Wetlands International, under the Sustainable Livelihoods and Biodiversity Project (SLBP) in Nigeria’s Niger Delta, recently organized a workshop on “Ecosystem Based Approaches” (EBA) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. The general objective of the training was to enhance capacity of local actors to promote and implement EBA to development in Niger Delta, especially scale up best lessons learned from the demonstration component of the SLBP to community and higher (state) levels.
The workshop which has been held recently in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, basically helped to discuss the role of Ecosystem Based Approaches (EBA) for sustainable development as well as it facilitated the provision to Civil Society Organizations with tools that foster a greater understanding of EBA and help communities and states implement EBA to development.
While opening the workshop, Mr. Ibrahima Thiam, the Africa Regional Director of Wetlands International welcomed the participants and urged them “to pay close attention to the presentations as Ecosystem-based Approach (EbA) was the framework on which the SLBP in the Niger Delta is being implemented”. Indeed, Mr. Thiam’s remarks were of key value since the Sustainable Livelihoods and Biodiversity Project (SLBP) in Nigeria’s Niger Delta aims to demonstrate how wetlands ecosystems restoration and conservation can be effectively linked to the improvement of livelihoods of local communities.
Addressing participants, Dr Assitou Ndinga of Wetlands International who coordinates the Project said that "Ecosystem-based Approach (EbA) lays on the application of appropriate scientific methodologies focused on levels of biological organization, which involve the essential structure, processes, functions and interactions among organisms and their environment. It recognizes that humans, with their cultural diversity, are an integral component of many ecosystems".
Considering the fact that the Sustainable Livelihoods and Biodiversity Project (SLBP) will also strengthen civil society in the implementation and promotion of ecosystem approaches and work with the government, the oil and gas investors to create an enabling environment through policies and practices, Dr Ndinga buttressed the importance the approach to be used.
According to him “The Approach is a management that seeks appropriate balance between the conservation and use of biological diversity in areas where there are multiple resource users and important natural values. He opined that ecosystem-based approach addresses many relationships across spatial, biological, and organizational scales and is a goal-driven approach to restoring and sustaining ecosystems and functions".
The project aims to increase understanding and integration of ecosystem services provided by wetlands in sustainable development and decision making as well as to mobilize support for an approach to the Niger Delta ecosystem-based.
The Sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity in the Inner Niger Delta in Nigeria is an initiative of Wetlands International-Shell and the International Partnership for wetlands. It is implemented by Wetlands International Africa.