AUN Professor Gregory Sclama who had the honor of serving as a panelist alongside newly appointed Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed, has listed policy options to support development in Nigeria’s Northeast region.
The forum was a Public Policy Forum organized in partnership with the European Union and Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Center in Abuja in October to highlight the dual environmental crises of desertification and deforestation that Nigeria faces presently.
Dr. Sclama, who teaches International Development and Economics in the School of Arts and Sciences, focused on the relationship between the environmental crisis and food security in the Lake Chad region. He explained that while environmental pressures may affect crop production, the underlying issue was not a lack of food availability but rather that vulnerable groups lack access to food. The crisis must therefore be seen as one of underdevelopment. He pointed out that the region has some of the lowest human development indicators in the world. He stressed that governments and civil society groups must address the underlying development issues such as low education levels, high child mortality, and lack of basic services along with environmental stewardship to combat the problem.
At the Forum, Ms. Amina Mohammed, erstwhile Nigerian Minister of Environment, discussed the importance of job creation to reduce conflict among those affected by climate change, the promotion of clean cooking fuels in rural and urban homes, and the Great Green Wall, a multi-country initiative to prevent desertification by planting trees along the southern border of the Sahara.
By Greg Sclama