It was very interesting reading Sheila Watt-Cloutier’s point of view as an Inuit about climate change in the chapter “The Inuit Right to Culture Based on Ice and Snow.” Of course everyone has seen videos of polar bears on ice as the ice breaks apart in chunks, but I never thought about how the thinning of ice also affected Inuit people. Ice is a huge part of transportation for the Inuit and climate change is affecting more than just transportation, but also food supply. The land and this way of life is huge part of the Inuit’s cultural identity and by allowing climate change to continue we are all responsible for the destruction of this cultural history. I believe it is a moral obligation that we need to protect our planet, not just for the Inuit, but also for the huge loss of life caused by climate change. Global warming is increasing the temperature of the oceans which is killing coral and the animals that life on coral reefs. Also, the warming temperatures melt the ice caps which raises the level of the ocean which has devastating impacts for islands and coastal cities. The impact of global warming is astronomical and clearly needs to be addressed.
I had a hard time figuring out if the global warming awareness group 350 is actually tied to Nigeria. Eventually, I learned that the Nigerian Red Cross and the Nigerian Youth Coalition were listed as allies of 350 and they worked with the Nigerian Youth Coalition on an Earth Day celebration in 2010. Also, 350 does have blog posts about Nigeria, but it is not apparent whether these bloggers are part of 350 or if 350 had direct involvement with the events discussed in the blogs.
Water.org does not work with Nigeria, but Nigeria is a member of Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) and their local branch is called Environmental Rights Action (ERA) which was formed in 1993. According to their website, this organization “is dedicated to the defence of human ecosystems in terms of human rights, and to the promotion of environmentally responsible governmental, commercial, community and individual practice in Nigeria through the empowerment of local people.” Obviously since a huge part of Nigeria’s exports are oil related products, the FoEI/ERA focuses on protecting the Niger Delta from the oil companies. They also work on environmental health, food sovereignty, biodiversity and many other things on both local and global levels.
Both the FoEI and Greenpeace have written about Ken Saro-Wiwa and his efforts in 1995 to protect Nigerian land from Shell’s oil drilling. Shell’s efforts to procure oil from Ogoniland ruined and polluted farmland and waterways. Ken Saro-Wiwa created the peaceful organization called the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) which the Nigerian military attempted to suppress (allegedly using arms and transportation provided by Shell). Later, Ken and 8 members of MOSOP were framed for a murder and they were executed by the Nigerian government on November 10, 1995.
The Women Environmental Programme (WEP) is a non-profit and non-governmental organization in Nigeria that was founded in 1997. The WEP’s goal is to “create awareness of the general public on the vulnerability and adaptation of gender impact to climate change,” so they tie together the problems of gender inequality and climate change in Nigeria. One of WEP’s big environmental focuses is renewable energy and clean water initiatives.
Overall through my research I learned of many environmental organizations that were founded in Nigeria, but I did not find many organizations that are based outside of Nigeria that work with the country. I also learned about the Nigerian Environmental Study Action Team (NEST) which was founded on July 17, 1987. This organization links two problems together like the WEP, but instead of talking about gender inequality and the environment, NEST focuses on poverty and environmental degradation. Clearly these two issues are closely linked because as climate change increases so does problems with agriculture and natural disasters.