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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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Kizz Daniel Set To Drop Two  New Singles

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After kicking off 2024 on a strong note, Kizz Daniel is set to continue his fine form with the release of two new singles titled ‘Double’ and ‘Baby Sha’.
Kizz Daniel made this revelation on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, in a post of him and his wife in what seems like a video shoot for the new single ‘Baby Sha’.
The new singles were expected to be released yesterday, May 2024, and they will come off the back of the release of his hit-filled EP ‘Thankz Alot’.
Kizz Daniel has been in fine form in 2024 first releasing the Davido-assisted remix of his hit single ‘Twe Twe’ before sharing a 4 track EP that packed the hits ‘Showa’, ‘Too Busy To Be Bae,’ and ‘Sonner’.
The  Tide Entertainment reports that the award-winning sensation recently marked a high point in his career after a sold-out show at the OVO Wembley Arena in the UK where over 10,000 fans filled up the hall to see him perform his hit single.
Since revealing his marital status, Kizz Daniel’s wife has been a recurring figure in his promotional videos on social media.
Kizz Daniel’s new singles can be expected to convey the groovy signature that combines Indigenous elements with pop music and relatable writing that makes him a brilliant songwriter.

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‘I Was Told Playing Talking Drum Might Prevent Me From Having Kids-Ara The Drummer

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Famous talking drummer and the cultural ambassador of the Ooni of Ife, Aralola Olamuyiwa, simply known as Ara, has recalled how people tried to discourage her from playing the talking drum.
Ara, who is Africa’s first female talking drummer, disclosed that she was told that playing the talking drum might prevent her from having children but she broke the jinx.
”There are some drums females cannot play. I started with the traditional drums. But I evolved over the years. I played different instruments like bass guitar, keyboard, and set drums.
“But I wanted something different, so I started learning how to play the talking drum. People I asked to teach me were skeptical about teaching me because I am a woman. So I am self-taught.
“Although at some point, I was afraid. I was like, ‘what could happen to me?’ They were like, ‘you might not be able to have kids.’ It’s a traditional thing but I broke that jinx,” she said.

 

 

 

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Incompetence, Greed, Almighty Corruption – Charly Boy

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Nigerian singer and socialite Charly Boy has expressed his disapproval of the recent change of the Nigerian national anthem back to the original one.
Charly Boy slammed the change stressing that the national anthem was not a pressing problem for Nigerians.
“Misplaced Priorities, incompetence, greed and the almighty CORRUPTION can never be covered up by false propaganda. My people, What is our major challenge in this country, HUNGER or NATIONAL ANTHEM?”
Charly Boy’s followers took to the comment section, equally reacting to the recent change. A follower commented, “They don’t have bills in the house to sponsor. They can’t even recite the one we have today they want to go to learn the old one written by another man.” “The disconnect between the political rulers and the citizens is alarming,” said a concerned user. “WHICH WAY NIGERIA?” asked another person.
The Tide Entertainment reports that this comes after the Senate and the House of Representatives approved the legislation to change the national anthem from “Arise, O Compatriots” to “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.” Shortly after that, on May 29, 2024, President Tinubu signed the bill into law.
Lillian Jean Williams, a British expatriate who resided in Nigeria during its independence era, wrote the lyrics for “Nigeria, We Hail Thee,” while Frances Berda composed the music. However “Arise O Compatriots” was written by Pa Benedict Odiase, a Nigerian composer, and it was adopted from 1978 until 2024.

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