Climate change communication and education

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1. Context

2. Climate change education and training in the country

3. Climate change communication in the country

4. Monitoring and evaluation


  1. Context

i. Climate change context

The federal state of Nigeria has Africa’s largest economy and highest population and is also endowed with natural resources,  mainly crude oil, minerals, and arable land, among others. Nigeria has a federated governance system with 36 states and a federal capital territory called Abuja. The different states influence the development of climate change communication and education initiatives, as the country’s constitutional mandate to protect the environment lies with the states. The states are also responsible for implementing national climate policy or climate change communication frameworks—under the guidance of the relevant federal agency—and for achieving national targets.

According to the World Bank (2021), the ND-GAIN Index ranks Nigeria 160th out of 180 countries vulnerable to climate change. The country experiences natural hazards and climate-related events such as drought and floods. Nigeria’s risk profile indicates that climate change threatens key sectors, such as agriculture, health, and hydropower as a result of temperature increases and unpredictable rainfall. Coastal areas, hosting 25% of the population and the oil industry, face flooding risks and erosion. The Carbon Atlas indicates that Nigeria’s carbon emissions are 0.6 tCO2 per capita. Nigeria’s Third National Communication (TNC; 2020) shows that the most carbon-emitting sectors in the country are agriculture, forestry, and other land use (61%), energy (33.9%), waste (3.8%), and industrial processes and product use (2.2%). Nigeria has committed to reducing emissions by 40% by 2030 under the ‘Business as Usual’ scenario, which has inspired a significant increase in investment in climate-related activities. Nigeria is a non-Annex 1 country and ratified the United Nations Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol in 2004, the Paris Agreement in 2017, and the Doha Amendment in 2020.

Nigeria’s Third National Communication (2020) notes that women-headed households, Indigenous people, chronically sick people, children, and the elderly are more vulnerable to climate change and environmental impacts.

ii. Relevant government agencies 

Climate change

Nigeria’s lead government agency responsible for climate change is the National Council on Climate Change and was established in 2022. The Council is chaired by the President of Nigeria and reports directly to the Presidency.

The ministry of the Federal Ministry of Environment spearheads the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change to facilitate cross-sector coordination on climate initiatives and policy between ministries, departments, agencies, and other stakeholders. The Ministry also doubles as the Action for Climate Empowerment Focal Point for Nigeria. The Ministry’s mandate is to ensure environmental protection, natural resources conservation, and sustainable development. The Ministry also coordinates the implementation of climate change–related projects such as the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, which aims to promote awareness of sound environmental management. Furthermore, the Ministry oversees the National Agency for the Great Green Wall, which is responsible for combating desertification and land degradation, and for building people’s resilience against climate change.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development also plays a critical role in climate change in Nigeria. The Ministry houses the Federal Department of Agricultural Land and Climate Change Management Services. The Department is responsible for ensuring efficient and effective use of agricultural land and resources and building climate change resilience and sustainability, particularly for smallholder farmers. The Department also identifies and coordinates the rehabilitation of land degraded by climate change–induced effects such as drought, desertification, and floods.

The Federal Ministry of Water Resources in Nigeria is responsible for developing and implementing policies, projects, and programmes that enable sustainable access and use of water resources to meet the country’s environmental, economic, and sociocultural needs. The Ministry has a Climate Change Department that coordinates all climate change–related activities of the Ministry. Among the functions of this Department is promoting low-carbon development through renewable energy, capacity building in the water sector on climate change, sensitizing the public to climate change, and domesticating the globally-agreed United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in the water sector.

The Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning is vital for budgeting, coordinating, and allocating financial resources to the Ministries and departments coordinating climate change–related activities, including the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development.

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) is responsible for advising the federal government on aspects of meteorology, preparing and interpreting government policy on meteorology, and issuing weather and climate forecasts. The Agency has a Climate Services Unit with the mandate of reducing the vulnerability of communities to climate-related hazards, monitoring climate, analyzing climate variability, calculating climate indices to determine climate change or frequency of climate extremes, and mainstreaming the use of climate information in national development policies and strategies. In 2019, the Ministry of Aviation commissioned the Meteorological Institute of Science and Technology (MIST) in Katsina State. This institute is run by NIMET and was authorized by the federal government of Nigeria.

The Energy Commission of Nigeria, under the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, developed the Nigeria 2050 Calculator, a tool to plot and explore the pathways for climate change mitigation in Nigeria. The Commission also develops energy-related policies on climate change, especially on renewable energy. For instance, in consultation with relevant stakeholders, it revised the National Energy Policy (2022) to guide the country in developing sustainable energy sources to help it achieve its net-zero goals.

