Mainstreaming Climate Change into EIA Process in Nigeria: Perspectives from Projects in Northern Nigeria
Keywords:Climate Change, EIA, Climate Change Adaptation, Climate Change Mitigation, Northern Nigeria
The persistent issue of drought in Northern Nigeria is exacerbated by the reduction in precipitation and rise in temperature. Nigeria is being impacted by climate change in diverse ways, necessitating the immediate implementation of proactive measures to tackle its challenges. It is crucial to integrate adaptation and mitigation into the country's development plans. The objective of the study is to identify current practices, gaps, and opportunities for incorporating climate change into the EIA framework; and the integration of climate change considerations into the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process from projects in Northern Nigeria. The study assesses various criteria in EIA reports, such as vulnerability assessments, climate projections, adaptation measures, stakeholder engagement, and policy compliance. A self-created questionnaire titled "Mainstreaming Climate Change within EIA" was utilized to collect data. The questionnaire was designed with an interactive format, divided into three main categories (Category A, B, C). It was conducted between February and April 2022, with 400 potential volunteers receiving electronic and hard copies of questionnaires, resulting in 127 valid responses. The findings from five EIA reports of projects in Northern Nigeria revealed significant gaps in addressing climate change, including limited attention to vulnerability and risk assessments, inadequate reporting of adaptation measures, and insufficient stakeholder engagement. Key stakeholder interviews conducted support the relevance and significance of incorporating climate change adaptation skills into the EIA process. However, the study contends that in order for stakeholders to accept mainstreaming climate change mitigation and adaptation, institutional and policy changes are needed.