A virtual meeting on ‘Strategy for the implementation of Mangrove Restoration was held on Wednesday 27th January 2020 where the Project Coordination Office was the host.

The Meeting which began at about 1:15 p.m. had in attendance the underlisted

1Prof. Philip D. ShekwoloHYPREP
2Mike CowingUNEP
3Dr. Ferdinand GiadomUNEP
4Chris NewsomSDN
5Calvin LaingSDN
6Ehiyokenegha ClarkSPDC
7Vincent NwabuezeSPDC
8Kabir YusufFME
9Sanusi AbubakarFME
10Isa WasaHYPREP
11Sampson EbimaroHYPREP
12Obarifomi John-OkpabiHYPREP

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the Strategy for HYYPREP’s Implementation of Mangrove Restoration and Management in Ogoniland proposed by Prof. Philip D. Shekwolo, the Head of the Operations overseeing the Project Coordination Office, HYPREP. Prof. Philip Shekwolo gave a breakdown of his proposal which was discussed by the participants:

A.    Set-up of Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Team (SCAT)

Prof. Shekwolo proposed that the SCAT team, which is to carry out a ground survey of the area to be restored will consist of 2 members of the following stakeholder groups:

  • HYPREP (Host)
  • UNEP
  • FME
  • RSME
  • SPDC
  • FRIN

Concerns about the logistics for mobilizing the team to the field and the representation of the Ogoni community by 2 different bodies, were raised. For the logistic for mobilization of the team, Prof. Shekwolo said that HYPREP would be responsible, and that the cost for the logistics has been captured in the HYPREP 2021 budget.

On the representation of the Ogoni community by 2 organizations, it was decided that MOSOP and KAGOTE will be merged to provide 2 representatives, one (1) from each organization. The total number of members of the SCAT team was thus reduced from 20 to 18. The field team, however, will also include some other persons who are not members of the SCAT team, like security personnel and community guides.

A.    Terms of Reference (ToR)

Stoppage of artisanal refining: It was pointed out that the team’s efforts can only be contributory as this is an area where even the government has not had a lot of success so far.Timeline & Timing: The entire restoration of the mangrove is a multi-year project and the timeline should be reflected as such in the proposal. The 6-months timeline for the scoping period is to be reflected in the proposal as well.

An issue with the timing of the project was raised by Mr. Nwabueze, he said that it might be too soon to begin the mangrove restoration project since the upland remediation is still on- going and the work has not yet begun on the Category A sites, hence the workload might be overwhelming. In response Prof. Shekwolo said that it is essential to begin work on the eyesore areas like the mangroves as they have more visual impact and would help restoring the people’s faith in HYPREP’s activities; these activities can be run con-currently. It was also noted by Mr. Clark of SPDC that the ToR did not include a mechanism for reflecting the learnings from previous similar projects.

A.    Deliverables

Responsibility Ownership: It was made clear that the overall execution project is owned by HYPREP and the SCAT team will just be contributing.It was agreed that since the SCAT scoping exercise would last for 6 months, the deliverables for that activity should be adjusted to fit in that timeframe.

B.    Approach and Modalities

It was suggested that the method for tackling the artisanal refining be reconsidered. The proposal is to be submitted to the Governing Council (GC) of HYPREP for approval, but because the GC has not been reinstated, it was pointed out that the timeline might need to be reviewed.