Education and communication

The Federal Ministry of Education in Nigeria is the umbrella agency responsible for education at all levels in Nigeria, from pre-primary to higher education and Technical Vocational and Training. The mission of the Ministry is to use education to foster the development of all Nigerian citizens to reach their full potential and to promote a strong and prosperous nation.

The Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) is a federal government agency responsible for implementing educational policies in Nigeria. The scope of service of the Agency includes curriculum development and implementation (primary and secondary education), book development, quality assurance and readership, language development and extension services, and educational research for public policy. There is no explicit mention of climate change on the Agency’s website.

The Department of Climate Change, under the Federal Ministry of Environment in Nigeria, has an Education, Awareness, and Outreach Division with the mandate to conduct public climate education and coordinate with other agencies—such as the Federal Ministry of Education—to implement climate change education initiatives. The Division’s mandate includes developing strategies for implementing education, awareness, and outreach programmes on climate change and its effects, liaising with relevant stakeholders on media education, outreach, and awareness, and collaborating with non-governmental organizations in climate education. For instance, the Department of Climate Change has partnered with Germany on a Hydrogen Energy project as the country prepares to transition from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources.

iii. Relevant laws, policies, and plans 

Climate change

With climate legislation, Nigeria developed a national Climate Change Act in (2021) to “provide for the mainstreaming of climate change actions, establish the National Council on Climate Change; and for related matters” (p. 1). Article 1 of the Act indicates some objectives for the establishment of the Act:

  1. ensuring that Nigeria formulates programs for achieving its long-term goals on climate change mitigation and adaptation,
  2. facilitating the coordination of climate change action needed to achieve long-term climate objectives, and
  3. mainstreaming climate change actions in line with national development priorities. (p. 1)

The Climate Change Act (2021) established the National Council on Climate Change, which is now responsible for all climate change–related programmes and actions. A Director General of the Council was appointed in July 2022.

Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Environment developed the latest National Climate Change Policy 2021–2030 in 2021 to guide the country’s efforts in implementing actions for combating climate change. The Policy’s goals include reducing the country’s vulnerability to climate change impacts across all sectors; improving social, cultural, economic, and ecological resilience; reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and increasing climate change awareness for better climate adaptation and mitigation. According to the Policy, the above goals can be achieved through measures such as strengthening synergy and coordination among the local, regional, and national actors who are implementing the climate change response and mainstreaming gender, youth, and other vulnerable groups into all climate change interventions.

In 2022, Nigeria developed the new Energy Transition Plan to help the country achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. The plan sets out various pathways to attract investment and reduce emissions in energy transport, cooking, and industry. According to the Plan, Nigeria is set to attract investment from multiple international organizations and financing institutions, including the World Bank, European Commission, Japan International Cooperation Agency, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

One of the strategic priorities of the Nigeria, Medium Term National Development Plan (2021–2025) is building a thriving and sustainable economy. The government developed this 5-year Plan to enhance the capacity of public, private, and social sectors to boost sustainable development competitiveness and industrialization. The Plan’s legal framework aims to implement the Climate Change Act (2021), stating that it would “ensure the implementation of the Climate Change Act, which supports the development of decarbonization pathways in line with a new climate economy” (p. 46).

The Department of Climate Change in Nigeria developed the country’s National Action Plan on Gender and Climate Change for Nigeria (2020). The Plan aims to “ensure that national climate change efforts in Nigeria mainstream gender considerations so that women, men, youth, and other vulnerable groups can have access to, participate in, contribute to and hence optimally benefit from climate change initiatives, programs, policies and funds” (p. 4). The Plan has outlined the actions for mainstreaming gender, and between 2023 and 2025, and plans to conduct training for capacity development and other practical training for communities on sustainable agricultural practices and forest management. The Nigerian government developed the Plan under the country’s National Gender Policy (2006, revised 2021) to address the imbalance of opportunities available for women and men. The Federal Ministry of Education developed the Policy in consultation with other agencies such as the Federal Ministry of Environment, the Federal Ministry of Justice, and Nigeria Police Force.

The Federal Ministry of Environment, in collaboration with external stakeholders including the National Adaptation Plan Global Network, developed Nigeria’s National Adaptation Plan Framework (2020) to guide the country in articulating climate change adaptation objectives and principles to guide actions and responsibilities among relevant stakeholders in Nigeria. The Plan will enable Nigeria to meet the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) obligations. Specifically, the Plan focuses on two of the 13 UNFCCC principles: 1) to ensure “mitigation and adaptation are integral components of the policy response and strategy to cope with climate change,” and 2) that “climate change policy is integrated with other interrelated policies towards promoting economic and environmental efficiency” (p. 7).

Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Environment, in collaboration with the Department of Climate Change, developed the Nigeria Climate Change Response Programme (2019–2023), a four-year programme that provides technical assistance to Nigeria to achieve the Paris Agreement pledge of reducing gas emissions by 45% by 2050. The European Union funds the program to ensure that Nigeria achieves its climate change goals while concurrently grows economically, and this programme is being piloted in Ogun and Kano states. At the time of this report, there were no reported results from this initiative.

