The BNRCC project’s technical work is organized into four components while each component is to be headed by a Team Leader. They are as follows:
• Adaptation Research component
• Pilot Project Component
• Adaptation Policy Component
• Communications, Outreach and Networking Component
Adaptation Research Component
The understanding of vulnerability to climate change and the strategies and pathways for adaptation are currently enveloped in high uncertainties, particularly in developing countries where adequate scientific data is lacking in many respects. Research is needed to support improved understanding of the extent of past, current and future climate variability and potential climate change in Nigeria, as a basis for developing adaptation options likely to ensure that poor and disadvantaged groups benefit from the adaptation process rather than bearing the burdens.
The strategic research programmes presented below are the focus of BNRCC:
• Improved understanding of the key drivers of climate variability and climate change
• Improved computer models of climate variability and change
• Assessment of vulnerability and impacts, including social and economic vulnerability
• Assessment of the scenarios and framework for adaptation to biophysical impacts
• Assessment of options for adaptation (including gender dimensions)
• Development of a national climate change information/data system (NCCIDS).
Pilot Projects Component
The goal of community-based adaptation (CBA) projects is to increase resilience of communities by enhancing their capacity to cope with climate change impacts. Pilot projects at the community level can provide lessons that reflect unique local circumstances. They can guide policies and projects so as to enhance the capacities of males and females to respond to the effects of climate change and reduce possible impacts upon their livelihoods. They can also provide lessons from which development organizations and local communities can learn.
This component is focusing upon vulnerability reduction (options to reduce vulnerability of general population and high risk groups including women) and adaptation (options for adapting including better preparedness, awareness, empowerment and livelihood options) by establishing projects that consist of the following elements:
• Community situation assessment (current vulnerabilities, risks, impacts, adaptive capacity, adaptive practices, gender assessment, culture, community structure, etc.)
• Community needs assessment (awareness of and response to current climate variability and expected climate change)
• Implementation of an integrated community response or implementation of specific technologies or economic development initiatives.
The pilot projects are involving a mix of community scales, including small and large communities, and urban areas. Typically, BNRCC support is available for a period of approximately two years, but project design emphasizes sustainability of benefits after the period of BNRCC support.
Adaptation Policy Component
Numerous policies related to environment and climate does exist in Nigeria covering several sectors such as environment, energy, agriculture, health and sanitation, housing and urban development, and gender. However, many of these policies were formulated solely by the federal government using the top-down approach. Furthermore, there is lack of proper coordination between these policies and sectors, which has limited the focus on climate change adaptation. A National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy could help address this situation by guiding the integration of climate change adaptation into government policies, strategies, and programmes, with particular focus on the most vulnerable groups.
The BNRCC approach to address policy gaps encompasses both immediate and longer term policy-oriented activity:
• In the short term, BNRCC will support selected activities designed to promote early steps towards mainstreaming climate change adaptation into government policies, strategies, and programmes.
• In the longer term, BNRCC will support the development of a National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy that will encourage and support integration of climate change adaptation into government policies, strategies, and programmes, including NEEDS and SEEDS.
Communication, Outreach and Networking Component
The effective promotion of access to information on vulnerabilities, impacts and adaptation to climate change represents an indispensable element in building Nigeria’s national response to climate change. Effective information dissemination and networking (in the right format, quality and language) enhances people’s knowledge base for proactive engagement on climate change and its effects, and creates a sound foundation for policy formulation and action on climate change adaptation.
BNRCC is developing and supporting outreach, education, and networking activities relating to climate change adaptation. Working with key partners and other stakeholders with relevant knowledge and expertise, BNRCC is:
• Developing a gender-sensitive Adaptation Outreach Action Plan for the project, this will define the focus of BNRCC’s outreach activities.
• Based on this Plan, the project is directly delivering some elements of the Plan, and support delivery of other elements by identified partners.
Gender Equality as a Cross-Cutting Issue in the BNRCC Project
Scientific evidence suggests that the world’s climate is changing and no one will be immune from the overall impacts. But climate change will have a disproportionate effect on the lives of poor people in developing countries, where poverty increases people’s vulnerability to its harmful effects. In both rural and urban centres environmental degradation results in negative effects on health, well-being and quality of life of the population at large, particularly girls and women of all ages.
There is enough evidence to show that women are at the centre of sustainable development, and that ensuring greater gender equality in all sectors benefits society as a whole. Yet, debates into mainstreaming gender issues on climate change and sustainable development is happening slowly and in a piecemeal fashion, with varying degrees of success. This is made more complex by women’s lack of participation in decision-making at all levels, and the fact that the climate debate so far has made little effort to package the issues in a way that ordinary people can even understand, let alone participate in. It will not be until marginalized groups are given the opportunity to build their capacity, lower their vulnerability, and diversify their sources of income that policies on climate change can be successful.
Successful attainment and sustainability of the overall BNRCC goal of reducing poverty and improving living conditions for both women and men through better climate change adaptation strategies and programmes in Nigeria requires integrated gender equality (GE) approach, including certain gender-specific measures within key components of the Project.
It is acknowledged that achieving gender equality means advancing women’s equal participation with men as decision-makers in shaping the sustainable development of their societies and reducing inequalities in access to and control over the resources and benefits of development.
In addition to other general strategies, specific measures in each of the four components of the BNRCC Project will outline how gender equality will be addressed in an integrated way (e.g. gender assessment, gender dimensions) and/or how specific project components/activities will target women as key beneficiaries/participants.