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Dr. Mahmoud Ibrahim Mahmoud, Nigeria

Dr. Mahmoud Ibrahim Mahmoud, Nigeria

Please describe your (scientific) work/research in a short way.

I am a Geospatial Scientist (remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems-GIS applications specialist for sustainable development). I have been with the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Abuja since 2008. Over the years I developed skills and competencies in conceptualizing and implementing operational geoinformation processes for different application areas in Nigeria. I am currently a Principal Environmental Scientist and Head of the GIS section and Climate Change Desk of the Agency. Lately, I have been working on Satellite-based Gas Flare Tracking for improved environmental regulation and revenue generation. I served as a field-ICT and Geographic Information System (GIS) consultant to the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL Plc.) through a third-part pathway between January to June 2019. In terms of research, I completed my first postdoctoral research fellowship position as a geospatial information modelling scientist with the Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science (TESS) James Cook University, Cairns, Australia (2016-2018). I am interested in precision agriculture, sustainability Banking, spatial land-use planning, cost-benefit analysis of development projects, urban ecology, coastal environmental changes in the Atlantic, the conservation of natural ecosystems for sustainable development, oil spill sciences, using geodata/technologies (remote sensing) in establishing and monitoring the linkages between Earth Observation Data and Sustainable Development Goals. I am developing a career to enable me professionally Translate Remote Sensing data into Sustainable Development Indicators (TRISDI) for monitoring development in the context of development finance initiatives. My PhD in Climate Change and Land Use degree provided me with an opportunity to research on urban science and my dissertation integrated geoinformation and socioeconomic data for assessment of climate change impact on urban land use in Abuja City, Nigeria. Therefore, my scientific work/research can be described as evidence-based science career for informed decision-making within the context of sustainability science.

Which aspect of a sustainable life, work and research is especially relevant for you and why?

The aspect of a sustainable living I am interested in is the notion of sustainable existence that aims to make cities and human settlement inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. I am a promoter of lifestyle concepts that attempts to achieve optimization of individual's or society's use of the Earth's natural resources, and one's personal resources in the context of conservation and sustainability. To this end, my work, research interest, approaches and outcomes reflect sustainability science pathways such as promoting the concept of linking Earth Observation Data and Sustainable Development Across the Atlantic. Two of my publications as co-author justifies the aspect of sustainability relevant to my life, work and research namely (i) The Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice and (ii) The Role of Scientists’ Warning in Shifting Policy from Growth to Conservation Economy. Locally, I am motivated to carry-on work and research endeavours that showcases “the role of evidence-based science in solving challenges faced by human-environment interaction. Hence, it is my hope to mature into an established urban sustainability scientist with interests in development finance initiatives, sustainable socio-economic and environmental investments.

What would be your wish for the future (and why) with this regard?

I wish to become an established scientist in the field of urban sustainability science using geographical remote sensing approach to shape the African human settlement challenges within the context of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 11; http://bit.ly/2A2Ih5O) that aims to make cities and human settlement inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

How is the Corona crisis affecting you in your every-day life and work?

The Corona Virus pandemic known as COVID-19 has imperilled my everyday life and work life balance. It led to unbelievable restrictions of movement that jeopardized many of my work-life opportunities including coming over to Germany to showcase my research and interact with different researcher at the planned international Alumni programme since 2020. I must say that the COVID-19 crisis is Pandora box with a mixed of bag of the Good, Bad and Ugly depending on the societal structure one belongs to. One might say COVID-19 is:

Bad because it has forcefully made face-to-face activities impossible.

Ugly because, loss of life, livelihood and freedom has been distorted.

Good because, status of innovation, flexibility and dynamism has been elevated to keep life and work moving however at slow pace.

Personally, I appreciate the fact that my over-a-decade experience in Europe has emerged to be a reality in Nigeria and becoming an acceptable approach to doing things. Here, I mean work from home, virtual meeting, e-learning/schooling all fitting within the context of e-Government, Digital Economy and Whole-of-Government.