The Federal Ministry of Environment developed a National Action Plan to Reduce Short-lived Climate Pollutants (2019) to mitigate the country’s short-lived pollutants that contribute to global warming, particularly carbon dioxide. According to the Plan, short-lived climate pollutants are classified as those that “have a relatively short lifetime in the atmosphere of a few days to about a decade and a half in the atmosphere” (p. ii). The pollutants targeted in this Plan include methane, tropospheric ozone, black carbon, and hydrofluorocarbons.

Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health formulated the National Child Health Policy (2022), emphasizing the need to confront globalization, climate change, and insurgency impacts on health. The policy pinpoints climate-related risks and other challenges, including insurgency, HIV/AIDS, COVID-19, mental health, substance abuse, and environmental threats as primary concerns for the nation's health sector.

The National Climate Change Policy (2021) includes policy measures for integrating climate change at primary and secondary levels. For instance, the NCCP states that the government intends to “support and fund primary, secondary and tertiary health systems and sector actors to adopt key elements of climate-smart healthcare” (p.20).

Education and communication

Nigeria’s Climate Change Act (2021) addresses the need for climate education in the country. The Act directs the Federal Ministry of Environment to establish a National Council on Climate Change, which, according to Article 26 (1) and with approval from the Council, the secretariat of the Council shall,

Advise the MDAs [Ministries Departments and Agencies] responsible for regulating educational curriculum in Nigeria on the integration of climate change into the various disciplines and subjects across all educational levels. (p. 18)

In addition, Article 26 (2)(b) states that the Secretariat shall,

(b) support scientific research and other similar projects relevant to the formulation and development of educational curricula and programs geared towards adaptation and risk mitigation. (p. 19)

The Federal Ministry of Environment’s National Action Plan on Gender and Climate Change for Nigeria (2020) indicates the country’s commitment to climate education. The Plan’s action plan and timeline for 2020–2025 includes plans to produce climate change “information, education and communication (IEC) materials such as posters and flyers” (p. 46) in local languages,  and to “design and develop online short courses as well as courses for educational institutions on climate change, gender, energy, and transport” (p. 46). The Plan also intends to “build the capacity of educational institutions (Primary, Secondary, University) on waste management” (p. 51).

Nigeria’s Department of Climate Change developed the National Climate Change Policy (2021) to bring climate change into the mainstream in the country. Nigeria recognizes that climate change threatens the country’s ability to build and maintain human capital through education. Therefore, the Policy was partly developed to increase the country’s capacity to create human capital. The Policy states that the national education system in Nigeria needs to integrate climate science research and “build national capacity for climate assessment through training, education, and workforce development that ensures gender equity and social inclusion” (p. 43). The Policy also outlines the country’s commitment to strengthening the educational system’s capacity to provide proper climate education and research, including mass public education to build climate awareness.

Nigeria’s Third National Communication (2020) indicates that climate change in formal education in Nigeria is still lacking. The National Communication requests that the government follow the recommendations in the National Policy on Environment (2016) to mainstream climate change in education because climate change is not adequately integrated into the country’s study curricula at any level in the education sector. The National Policy on Environment’s aim is to ensure “environmental protection and the conservation of natural resources for sustainable development.” The Policy identifies climate change as a threat to the sustainability of livelihoods—particularly for sensitive sectors such as agriculture, which contributes 20% of the country’s GDP. The National Communication states that the Nigerian population is vulnerable to climate impacts because of the lack of education on climate change.

iv. Terminology used for Climate Change Education and Communication

In Nigeria, the terms used for climate change communication and education are diverse. The common terminology for climate change communication and education used in most Nigerian policies and programmes includes climate education, climate training, awareness, capacity building, workforce development, and environmental education.

Some of the examples where these terminologies have been used include the National Climate Change Policy (2021). The Policy suggests that through the policy, Nigeria intends to “build national capacity for climate assessment through training, education, and workforce development that ensures gender equity and social inclusion” (p. 43).

In addition, the Third National Communication (2020) uses related terminologies about gendered responsiveness to climate mitigation and adaptation. It states that Nigeria has “capacity-building initiatives aimed at bridging the gender gap by empowering young women in the areas of energy management, green energy sources, climate change awareness and building of solar panels” (p. 209).

