RCE Zaria - 2019

A multi-stakeholder approach towards the preservation of Rimi (Kapok tree) within RCE Zaria Region
Basic Information
Title of project : 
A multi-stakeholder approach towards the preservation of Rimi (Kapok tree) within RCE Zaria Region
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Zaria
Contributing organization(s) : 
• Centre for Spatial Information Science ABU Zaria.
• Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Professor Adamu Ahmed
Organizational Affiliation: 
Format of project: 
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
National Environmental Policy, Kaduna State Biodiversity Conservation Policy
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
Africa and Middle East
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Centre for Spatial Information Science,
Department of Urban and Regional Planning,
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria-Nigeria
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
Zaria is a major city in Kaduna State in Northern Nigeria, sitting on approximately 563km2 land area. However, settlement predates the rise of Zazzau as the region, had a history of sedentary Hausa settlement, with institutional but pre-capitalist market exchange and farming. With a population of over 1 million, most of the inhabitants engage in informal economic activities. Also, literacy level is also very low despite the fact that the area plays a host to over 13 major tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
The Kapok tree which is locally referred to as ‘ Rimi’, is a unique tree predominantly found within the RCE Zaria region. The trees are distinct, unique and found in large population within the region, to an extent settlements are named after the Kapok tree including Rimin Kwakwa, Rimin Danza, to mention a few. Kopak are used as raw material for mattress, shades and wind breaker. It has been observed that over the years people are fond of cutting down the tree with no effort for plant replacements. This activity directly hinders the attainment of Goal 13 and 15 of the SDG. A need therefore exist for establishing a data bank of the existence and location of the tree specie and development of replacement strategy through community stakeholder networks.
• The plant specie is gradually fading out of the area with little or no effort towards replanting.
• There’s the need to review and re-implement the old law proclaimed by the then Emir Aliyu Sani Sidi against cutting of the Kopak tree.
• There is the need to educate people to have a change of attitude towards the tree especially due to the superstitious beliefs of the people towards the tree.
Analysis of Rimi’s population change for 1976 and 2017; online platform for general community to observe the change detection; create community awareness on the effect of vegetation on the region with more emphasis on the decreasing number of Kapok tree in the region; Mobilize traditional rulers and youth within the community to preserve the remaining trees and chart way forward for drafting a policy guide on sustainable use of the environment.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
• Identify and map the existing kopak tree within the RCE Zaria region.
• Engage with the traditional rulers to re-introduce the previous policy that banned people from cutting the Kopak tree.
• Create campaign on social media targeting local groups from the area.
Size of academic audience: 
At a larger scale we have been able to develop an effective means of quantifying vegetation loss in Zaria Region; We have developed a strategy for engaging youth to identify and label species that are liable to be in extinction; and now we are narrowing to an important specie that is peculiar to RCE Zaria region which is the Kapok tree. An inventory of most of the existing trees have been taken and an old policy have been traced as far back as 1912 when the then Emir prohibited the indigenes from cutting of the trees. Furthermore, would be follow up on that policy through collaboration with the existing traditional rulers.
Lessons learned: 
There is the need to re-introduce the old policy which has been in existence for the past decades to preserve the existing species. Another important lesson is of the various beliefs and superstitions on the trees despite the economic benefits they derive from the trees.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level