Real estate practitioner should also be concern with the environment. As my contribution to the campaign in preserving the Inner Niger Delta River in Mali. I am sharing the summary of my paper submitted to the United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) on how to augment the present effort on Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) in Inner Niger Delta River.
The Inner Niger Delta in Mali is a 3,000,000 hectare wetland consisting of flood plains, lakes, river branches and small pockets of flood forest. It is part of the 4.200 kilometres Niger river catchment, which flows through 10 countries before discharging in the Atlantic Ocean. It is also classified as a Ramsar site in 2004, for its extraordinary importance having a large range of water dependent plant and animal species.
The Inner Niger Delta is vulnerable to climate change, deforestation, flooding and loss of livelihood of fishermen, farmers and cattlers.
The integration of Ecosystem-based Adaptation and Ecosystem-based Disaster and Risk Reduction integration in Inner Niger Delta will bring more benefits to the people and the environment. Integrated approach of structural and non-structural projects will help restore the forest and prevent flooding and brings livelihood of the people. Furthermore, ecosystem based adaptation is more beneficial being a cost-effective measure and more effective.
There are activities currently done in the river but other measures should also be adopted like reforestation programs, construction of natural channels and water reservoir, experimentation of other suitable farming methods and more.
Reforestation will raise the water level and will help maintain the river flow. Regeneration of the tree cover will not only raise the water level of the water but this will also another source of livelihood for the people and will greatly help in preserving different flora and fauna habitat.
To prevent flooding and control rivers during heavy rains there should be natural channels and water reservoirs to be constructed.These structures could re-channel the waters to the reservoir and be absorb by the soil naturally.
Non-structural measures includes reforestation of riparian areas and strengthening of organization framework for disaster management. These projects and land restoration initiatives increases soil structure and thereby improved the watersheds ability to hold and store water.
In the agricultural village, the effect of climate change are the drying up of the soil vegetation and irrigation system . There should be innovation and experimentation with traditional farming methods and agroforestry techniques. Depending on the soil characteristics, with the above measures, people can have a better crop yields, regeneration of tree cover, as well as other additional economic and environmental benefits.
Coordination among the stakeholders and users of the river should be implemented.There should be coordination among the population in upstream and downstream part of the river with regards to the use of the river. Creation of water governance bodies in downstream and upstream and a bigger bodies that coordinates all the stakeholders. This body will conduct mapping of the entire area and pinpointing the possible or potential area that are prone to disaster and hazards.At the same time, conduct training on preparedness on different hazard events.
These measures needs people support and to achieve it, there should be a massive information and educational campaigns and conduct of trainings among the populace.
Maintenance of water flows in Inner Niger Delta is a major campaign to help preserve our wetlands. We should throw our support and give our next generation a chance to benefit the beauty of nature and the ecosystem.
I hope this was interesting to you. Thanks for being here.