The National Action Plan on Gender and Climate Change for Nigeria (2020) uses climate change communication to promote climate change education to the public. The Plan states that the government plans to “create awareness on the relationship between climate change, energy, and gender” by producing “information, education, and communication materials” in local languages. Other terms used to refer to climate change communication and education are used in the context of environmental education. For instance, the National Policy on Environment (2016) uses terms such as environmental education, environmental training, and environmental sensitization when referring to climate change communication and education. One of the Policy statements states that it will “ensure the participation of women and other vulnerable groups across all sections of society in environmental training, public awareness and sensitization campaigns” (p. 47).

v. Budget for climate change education and communication

The Heinrich Böll Sung (2022) report indicates that Nigeria, through the Federal Ministry of Environment, has accessed US$ 3.4 million of readiness funds and US$ 126.6 million from the international market of project funds from the United Nations Green Climate Fund. This supports targeted sectors across the board, particularly in agricultural and energy, to reduce emissions. The amount allocated to climate change communication and education–related activities is not known, but the funds will be used to fund climate change–related initiatives.

In 2021, Nigeria became the first major developing country to commit to set annual carbon budgets. In 2022, the country secured US$ 3 billion to finance its ambitious climate change plans of net-zero carbon emissions by 2060, which commenced with the launch of the Energy Transition Plan. The funds were secured from the World Bank and Exim Bank.

The World Bank (2022) reports that Nigeria benefited from a US$ 900 million Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Project (NEWMAP), which was meant to reinforce the country’s ability to fight climate-induced erosion, natural hazards, and natural disasters. The project trained over 185,000 people in environmental management to enhance their knowledge of environmental aspects such as land degradation, waste management, and catchment management to support local action on climate-related initiatives. The people who attained this training included local government officials and community members, although there is no specific information on the exact amount spent or allocated to climate change education and communication aspects.

The Climate Policy Initiative (2022) reports that in the financial year 2019–2020, Nigeria spent an average of US$ 1.9 billion on climate-related activities. This represents 11% of the estimated US$ 17.7 billion that the country requires annually, as reported in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). The report indicates that the private sector investment still lags behind public investment, and accounts for only 23% of the total finances committed to climate change in 2019–2020. According to the report, 16% was spent on education/research/training. There is no specific reported amount that was spent on climate change communication and education.

This factsheet states that between 2009 and 2019, the Global Environment Facility small grants programme provided US$ 5,057,431 in project financing for climate change–related activities, benefiting 50 climate change–mitigation projects. These projects involved creating awareness and teaching simple techniques such as rainwater harvesting to reduce the stress on water sources and the impact of drought, irrigation technology to reduce the stress of irrigation of farmlands, tree planting, and use of fuel-efficient stoves to reduce the consumption of fuelwood.

  1. Climate change education and training in the country

i. Climate change in pre-primary, primary, and secondary education 

Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council, revised the country’s 2008 curriculum in 2015 to divide it into two: the Basic Education curriculum and the Senior Secondary School (SSS) curriculum. Level 3 of the SSS curriculum includes climate change as a topic in the geography syllabus under the theme of environment and resources. The agricultural syllabus for SSS Level 3 also consists of agricultural economics and extension, including agricultural insurance and agricultural extension. The SSS Level 2 agricultural science syllabus also includes topics related to climate change, such as irrigation, agricultural pollution, agroforestry practices in Nigeria, and forest management. The mention of climate change for both SSS Level 2 and 3 could not be found because the content could not be accessed on the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council’s (NERDC) website. The geography syllabus for SSS Level 1 includes topics about climate change, such as climate change-II, climatic classification, and other related issues (environmental conservation, renewable and non-renewable resources, and environmental problems).

In the Nigerian Universal Basic Education curriculum, climate change–related themes such as global warming, environmental education, and elements of biodiversity have been sporadically included. Currently, climate change themes are inadequately incorporated into the Nigerian Universal Basic Education curriculum, covering both Primary 1–6 and Junior Secondary School (JSS) 1–3 levels. However, the inclusion of these themes is far from comprehensive; they are not uniformly integrated into all subjects, and where these themes are present, they often lack a strong connection to the desired learning outcomes. This disparity becomes evident when considering specific examples, such as the JSS 1 Mathematics curriculum. In the JSS 1 Mathematics curriculum, the topic ‘Need for Statistics introduces students to various themes, including environmental education. Regrettably, these themes are not linked to any tangible performance objectives for the topic, creating a noticeable gap between teaching and learning. This disconnect diminishes the effectiveness of climate change education, rendering it less impactful in shaping students’ understanding and fostering their motivation to address climate change–related challenges.

The National Action Plan on Gender and Climate Change for Nigeria (2020) includes a measure to strengthen climate change aspects in primary and secondary education. One of the Plan’s objectives of promoting effective waste management practices consists of an action plan for building the waste management capacity of educational institutions, including primary and secondary education.

