How an Undergraduate Student in Lagos Wins an Award in Academic Writing


It is no longer news that an undergraduate student in Lagos, Nigeria has won an award for using Harvard citations and referencing styles during a competition on academic writing. See how he wrote the introduction, literature review, and references.


Major cities around the world have experienced rapid population growth as a result of the industrial revolution, necessitating a high rate of urbanization and development. For example, Lagos, one of the cities in Nigeria, has recently experienced rapid population growth due to an influx of migrants from rural areas to the cities. Due to this, industrial, economic, infrastructural, and governmental activities are concentrated in urban centers. As a result, as cities’ populations grow, so does the rate at which waste is produced, increasing the amount of trash that is burned and the amount of air pollution that results in higher concentrations of greenhouse gases that eventually lead to global warming and climate change. Climate change is any change in temperature over time, whether brought on by natural variability or human action (Ozor, 2009). The indigenous community is significantly impacted by climate change.

    Recent occurrences have illustrated the world’s growing susceptibility to climate change, which is seen as a significant worldwide concern. The effects of climate change range from hurting agriculture to putting food security in even greater danger, to rising sea levels and increased coastal zone erosion, intensifying natural disasters, extinction of species, and the spread of diseases caused by vectors (UNPFII, 2007).

 Literature Review

Indigenous individuals all across the world are now more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Climate change vulnerability, according to IPCC (2007), is a susceptible system, such as a low-lying island or coastal areas, or the impact of climate change on this system, such as the flooding of agricultural lands and coastal areas. In contrast, climate change adaptations are changes made to natural or human systems in response to present or anticipated climatic stimuli or their impacts (IPCC, 2001). According to Ovuyovwiroye (2010), adaptation to climate change aims to reduce the negative effects of the shift while also creating effective coping mechanisms. He goes on to say that while adaptation to climate variability is not a novel concept, climate change is anticipated to bring about increased risks and potentially serious outcomes.

       Due to their high degree of technological advancement and high revenue per capita, industrialized countries will not face many adaptation issues, but for developing nations, due to their low income and weak technological foundation, adaptation will be a severe issue (Mshelia, 2000; Jagtap, 2007; Rockefeller Foundation, 2008; IFPRI, 2009; Odjugo, 2009). Diverse perspectives on the concept of the environment have been expressed by Singh (2003). Daramola and Ibem (2010) About the diversity of definitions of environment, Daramola and Ibem (2010) quoted “the diversity of the usage and concept of the term environment have resulted in a variety of adjectival forms, which include social environment, molar environment, physical environment, home environment, psychological environment, behavioral environment, and geographical environment.” The Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) in Nigeria, argued that the environment consisted of the water, air, soil, plants, animals, people who live there, and the connections that existed between them (FEPA, 1989). Item and Daramola claimed that in 2010, sustainability referred to the environment’s capacity to provide for the most fundamental human needs required for the survival of the ecological system’s living and non-living components, economic and socio-cultural systems in a manner that does not limit the possibilities of addressing the present and future requirements of the many components and elements of the environment. Sustainable development is defined by the Brundtland Report as “development that satisfies present demands without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (WCED, 1987). Two fundamental ideas underlie sustainable development; the needs, especially the need of the poor people of the world which is of great priority, and the environment’s limitations as a means of providing for both present and future requirements. Consequently, the idea of sustainable development is anthropocentric i.e it is human-centered (Mitchel, 2002).

      A variety of research on how to assess the built environment for sustainability, as well as the dynamics and mechanisms needed to change the current built environment to make it more sustainable (Adetokunbo, 2010). Others have emphasized the advantages cities may offer in fulfilling sustainable development objectives. High densities and big population concentrations provide certain benefits for addressing human needs and for environmental management, even though the concentration of people, businesses, and automobiles (and their wastes) in cities is frequently considered “a problem” (UNCHS, 1996). Adetokunbo (2010) addressed the key questions about how cities might be made consistent with sustainability objectives and provided case studies of cities with creative, sustainable development strategies. Most of these contributions have a similar emphasis on the potential benefits of cities for achieving sustainable development goals and the degree to which “strong governance” is essential to achieving this goal. Brebbia et al. and Layard et al. are further authors that have contributed to the literature (2006). In addition to the topic of sustainability and cities, the connections between sustainability and the design of buildings, homes, landscapes, and sites have also been studied.

