Environmental Challenges with a Focus to Vegetation and Hydro-Ecological Vulnerability in Nigeria: Why Earth Observation Research and Education Matter?

Authors : Sa’ad Ibrahim

Volume/Issue : Volume 4 - 2019, Issue 12 - December

Google Scholar : https://goo.gl/DF9R4u

Scribd : https://bit.ly/2MUUYnN

Despite recent development in Earth observation technology, in Nigeria, the vulnerability of environmental resources in the natural ecosystems aggravated by man-induced environmental transformations and climate change have been a subject of concern among scientists and policy makers. The country is still facing enormous challenges in the area of environmental protection which is prompting the need for the development of a strong internal capacities in Earth observation. The effects of deforestation, land degradation, hydro-ecological dynamics, their temporal repeatability and magnitude, for example, require an effective evaluation through accurate analyses that would provide evidence-based information that is urgently needed otherwise the goal of environmental protection and sustainability will remain elusive. In Nigeria, specifically, the vegetation and hydro-ecological vulnerability couple with lack of appropriate technology for policy implementation resulted to change in microclimate, endanger wildlife, flooding, food insecurity, soil erosion, drought and conflict between herders and farmers. These developments have heightened the needs for a paradigm shift in research and education in Earth observation to encourage biodiversity mapping, environmental monitoring and sustainability. This paper reviews the short-coming of the environmental policies with specific reference to vegetation and water resource development in the context of vulnerability assessments and the potential application of remote sensing. The paper also highlights the challenges facing remote sensing/ Earth observation research and education in Nigeria and therefore proffer numerous recommendations to address those challenges.

Keywords : Earth observation; Remote sensing; Vulnerability; Vegetation; Hydrology; Education; Research; Environment; Policy; Nigeria.


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