In November 2021, the Protect Our Planet movement launched a one-month climate change initiative in partnership with the Global Environmental and Climate Conservation Initiative to interact with and educate students about the indicators and impacts of climate change. The initiative reached five schools and 2500 students and staff and donated tree seedlings to the schools that were planted at the end of the sessions. The Protect our Planet programme followed up with schools to establish local student clubs to promote awareness and education about the environment and climate change.

The Adipro International Corporation’s Corporate Social Responsibility arm has started a girl-child initiative to reverse the effects of climate change through S-connect, which is the school connect programme that supports underprivileged secondary school girls with training and other personal supplies.

Since 2017, the Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation has embarked on building Nigerian students’ and teachers’ capacity in climate change through school environmental clubs. For instance, in 2020, the organization conducted a workshop to train schoolteachers in climate change and how they can start environmental clubs in their schools.

Green Growth Africa, through its EcoHeroes Initiative, has been training and empowering students in secondary schools in different states across Nigeria since 2018 to identify climate and other environmental challenges in their local communities. The students are trained to apply the theoretical knowledge they have acquired from the classroom to come up with solutions to the climate change problem, which has resulted in various climate innovations and solutions in Nigeria.

ii. Climate change in teacher training and teaching resources

Nigeria’s National Commission for Colleges of Education has worked with multiple local and international partners to develop teacher training materials for teachers in Nigeria. To strengthen climate education in the country, Nigeria has developed the Climate Change Act (2021) to mandate teaching climate change at all education levels in Nigeria.

The Third National Communication (2020) highlights that the government of Nigeria is putting measures in place to improve teachers’ expertise in climate change by “organizing training for teachers on techniques for teaching climate change mitigation and adaptation at all levels of education” (p. 206).

However, only a few teacher training materials were found to have elements of climate change. For example, the National Commission for Colleges of Education developed teacher training materials for Nigeria’s certificate in education minimum standards for sciences (2012) that include climate change aspects. The course unit on components of the environment teaches the “formation of soil in the light of climate and weathering, parent material, topography, organisms, the influence of man and time” (p. 89). The teachers also learn about climate change in environmental physics. The objective of the Physics course unit (PHY 122) is to develop teachers’ competencies to “explain the following natural phenomena among others, earthquake, eclipse, climate change, ozone layer depletion, environmental pollution scientifically” (p. 162).

The National Climate Change Policy (2021) does not have any mention of teacher training. The Policy concerning climate education only highlights primary, secondary, and higher education without mentioning teacher training.

The country’s National Policy on Education (2013), which is being reviewed in 2023,  mentions that “all teachers in educational institutions shall be professionally trained” in programmes that “equip them with effective performance” (p. 28). The Policy also states that teachers shall be “exposed to innovation in the profession” (p. 28). However, there is no mention of climate change or related aspects.

The University of Calabar and the University of Benin offer a Bachelor of Education in Environmental Education that trains future teachers in environmental education. The Nigerian Conservation Foundation also supports conservation clubs in secondary schools in Nigeria with a range of environmental resources for teachers and students.

iii. Climate change in higher education

The Nigeria Maritime University offers a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management and Pollution Control. The course was established to produce graduates with practical skills to tackle climate change–related challenges such as ocean acidification, poor air quality, and contamination of marine living resources.

The University of Nigeria–Nsukka campus established a postgraduate programme in climate change. The institute offers a postgraduate diploma, Master of Science, and Doctorate degree in climate change. According to the institute’s memo, the scope of these programmes covers “science of climate change, ground based measurement and Indigenous technology application to climate change, environmental literacy and policy studies on climate change, sustainability studies; and studies on environmental and climate change laws” (p. 2).

The University of Nigeria–Nsuka’s Faculty of Agriculture has also established the Resource and Environmental Policy Research Centre (REPRC), with the goal to build capacity in research, advocacy, climate change and environment, and agriculture to inform decision-making for poverty reduction and sustainable development in Nigeria. The REPRC hosts the Environment for Development (EfD)–Nigeria chapter as a partner in sub-Saharan Africa on research advocacy to provide cutting-edge research in Nigeria and beyond on climate change, energy, pollution, and agriculture.

The University of Lagos offers a postgraduate course at the Department of Geography in climatology that covers urban climatology and climate change.

The Centre for Climate Change and Development, based at the Alex-Ekwueme Federal University, is a climate change sustainability and governance think tank that provides consultancy services, research activities, climate advocacy, training, and policy engagement. The centre has four operational units: climate policy and justice, green growth and sustainable development, climate adaptation and resilience, and climate information services.

The Environmental Law Research Institute provides training and development and advanced research services in cross-cutting issues of environmental rights and protection, project management, and outreach and advocacy. The organization provides training packages in climate and environmental legal areas such as environmental governance and climate change, environmental waste management, renewable energy and biofuels, environmental litigation and enforcement, and the basics of environmental law.

