wrote: “Queen of Afrobeats! Mama Africa! Multitalented singer! Superstar extraordinaire and confirming the news in the comment section, the “Koroba” singer wrote: “The sexiest phone ever.”
Taking to her social media pages, Tiwa announced to her fans that she is the newest brand ambassador for smartphones.
Sharing an advert snippet of the brand, Tiwa wrote: “This one is highly approved by the No1ABG, Your girl is on board with one of the coolest brands ever – TECNO!

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Jungle Justice: Police Order Portable To Report Himself

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The Nigeria Police has ordered a Nigerian singer, Habeeb Okikiola, popularly known as Portable, to report himself over a viral video.
The Tide source reveals that Portable was seen in a viral video accusing a young man of sending a message to his ‘wife’, asking her to advise him to stay away from his friends for they had no glory.
In the video, the ZaZu Zeh crooner asked the young man to name his friends whom he was accusing of having no glory.
Without allowing his victim to say a word, the singer asked his boys to beat the helpless guy.
As they pounced on the victim, Portable was heard in the Yoruba language, saying “e luu pa”, that is, “beat him to death.”
Reacting, the Portable was asked to report to the Ogun State command as the incident happened somewhere within the state.
The Ogun State police spokesperson, Abimbola Oyeyemi, while describing the act as unbecoming and barbaric, asked the singer to surrender himself or be declared wanted.
“The attention of Ogun State Police Command has been drawn to a video clip circulating on social media, where a popular hip hop musician, Habeeb Okikiola (a.k.a Portable, the Zazu crooner), was seen organising some youths to beat up a young man and inflict bodily injury on him. The incident was said to have taken place somewhere within Ogun State about two days ago.
“Such unruly and violent behaviour is not only barbaric, but unbecoming of somebody who is supposed to be a role model for the youths and therefore should not be tolerated.
“In view of this, the Command is using this medium to advise Okikiola Habeeb, a.k.a Portable, to report himself at the nearest police station in Ogun State, failure of which his arrest will be ordered.
“The flagrant display of impunity by Portable in the viral video is condemnable and if not checked, it will send a wrong signal to the youths who are looking up to him as a role model.
“Jungle justice has no place in our laws and whoever embarked on it must be made to feel the weight of the law, no matter the status of such person,” Oyeyemi said. statement on Monday.

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Davido Earns N144.5m From Boston, Toronto Ticket Sales

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Nigeria’s Afrobeat superstar, David Adeleke alias Davido, who is currently on a North American tour labelled: “We rise by lifting others”, which began on June 16, at Brooklyn, New York, has made N144.5 million from the sold out ticket sales from History-Toronto, and House of Blue in Boston.
Figures released by SeatGeek showed that the award-winning singer’s tour tickets were generally sold for as little as $41.00, with an average price of $74.00. Davido made $185,000 (N76.8m) and $162,800 (N67.6m), totalling N144.5m based on an average ticket sales rate of N415.37 and the capacities of History (2,500) and House of Blues (2,200), according to BusinessDay.
Reports indicate ticket purchasers would go online to search for ticket prices using sites such as SeatGeek’s Deal Score Function which ranks tickets by value and shows buyers how good a deal they are getting when purchasing tickets.
While speaking with Trevor Noah, the daily show on the tour, Davido stated that his main aim of the North American tour was to showcase Africa in its entirety and to carry everyone along, especially Africans.
Award winning Nigerian singer, Davido Adeleke, has offered full scholarship to Suleyman, a young boy who got parallel A1 in WAEC exams.
Despite getting such an impressive result, Suleyman has been sitting at home due to lack of funds to sponsor his education at the tertiary level.
Fortunately for him, Davido heard about his condition and has promised to sponsor him through school and also take care of his allowance and accomodation. Davido tweeted: “We have contacted Suleyman who lives in Ghana and he has been given a full 4/5 year scholarship to Adeleke university.. accommodation and allowance included ! God bless y’all ..”

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