       Graham (2002), Brown et al. (2000), and Carpenter (2001) all made contributions to sustainable building practices. Urban sustainability in the developing world is a concern due to the sheer volume and increasing pace of urbanization, not only the level of urbanization (Drakakis-Smith, 2000). Megacities’ ongoing population expansion is a manifestation of humanity’s amazing capacity for tolerating extremely high levels of spatial population concentration. This does not, however, negate the difficulties these megacities face, even though they can occasionally take on apocalyptic proportions (Davis, 2006).


Adekunle, O.I (2010). Urban sustainability in the context of Lagos-mega city. Journal of Geography and Regional Planning Vol 3(10). ISSN 2070-1845, pp 240-252. Osun State.

Brebbia CA, Mander U, Tiezzi E (2000). The Sustainable City: Urban Regeneration and Sustainability. Southampton: WIT Press 

Brown DE, Fox M, Pelletier MR (2000). Sustainable Architecture: White Papers. New York: Earth Pledge Foundation.

Carpenter TG (2001). Environment, Construction, and Sustainable Development. New York: Wiley

Daramola, A. and Ibem, E. O. (2010). Urban Environmental Problems in Nigeria: Implications for Sustainable Development. Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa, 12(1): 124-145.

Davis M (2004). Planet of slums: urban involution and the informal proletariat. New Left Rev., 26: 5-34

Drakakis-Smith D (2000). Third World Cities (2nd Ed.). London and New York: Routledge 

FEPA (1989). National Policy on Environment. Lagos: Federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Graham P (2002). Building Ecology: Sustainability in the Built Environment. Oxford: Blackwell Science.

IFPRI (2009). Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture and Cost of Adaptation.

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

IPCC (2001). The Report of Working Group 1 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): A Survey for Policymakers.

IPCC (2007). Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), UK: Cambridge University Press. 391-431.

Jagtap, S. (2007). Managing Vulnerability to Extreme Weather and Climate Events: Implications for Agriculture and Food Security in Africa. Proceeding of the International Conference on Climate Change and Economic Sustainability held at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria. June 12 -14.

Layard A, Davoudi S, Batty S (2001). Planning for a Sustainable Future. London and New York: Spon Press

Mitchel, B. (2002). Resource and Environmental Management. Edinburgh Gate: Pearson Education Limited.

Mshelia, A. D. (2000). Adaptation Strategies to Climate Change. Journal of Energy Environ 18(3): 74 -81.

Odjugo, P. A. O. (2009). Quantifying the Cost of Climate Impact in Nigeria: Emphasis on Wind and Rainstorms. Journal of Human Ecology 28(2): 93 -111.

Ovuyovwiroye, O. P. (2010). Adaptation to Climate Change in the Agricultural Sector in the Semi-arid Region of Nigeria. ICID+18. 2nd International Conference: Climate, Sustainability, and Development in Semi-arid Regions. Fortaleza-ceara, Brazil. August 26-20.

Ozor, N. (2009). Understanding Climate Change: Implications for Nigerian Agriculture, Policy and Extension. Paper presented at the National Conference on Climate Change and the Nigerian Environment, organized by the Department of Geography, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, 29 June – 2 July.

Rockefeller Foundation (2008). Climate Change and Adaptation in African Agriculture. Stockholm Environment Institute, pp. 1-54.

Singh, A. P. (2003). Concept of Environment in Ancient Art and Architecture. Delhi: Prakasham.

UNCHS (1996). An Urbanizing World: Global Report on Human Settlements. Oxford: Oxford University Press. World Commission on Environment and Development (1987) Our Common Future, Oxford University Press. p. 8

UNPFII (2007).Climate Change: An Overview UNPFII (United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues). November 2007/ Last Accessed on Sept 02, 2022)

WCED (1987). Our Common Future. The Brundtland Report. New York: Oxford University Press.

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