On Saturday 6th March 2021, the eleventh Open Data Day took place with people around the world organising hundreds of events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. Thanks to generous support from key funders, the Open Knowledge Foundation was able to support the running of more than 60 of these events via our mini-grants scheme.
This event received an Open Knowledge Foundation mini-grant thanks to support from the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery Labs.
Our International Open Data Day 2021 brought environmental activists, environmental data enthusiasts, students and our mangrove ambassadors to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data in our communities.
It was an opportunity for us to show the benefits of using open data to uncover hidden threats destructive to Nigeria's mangroves and demonstrate the necessity for urgent action to save the mangrove ecosystem.
The first facilitator was Mr. Sammy Joel who spoke on the topic: INTRODUCTION TO OPEN DATA where he explained the description of terms and concepts related to open data and why the international Open Data Day 2021 was being celebrated here in Nigeria.
The second speaker Mr Kingsley Adindu spoke about the overview of the Niger Delta Mangroves and how its socio-economic vitality is key to the survival of host communities and the entire coastal region. He lamented the poor availability of adequate and reliable data for decision-making and policy formulation on environmental problems facing the region.
The third presentation was made by Mr Sammy Joel who vividly introduced the audience to the open data technologies used to track forest loss/gain and how it can be deployed to solve environmental hitches particularly those relating to that of mangrove deforestation in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
The tools mentioned were the FOREST WATCHER MOBILE APP and FOREST WATCHER WEB from the open data portal of the GLOBAL FOREST WATCH. The technologies are an online flat-form that provides data sets and tools for monitoring forest in real-time. Mr Sammy also did some forest data visualisation to participants using datasets from the Global Forest Watch open data portal. We decided to use the Forest Watcher app to collect data for monitoring mangrove loss/gain on our project site using the open data platform.
Open Data Day 2021— Sammy Joel 💦🌱🌳🌏 (@SammyJoelNG) March 6, 2021
Environmental data collection is key managing environmental pollution in the mangroves ecosystem using Open Data technologies. @SammyJoelNG @JerryChidi12@mangrovexpo @kingadindu@YahayaOjonugwa @sharon_ikeazor @the_ecofeminist pic.twitter.com/ssE3UO72wU
The big lessons learned from this event were that “DATA IS KEY TO DECISION MAKING “and inadequate data constitutes principal drawbacks to policy formulation and decision-making concerning the forest ecosystem and its inhabitants (host communities).
Secondly, lack of information regarding forest protection laws and political will of people living within forest regions, wetland and coastal areas is a barrier that hinders progress from biodiversity conservation and environmental protection in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Hence the need to prioritise these valuable open data technologies and datasets to help gain actionable insights.
I love the Open Data Day because it gives me the opportunity for knowledge sharing with my community and helps me to demonstrate the urgency of the climate emergency and a call to save Nigeria mangroves.