The Third National Communication (2020) indicates that the Federal Ministry of Health in Nigeria empowers students from tertiary institutions in climate change education. The National Communication states that besides creating awareness on its website by posting climate change materials, the Ministry, as part of its capacity-building activities, “has a programme on Industrial Training through attachments to the Federal Ministry of Health on climate change and health for students from tertiary institutions” (p. 190).

The African Climate Change Research Centre in Maiduguri is also involved in climate change research and other climate change–related initiatives. The Centre is committed to addressing Africa’s climate issues via research and global dialogue. To achieve this, the agency partners with local and international entities to bolster research and development to counteract human-induced climate effects.

Through its Mentoring for Research Programme, Green Growth Africa establishes technical and thematic mentoring relationships between experts from international universities and multilateral organizations and graduate students in various disciplines who are conducting research on climate change and environmental topics in Nigeria and other African universities.

iv. Climate change in training and adult learning 

The short- and medium-term goals of the National Action Plan on Gender and Climate Change for Nigeria (2020) include conducting practical training for women on the construction of wood-efficient stoves and small biogas stoves between 2020–2025. The Plan was developed by the Federal Ministry of Environment in collaboration with local and international partners such as the Women Environmental Programme and the United Nations Development Programme aimed at mainstreaming gender into climate change in Nigeria.

In 2018, the World Bank, with backing from Nigeria’s Office of the Vice-President, established the Nigerian Climate Innovation Center to tackle Nigeria’s climate challenges by supporting green businesses in fields such as renewable energy and waste management. The centre aims to foster a green economy in Nigeria, emphasizing low carbon output, efficiency, and inclusivity. So far, the Center has incubated 50 businesses and impacted over 450 more.

The Education, Awareness, and Outreach division of the Department of Climate Change participates in climate change training and adult learning. The Education branch of the Education, Awareness, and Outreach Division handles the development and production of educational materials within the Federal Ministry of Environment. The Department also engages in education and training within and outside the Division.

Nigeria is implementing the Protect Our Planet initiative with a special focus on climate education through advocacy and stakeholder engagement. Protect Our Planet is a global climate advocacy movement that mobilizes individual climate activists and organizations to act and hold governments accountable for climate action. In Nigeria, the Protect Our Planet movement is implemented in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment. The initiative is implemented in 21 states and is involved in educating and training youth teachers, community leaders, and students on climate change, its effects, and how to mitigate it. In 2021, the project reached a total participation of 40,700 people across 12 states in Nigeria. After training, participants reported an increased understanding of the impact of waste disposal and deforestation on climate and the environment, as well as the impact of the active participation of communities and students in climate advocacy and climate action.

The Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) Initiative is a flagship alliance by the European Union to assist the world’s most vulnerable countries in addressing climate change. This initiative in Nigeria has initiated the Nigeria Climate Change Response Programme (NCCRP) involved in climate change and adult learning. For instance, the Technical Assistance Team of the NCCRP visited the four geopolitical zones and held a final seminar and training workshop. In 2022, the NCCRP organized a two-day capacity-building workshop to discuss climate-related issues; 19 journalists attended who were trained in reporting and telling stories about climate change. At the end of the workshop, the Nigerian Journalists for Climate Action Network was created to bring together journalists with common interests to create awareness and report on climate change; this was used to bring about local action on climate change to facilitate broader actions on climate change and poverty reduction in Nigeria. The workshop was sponsored by the European Union, and attracted the attendance of officials from the Department of Climate Change and the Federal Ministry of Environment to emphasize their commitment to Nigeria’s emission reduction goal of up to 47% by 2030.

  1. Climate change communication in the country

i. Climate change and public awareness 

The Climate Change Act (2021) directs the Secretariat of the Climate Change Council to consult with the Federal Ministries of Budget, Education, Environment, and National Planning to formulate an Action Plan every five years. On public awareness, Article 4 (v) of the Act states that the Action Plan shall set out a “structure for public awareness and engagement in climate change actions” (p. 15).

As a result, raising public awareness is one focus of Nigeria’s climate change actions, according to the National Action Plan on Gender and Climate Change for Nigeria (2020). The Plan emphasizes creating public awareness on various aspects, including waste management and related projects at the urban and rural levels; the health sector among policymakers and actors on the interlinkages between health, climate change, and gender; and conducting public awareness campaigns targeted at discouraging greenhouse gas emissions and encouraging efficient use of energy.

The Department of Climate Change under the Federal Ministry of Environment has an Education, Awareness, and Outreach Division responsible for creating climate change awareness across the country. The Outreach branch of the Division is responsible for creating public awareness of climate change using conventional media, including print, television, radio, cinema, and plays, and new media including social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Nigeria’s National Adaptation Plan Framework (2020) highlights the lack of awareness of various sources of climate finance and the limited engagement of stakeholders as a hindrance to climate finance. The Plan highlights the need to raise awareness among policymakers to clearly understand the serious dangers of climate change. The Plan indicates that the National Adaptation Plan process will continue to engage stakeholders, especially civil society organizations and policymakers, using mass and social media to raise awareness among the public.

