The Royal Government of Norway and UNDP Sign an Agreement to kick-start the North West Climate-Peace Hubs: A Climate Security Approach to Conflict Prevention Project

November 2, 2022

H.E Mr. Knut Eiliv Lein the Ambassador of the Royal Kingdom of Norway to Nigeria and Mr. Mohammed Yahya, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme

ABUJA – 2 November, 2022, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations Development Programme have signed an Agreement to kick-start the North West Climate-Peace Hubs: A Climate Security Approach to Conflict PreventionProject that will be implemented between December 2022 to 30th November, 2025. The Climate-Security project aims to address the mounting insecurity in North-Western Nigerian that has been exacerbated by the persistent herder-farmer tensions, rising crime and banditry, inter-ethic distrust and unstainable natural extraction. Due to these factors, the region has become extremely vulnerable and is being affected by the impacts of climate change with communities in Sokoto, Katsina and Zamfara being the worst affected by the growing crisis.

Environmental degradation has increased in urban centres of the North-western region as people in these communities cannot go to forested areas to get wood for cooking and heating because these areas are now inhabited by bandits. As a result, community members have started to cut trees and shrubs around urban areas, deteriorating natural barriers and ecosystems that prevent floods from occurring. Due to deforestation and land degradation, floods have increased during the rainy season which has led to immense infrastructure loss and aggravating food production distribution and livelihoods.

Speaking during the signing of the Agreement, H.E Mr. Knut Eiliv Lein the Ambassador of the Royal Kingdom of Norway to Nigeria mentioned that “The new partnership agreement that we are about to sign today is one I look very much forward to follow and continue to be personally involved in. The links between climate and security is high priority for Norway. In developing this program, we will move from discussing the challenges to actually addressing them head on.” Ambassador Lein further added that, “ a key challenge going forward will be to secure local ownnership. We as internationals can only do so much, we need the political leadership of the region to step up if the intervention should be sustaineble.”

H.E Mr. Knut Eiliv Lein the Ambassador of the Royal Kingdom of Norway to Nigeria

Nigeria has faced cycles of violence since independence in 1960. According to the Global Risk Index INFORM, Nigeria has one of the highest projected conflict risk indexes and is at increased risk of socio-economic vulnerability and food insecurity. Violence has reached alarming levels: the murder rate in Nigeria was 34.5 per 100 000 inhabitants in 2016, which compares with a global average of 6 per 100 000 in that year. The adverse effects of climate change on natural resource availability and scarcity have been identified among the root causes of the conflict. One of the objectives of the Climate-Security project is to close the gap of government systems that collect and manage reliable data around climate change-related variability that are co-related to agricultural production. The violent conflict has altered the local coping capacities of the rural communities to deal with climatic risks affecting their livelihoods, creating a vicious cycle where natural disasters hit harder, aggravating existing tensions and leading to new conflicts.

Mr. Mohammed Yahya, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme briefied the Ambassador H.E  Knut Eiliv and the delegation present at the signing ceremonny stating that “this project aimes to foster resilience against climate and security risks through a conflict-sensitive manner that will eventually contribure to improved access to data that will inform policy-makers on anticipatory actions to curb climate and conflict risks.” Mr. Yahya further added that the Climate-Security project will eventually provide access to conflict sensitive and climate resilient livelihood and green jobs to the communities in North-western. Additionally, he mentioned that the Climate-Security project will strengthen systems and practices for communal management of natural resources.

Mr. Mohammed Yahya, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme in Nigeria

The Project will contribute towards enhancing peace dividends in the region through the deployment of nature-based solutions and climate-smart livelihoods that will eventually address the root causes of insecurity in the selected locations. The Project will also enhance the component of climate-security information and data systems that will ensure evidence-based policy is supported while ensuring that green jobs and climate resilient livelihoods for young people and women and men are created.

 Further the Climate-Security project will aim to revitalise and facilitate to reinstate local dispute resolutions systems that have been weakened as a result of competition for natural resources. In addition, the project will incorporate natural resource management best practices during the implementation phase that will also address the rising insecurity that has caused a social strain. These best practices will utilize inter-communal forums that still provide a foundation for communal stability. Traditional and religious institutions as well as kinship ties remain strong entry points for community cohesion, including through rebuilding local value systems for mutual accountability and trust. Linking such local systems to state level climate and conflict resilience infrastructures is critical in sustaining peace processes and enhancing capacities to coordinate and support climate adaptation, food security and climate-smart livelihood efforts.

This programme seeks to invest in large scale landscape and watershed restoration in an effort to strengthen productive capacities of vulnerable populations. The Norway supported project implemented by UNDP will complete this large investment through the production of data and resilience information systems, enhancing natural resource management institutions at local level and incubating prototypes of climate-resilient livelihoods and green jobs that can be scaled up beyond the two States of Katsina and Sokoto.


Note to Editors

 About UNDP:

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the leading United Nations organisation fighting to end the injustices of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with a broad network of experts and partners in over 170 countries, UNDP helps nations to build integrated and lasting solutions for people and the planet.

 In Nigeria, UNDP provides technical and policy development support to the Federal Government of Nigeria and supports the implementation of interventions across various thematic areas to meet the medium to long-term national development prioritiesand the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Learn more:

About the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Abuja

Diplomatic relations between Nigeria and Norway was established just after Nigeria's Independence in 1960. In addition to Nigeria, the Norwegian Embassy in Abuja is also covering Benin, Togo and Cameroon.

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