Climate Change Preparedness: A Knowledge and Attitudes Study in Southern Nigeria

Global climate change is projected to adversely impact freshwater resources, and in many settings these impacts are already apparent. In Nigeria, these impacts can be especially severe because of limited adaptive capacity. Understanding the knowledge and attitudes of current and future Nigerian decision-makers is important to preparing Nigeria for climate change impacts. This paper examines the knowledge and attitudes of university students and government officials about the causes, effects, and priority given to climate change in Nigeria. Paper surveys were distributed to 379 study participants in Akwa Ibom and Lagos states of Nigeria. The findings reveal that approximately 90% of study participants believe that human activities are a significant cause of climate change, with no significant difference between ministry officials’ and students’ responses. Participants were less knowledgeable about the effects of climate change on Nigeria as a whole, but more aware of impacts relevant to Southern Nigeria, where study sites were located. Personal experience seemed to play a role in the knowledge and attitudes of respondents. Due to the varied climate of the country, campaigns to ensure comprehensive knowledge of climate change impacts to the entire country may be helpful.

Climate Change Preparedness: A Knowledge and Attitudes Study in Southern Nigeria. E. Ojomo, M. Elliott, U. Amjad, J. Bartram. 2015. Environments 2:4, pp. 435-448. doi.org/10.3390/environments2040435