About CoSET (Uwem Nnyin)

A Vision for Socioecological Transformation

Working for the Total Wellbeing of People, Communities, and the Natural Environment

CoSET, also known as Uwem Nnyin, is a platform comprising Nigerian citizens, organizations, community groups, and journalists. We challenge the dominant growth-centered mindset and advocate for equitable and sustainable outcomes for people, society, and the environment. Discover our foundational principles and our commitment to socioecological transformation.

Who We Are

The Coalition for Socio-Ecological Transformation in Nigeria (CoSET), also known as Uwem Nnyin, is a platform of Nigerian citizens, organizations, community groups and journalists committed to working for the total wellbeing of people, communities and the natural environment. CoSET advances a conceptual model that is critical of the dominant growth-centred mode of thinking currently driving government and business decision-making, and its disastrous consequences on lives, livelihoods, cultures and the environment.

Fundamental principles

CoSET recognizes:

  1. Urgent Need for Alternative Understanding: CoSET recognizes the urgent need to popularize an alternative understanding of how “economic progress” impacts the quality of human life, communities, and the environment. We believe that a holistic approach, considering social, ecological, and economic factors, is necessary for a sustainable future.

  2. Critique of Unbridled Capitalism: We acknowledge that unbridled capitalism, with its profit-driven focus on production, consumerism, market mechanisms, and technology, cannot be the true pathway to a sustainable future. CoSET advocates for a more balanced and equitable approach that prioritizes social and environmental well-being.

  3. Challenging One-Dimensional Approaches: CoSET believes that one-dimensional, developmentalist, and incremental approaches cannot adequately address the significant social, economic, and environmental challenges of our time. We promote a comprehensive and multidimensional approach that recognizes the interdependencies between societies, the economy, and the natural environment.

  4. Addressing Far-Reaching Effects: We understand the far-reaching effects of political, social, economic, and cultural dynamics on our lives. CoSET emphasizes the need for a multi-dimensional approach that considers these interconnections. By recognizing and addressing these complex relationships, we can work towards sustainable solutions.

  5. Social and Ecological Justice and Sustainability: CoSET firmly believes that social and ecological justice and sustainability must be at the center of the quest for human flourishing. We advocate for policies, practices, and actions that prioritize the well-being of both people and the planet, fostering a harmonious and inclusive society.

What is CoSET?

The Coalition for Socio-Ecological Transformation (CoSET) is a group of Nigerian citizens, organizations, community groups and journalists committed to working for equitable and sustainable outcomes for people, society and the environment using the Socio-Ecological Transformation (SET) approach. Established in 2018, the Coalition is also known as Uwem Nnyin, an Efik/Ibibio expression meaning “Our Lives”, underscoring its focus on the total wellbeing of people, society and the natural environment and the Coalition’s foundational premise that all three are strongly interrelated and cannot be improved independently of each other.

Why Uwem Nnyin?

Capitalism and its power dynamics have evidently thrown up crises that hinder bottom up wellbeing for citizens and the pursuit of an equitable and sustainable future for communities and the society as a whole. The social and ecological consequences of the capitalist mode of production and its attendant lifestyles are pervasive, and Nigeria is no exception. However, the effect of economic policies on ecosystems and social wellbeing are hardly taken into account in everyday decision making. To take one example, the pursuit of internationally prescribed economic growth objectives in Nigeria has left the country vulnerable to the mineral resource lust of industrialised nations, leading to toxic governance challenges, over-extraction, resource wastage, revenue losses, communal conflicts, violence, and environmental degradation. Six decades of rapacious assault on natural resources, especially oil and gas, by governments and multinational companies in Nigeria has left nothing but deeper poverty, inequality and corruption in its wake. These developments have both global and local dimensions, the former in the domain of the energy crisis and climate change, the latter in the lived reality of citizens, workers and communities whose lives are shortened as a consequence of destroyed livelihoods, devastated environments, compromised safeguards and weakened community systems. The foregoing illustrates the interconnectedness of the social and ecological dimensions of mainstream policy directions and the mutually reinforcing character of the SET alternative. The mainstream solutions currently being bandied to address challenges such as climate change, energy poverty, food security, job losses, natural resource depletion, gender injustice and generational inequalities are often well-worn, deeply conflicted, diametrically opposed to justice, and have neither worked in Nigeria nor elsewhere. The gamut of challenges and their defiance of current solutions suggest that it is not just necessary but also urgent to “reconnect nature and society through sustainable transformation of interacting social and ecological systems.” That alternative trajectory is what socio-ecological transformation (SET) pursued by CoSET represents. CoSET is conceived on the imperative of a strong network of actors to promote the mindsets required for rejecting less desirable pathways, emplacing more socially and ecologically just alternatives, and reiterating and sustaining the desired social-ecological change and ensuring its resilience and sustainability

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Explore our gallery to witness the visual journey of our projects, events, and initiatives. View captivating images and videos that highlight our work in promoting socioecological transformation and building a sustainable future.