RCE Zaria - 2018

Enhancing the Understanding of Ecosystem (vegetation) Change Detection Amongst Communities in Greater RCE Zaria Region
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Enhancing the Understanding of Ecosystem (vegetation) Change Detection Amongst Communities in Greater RCE Zaria Region
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Zaria
Contributing organization(s) : 
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Professor Adamu Ahmed
Organizational Affiliation: 
Department of Urban and Regional Planning, ABU Zaria
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Geographical & Education Information
Africa and Middle East
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Centre for Spatial Information Science, 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: 
Like many other third world cities, Zaria inclusive has been observed to be losing most of its fertile land including some important species of vegetation and animals to urbanization. The community members, leaders and government have little knowledge on tracking the phenomenon which poses a threaten SDG targets. Therefore, the project seeks to directly address the SDG Goal 2 , Goal 13 and Goal 15 and indirectly addressing Goal 11.
The project was built on the basis that: Urban Spatial footprints is amongst the major threats to vegetation and animal species, data on Zaria region and most cities in Nigeria are not readily available; Data on threatened and endangered species are also missing; The community therefore lacks information on the current and future trends; There is need to engage community and youth within their locality to provide data on endangers species within their immediate environment. The absence of these information makes difficulty to have a policy guide towards conservation of endangered species and also convince community to have a change of attitude towards the identified species.
Spatio-temporal analysis of vegetation 1976 – 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 conserving endangered species; Evaluate the community’s on the knowledge provided and the use of the application; Mobilize youths within the community to provide feedback on location and names of old and significant trees within their locality and chart way forward for drafting a policy guide on sustainable use of the environment.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
The project was initiated in 2014, subsequently estimation of the vegetation index is taken including the status of the endangered species which is made public via the online platform. The result is intended to be made public every December of the year via RCE website and mobile application which is currently under development. Field Visitation to communities including tagging of trees would be employed.
Size of academic audience: 
The findings is that urbanization has been reducing the vegetation over at an average rate of 3.8% annually, if the phenomenon is not properly managed, it has the potential of increasing to almost 4.3%. Over 10 indigenous species where found to be endangered. Community members are beginning to appreciate and also take into cognizance the loss of these species.
Lessons learned: 
The method used in determining the changes within biodiversity has proven to be cost effective and provides for real-time monitoring of changes within the environment, the project could also be extended to other RCE’s. The integration of GPS has made it possible to monitor the behavior of species at a wider scale. Most importantly the introduction of other Cellular Automata script has made it possible to forecast future scenarios. It is important to mobilize youth within the community to identify and tag the location of these species.
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 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
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 
Disaster Risk Reduction 
Traditional Knowledge  
Curriculum Development 
Plants & Animals 
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Building capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Empowering and mobilizing youth 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level