The research goals and actions of the WAGEDI GUU will be addressed under the following Five (5) thematic areas.
(A) Ecological and Economic Issues (EEIs)
There is overwhelming evidence that the resources of the planet are being annihilated, plundered and disturbed. Goldsmith E(2005. Such phenomenon led to growing concern and consensus, even among conventional economics that the conditions of the natural world, long regarded as abundant and available to be raided, are becoming scarce Bronswimmer, F(2002). Green economics argue that conventional economics has provided no analytical framework to counter or even address problems such as climate change, deforestation, ocean surge(tsunamis), pollution, erosion, desertification, and depletion of biodiversity. Besides, our ‘civilization’ and globalised neo-Classical economic activities are vulnerable economically to such effects, which include increased intensity and severity of cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons, floods, tsunamis, and heat waves etc. This thematic area ensures that green economics re-embeds the economy firmly within the ecological and social structures. It de-commodifies society and nature. Here the principle that the needs of the people and natural system must be addressed simultaneously and the purpose of products are to achieve needs and not to enhance the economic power of people, or corporations or states. Here also localization thesis refocuses the global economy around local markets. Global industrialization is regarded here with suspicion, as gigantism and globalization seen as an agent of oppression, Dobson, A (2000). In summary topical issues to be discussed here include but not limited to the following: limits of growth, ecology and nature, appropriate size and scale of production, management of consumption downwards-reuse, reduce, recycle, repairs, and transparency of the supply chain. Population issues will also be engaged here as well. The research goals and actions agenda under EEIs which will inform policy and be the platform for the development of sustainable business models especially within the West African sub-region include but not limited to the following:
- (i) Provide evidence based options for sustainable use of the West Africa’s natural resources now being plundered and annihilated;
- (i) Develop models on renewable energy and energy efficient resource potentials in the current energy mix in West Africa
- (i) Develop models that can encourage recycling and impact on recycling and waste management policies in West Africa;
- (i) Generate innovative ways of addressing population growth in West Africa especially this era of climate change and its attendant environmental refugees.
- (i) Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use(AFOLU) in West Africa: Issues and Challenges
- (i) Prospects of West Africa’s Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency Investment Drive
- (i) West Africa Agenda on Waste to Wealth Management
- (i) West African Agenda on Population Growth
- Tracking Progress from respective West African country’s Nationally Determined Contributions(NDCs) under the Five Critical Sectors: Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU), Industrial Process and Product Use(IPPU), Energy, Transport and Waste(Very Important for all Thematic Areas)
(B) Intellectual and Reality Issues(IRIs)
Renowned conventional economists have unfortunately continued to advocate for a more intensified business-as-usual approach where by growth, more profit, increasing theoretical elegance and increased economic hegemony of global corporations are promoted. Green economists, however, have argued that these models do not hold much promise for solving the problems of today. Accordingly, it supports long term perspectives rather than the short term business cycles found in the neoclassical economics taught in business schools. It takes a long term view incorporating anthropology, archeology, and environmental sciences and uses this knowledge to filter its analysis of economic decision-making. This thematic area looked at green economics and its development as the most holistic and multidisciplinary discipline the world has ever seen, as no human activity and no part of planet that is of no interest in the discipline-the economics of interconnectedness. It combines a scientific approach with a social science approach. The ‘science’ here is natural science, ecology and social science and not econometrics or mathematical economics. This thematic area will strive to give conventional economics a human face in the context of the environment where it is used as a tool for analysis. Issues to be engaged here include but not limited to the following: reformulation of demand, supply, growth, longtermism, holism, new relationship to science/ natural science and technology (green technology).The research goals and action agenda which will shape sustainable development of West Africa include but not limited to the following
- (i) Provide a framework that combines natural science approach with social science approach in economic analysis;
- (i) Develop research and investment models in Science and Technology Innovations(STIs) taking into cognizance resource efficiency and clean technologies( green technologies) for West Africa’s development;
- (i) Analysis of progress made in the West African economies measured by new indicators (Green GDP Initiatives) of well being, quality of life and sustainability.
- Estimation of both the value of ecosystem services and biodiversity loss in West Africa for economic policy.