The National Action Plan to Reduce Short-lived Climate Pollutants (2019) shows a lack of adequate public awareness of climate change and emphasizes the need to conduct public awareness through sensitization and advocacy. Plans for raising awareness were to be implemented with other stakeholders, including staff of ministries, departments, and agencies, legislators, banks, and civil society organizations. Communication to raise awareness is targeted to various sectors (including health) to raise awareness about the impacts of pollution, and to farming communities about the benefits of anaerobic digestion to the farmers. The methods of communication include workshops and media briefings through print and electronic such as social media, manuals, and brochures.

The Women Environmental Programme is actively involved in creating public awareness of climate change in Nigeria. One of the core objectives of the organization on its website is to “sensitize and raise awareness of the general public on the impacts of climate change particularly on gender, its mitigation and adaptation” (n.d.). For instance, in 2018, the organization embarked on greening the Katsina state by planting trees in partnership with the Murna Foundation.

The Third National Communication (2020) states that Nigeria’s public awareness of climate change issues, such as the country’s vulnerability to climate risks and changing climatic patterns, is still low. As a result, there is poor community adaptation to climate, and the public remains vulnerable to climate impacts. The Third National Communication calls for the government to increase public education and awareness of the vulnerability to climate change and the impacts and risks that climate change poses to the country.

The Policy Advocacy Project Partnership on Climate Network has worked continuously with the Lagos State Government through the Lagos State Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources in promoting awareness at the grass roots and policy levels.

ii. Climate change and public access to information 

The National Action Plan on Gender and Climate Change for Nigeria (2020) includes plans to increase access to climate information. For instance, scheduled activities until 2035 involve designing and developing online short courses and formal courses for educational institutions on climate change, gender, energy, and transport.

The Education, Awareness, and Outreach division in the Department of Climate Change engages in public access to climate change information. The function of the outreach branch is to engage in programmes and projects where groups of people can be reached to share and disseminate information.

The National Action Plan to Reduce Short-lived Climate Pollutants (SCLP; 2019) has plans to develop data and information using the National Climate Change Data Hub to enable the public and ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) to access information from a centralized database. The SLCP indicates that relevant information on greenhouse gas emissions relating to SLCP will be incorporated in the national database at all MDA-implementation data points. The Plan also indicates that the public can access information on SLCP through websites, manuals, brochures, and social media platforms.

The Ministry of Interior in Nigeria launched the Nigeria Internal Security and Public Safety Alert System (NISPSAS) mobile app, a mechanism through which information on security challenges—including those posed by climate change—will be accessed, reported and addressed. According to the Ministry, the app was designed to mitigate security challenges and other disasters resulting from climate change in Nigeria.

iii. Climate change and public participation 

Article 32 (d)(ii) of the Climate Change Act (2021) mandates that the Council to make regulations that encourage “private sector participation in climate actions” (p. 21).

The National Action Plan on Gender and Climate Change for Nigeria (2020) emphasizes the need for increasing the participation of vulnerable groups such as women, youth, farmers, children, and the elderly in decision-making processes; climate change–related planning, monitoring and evaluation; and climate policy implementation at local, state, national and international levels. To encourage public participation in climate change initiatives, the Plan implores financial institutions and other government agencies to provide funding to support women in their waste management initiatives and enhance local communities to participate in the forestry and agricultural sectors.

The African Climate Change Research Centre drives dialogue with partners on issues concerning climate change and engages in research on climate change–related issues to contribute to climate change solutions in Africa. Some of the focus areas of this organization include engaging rural and urban communities and schools on tree-planting campaigns, providing climate research grants to novice and advanced researchers, and organizing conferences and workshops on climate-related issues. In 2019, the organization launched a campaign named ‘Operation Protect Desert Encroachment,’ which saw the distribution of free desert-resistant jatropha seeds to Maiduguri farmers to create desert-resistant areas that can withstand the harsh climatic conditions of Borno state.

According to the Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) Initiative, Nigeria has ensured public participation in climate change–related activities. For instance, the Nigeria Climate Change Response Programme (NCCRP) has previously organized training workshops led by the Technical Assistance Team.

The Centre for Climate Change and Sustainable Development (3cSD), a non-profit organization in Nigeria that focuses on environmental justice, legal aid and public interest law, is involved in climate change public participation. The Centre engages the public by organizing civil society organizations and businesses to educate the public and build their capacity on climate change–related issues in line with the sustainable development goals.