- Analysis of green technology policy gaps in West Africa
- Developing Green GDP model(s)
(C) Political and Institutional Issues(PIIs)
Green economics will seek to enhance local economy, supports bio-regional developments, democracy (public participation and freedom to choose) and access for all and seeks the adoption of global governance through new institutions designed entirely for this purpose. This is against the backdrop of global corporations which, though unelected, are powerful among many nation states. These corporations increasingly take the place of public decision-making, privatizing and controlling important public assets including ownership of water supply. The importance of incorporating political dimensions in economics is clearly illustrated by the world wide resistance by many nations to ratify the Kyoto Protocols (16 February, 2005). The success story of the Paris Agreement in 2015 was made possible by the commitment and consequent ratification by many world leaders. Issues to be tackled under this thematic area include but not limited to the following: examination of power structures, reformulation of global institutions to provide global governance, bio-regional developments.The goals and action agenda for West Africa in this thematic area include but not limited to the following
- To enhance local economy and supports bio-regional development
- Promote democracy and seeks the adoption of global governance through new institutions designed entirely for this purpose.
- To establish the connection between equity and efficiency in the Carbon Market and changes in international law and basic needs.
- ECCREE,NDDC etc: Building a Stronger Institution for green growth impact
- West Africa: AU, BRICS and MINT Nations relationship: Forging Consensus for Sustainability
- West Africa and the NEPAD Process and APRM: Guiding sustainable future peer reviews
- Intensive domestication of the Carbon Market, International Conventions and Protocols in West African Countries.
(D) Morality and Poverty Issues(MPIs)
As one-fifth of the earth’s seven (7) billion people are still trapped in life –threatening poverty, Sachs (2005) and about 2.8 billion survive on less than $2 per day, Brown (2004). Green economics methodology reincorporates earlier moral concerns into economics, in particular social and environmental justice. Inclusiveness, equity and access are all foundations on which it is built. The 1989 UN Convention on the Right of the Child divides rights into protection, basic provisions of goods and amenities, and participation, which includes solidarity and community(UN office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, 1989, Preamble). Rights are defined as shared entitlements that promote equality, solidarity, social justice and peace, Kennet M and Hienemann V(2006). This no doubt differs from neoclassical concepts of rights and allocation of resources, which assume self-interested individualism and market competition as the starting point of rights, Alderson P(2006). Some of the issues to be engaged in this thematic area include social and environmental justice, inclusiveness, equity, human rights, gender mainstreaming, analysis of power relations and institutions, critique of trickle down theories and wealth creation with local power decisions. Some goals and action agenda under this area include
- Provide evidence-based knowledge of green growth strategies to ensure inclusive growth and sustainable development of West Africa.
- Generate evidence- based knowledge for monitoring and evaluating the progress of the Pan African Agency on Great Green Wall especially among those countries in West African domain
- Improve an understanding of social and environmental justice in West Africa.
- Generate innovative policies and programmes for gender mainstreaming in West Africa.
- Studies on green growth strategies policy reforms in West Africa
- Social and environmental justice impact analysis across West Africa
- Monitoring and evaluation research on the Great Green Wall Programme in West Africa
- Gender mainstreaming studies
(E) Finance and Business Issues(FBIs)
Green economics path is not an easy one. It is characterized by steps, changes in resource efficiency and shift in emphasis from shareholder value to stakeholder value. As a long-term process, it will require new skills, collaborations, continued innovation, investment with uncertain returns and change in what the market values. This is the purview of Finance and Business Issues (FBIs). Issues to be engaged in the financial matters include provision of some of the tools required to support a transition to sustainable development and poverty alleviation such as loans, equity, insurance and other financial products and services needed by companies, government organizations and individuals that consider social and environmental externalities. On the business angle, we shall be looking at a more resilient supply chain, new investment opportunities, increased consumer demands for sustainable goods and services, sales growth and duration of sales, training and job creation, reduced dependency on natural resources, mitigation against the negative financial risks from environmental impacts among others. Some of the goals and action agenda to be looked at here include
- Provide evidence based knowledge on Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) System as a tool for driving respective country’s NDCs and funding windows opportunities.
- Provide evidence-based knowledge for understanding financing tools, to support sustainable banking in West Africa.
- Provide improved understanding of associated cost, risk and evaluation of business opportunities in green business development in West Africa.
- Generate evidence-based knowledge for monitoring and evaluating progress made by Natural Capital Declaration (NCD) in Rio+20 for West Africa.
- 1. Training/ capacity building programmes on Measurement, Reporting and Verification(MRV)Systems in West Africa
- 2. Monitoring progress made of Sustainable (Green) Banking in West Africa.
- 3. X-raying and deploying tools for success in understanding of associated costs, risk and evaluation of business opportunities in green business development in West Africa.
- 4. Monitoring and evaluation research on NCD progress for West Africa.
- 5. West Africa- NCP,CDP, WWF and TEEB relations: Chatting a course on research collaboration
- 6. Develop investment models for West African Emission Trading Schemes.