The Climate Change and Sustainable Development Network of Nigeria is a network of diverse organizations, including civil society organizations, pastoralists, youth and women’s groups, and community-based organizations to promote and advocate for climate-friendly and equitable responses to climate change. The network mobilizes its members to participate in local and international meetings and share best practices on climate change. On the 2023 World Water Day, the network mobilized civil society organizations and other volunteer groups to participate in an event to clean up the Jabi Lake Park to set an example of public participation in climate change activities in Nigeria.

The Project Green Initiative, an arm of the Benjy Poetry and Music Global Concepts, is focused on researching and educating communities, cities, campuses, and companies across Nigeria on climate change adaptation and mitigation for global sustainability. Since 2016, this company has conducted World Environment Day summits in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme and other educational institutions to enhance climate change education for sustainable development in Nigeria. Their website features articles and poems on climate change adaptation and mitigation for global sustainability.

The Third National Communication (2020) states that Nigeria is committed to ensuring public participation in climate change activities through tourism, climate governance, and other activities such as water management. The Third National Communication states that Nigeria encourages  “tourists’ and the residents’ participation in environment-friendly tourism activities” (p. 19). It also indicates that the country is committed to supporting and strengthening the “participation of local communities in improving water management” (p. 183).

  1. Monitoring and evaluation

i. Country monitoring 

The Climate Change Act (2021) mandates the monitoring of climate-related actions by both public and private entities in Nigeria. Article 9 (d) of the Act states that the secretariat shall,

(d) visit the premises of MDAs, and private and public entities for monitoring, verifying, and reporting emission profiles or the collection of any other data necessary to undertake the functions and duties prescribed in this Act. (p. 7)

Nigeria’s National Voluntary Review (NVR; 2020) provides the status of the country’s progress towards achieving sustainable development goals. On education, the report indicates that 78% of the children in the southwestern part of the country can read full or partial sentences, but only 17% of children in the northeast can. On climate change, the report indicates that in 2016, 66,087 people were displaced by climate-related and natural disasters, and by 2030, the government of Nigeria intends to build the resilience of the poor to reduce their vulnerability to climate-related events and other natural disasters. The report shows that central to achieving this plan is building a coalition for national, state, and local government actors and non-state actors to collaborate on climate change–related actions.

The Energy Commission of Nigeria operates an online portal for monitoring and reporting climate-related data. This platform provides information on energy demand and supply, greenhouse emissions, and air quality and offers projections up to 2050.

The Federal Ministry of Environment in Nigeria monitors and evaluates the country’s climate change–related activities. For instance, the National Climate Change Policy for Nigeria (2021) indicates that the Department of Climate Change will collaborate with the other technical departments to oversee the Policy’s monitoring and implementation. The policy evaluation will report on Nigeria’s climate change interventions and lessons.

The National Action Plan on Gender and Climate Change for Nigeria (2020) will be coordinated and monitored by the Federal Ministry of Environment. The following indicators will be measured in this Action Plan.

  1. The number of public campaigns launched to encourage efficient use of energy and discourage greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. The number of training sessions conducted for women on the construction of wood-efficient and biogas stoves.
  3. The number of gender and climate change projects that receive funding from the budget.
  4. The number of educational institutions offering courses on issues of climate change, gender, energy, and transport.
  5. The number of awareness-raising campaigns on television channels, radio, newspapers, and other media.
  6. The number of information, education, and communication materials produced and distributed.

ii. MECCE Project Monitoring

The MECCE Project examined the National Curriculum for Senior Secondary School (2015) and the Education for Change Ministerial Strategic Plan (2018–2022) for references to ‘climate change,’ ‘environment,’ ‘sustainability,’ and ‘biodiversity.’

Analysis of the National Curriculum revealed that ‘climate change’ was mentioned 2 times and ‘environment’ was mentioned 6 times; however, ‘sustainability,’ ‘biodiversity,’ and ‘sustainability’ were not mentioned.

Similarly, the Strategic Plan does not mention ‘climate change,’ ‘sustainability,’ or ‘biodiversity.’ The Plan included only 2 references to ‘environment,’ but not in the context of a natural environment.

This section will be updated as the MECCE Project develops.


This profile was reviewed by:
Dr. Adedoyin Adeleke, Executive Director, Green Growth Africa
Benjamin Anabaraonye, Independent Researcher

Dr. Bose Mary Oyewusi, Director, Tawny Educational Profect Consult
Dr. Elizabeth Shotayo, Environment and Sustainability Education Researcher and Education Officer (Assistant Director) Federal Ministry of Education, Nigeria.
Mujidah Ajibola Oladejo, Executive Director, Sustainable Schools Nigeria (The Sustainability Hub)
Toyin Oshaniwa, Executive Director, Nature Cares Resource Centre (NCRC).

Last modified:

Fri, 24/11/2023 - 11:55