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ECOWAS calls for increased effort against Biodiversity loss

By Obiabin Onukwugha

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has called for increased efforts from nations of the world, especially the global north against biodiversity loss.

This is as the ECOWAS said it is committed to ensuring that direct exploitation is no longer a driver of global biodiversity loss.

Chairman of the ECOWAS Head of States and Nigerian President, Bola Tinubu, made the call while speaking at the “High-Level Event for Nature and People: From Ambition to Action” held on the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), in New York.

Tinibu, who was represented by the Minister of State for Environment, Dr Iziaq Salako, underscored the need for the global north to keep to it’s promise on climate debt to African nations.

He said; “This is essential, and we invite all countries present today to collectively commit to higher ambition to prevent unsustainable exploitation and species loss. Achieving the world’s ambitious conservation targets, like 30×30, will require that we all do more to prioritize nature finance.

“Last year, at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP15), the world agreed to fully close the nature finance gap and set a near term target of delivering at least $20 billion in international finance to the Global South by 2025.

“Last month in Addis, African countries came together and issued a declaration that underscored the importance of these nature finance targets.

“Nigeria would like to urge all countries to increase their efforts on this issue and to work with us to ensure that the world follow through on these crucial finance commitments,” he said.

The President also noted that the ECOWAS countries were seeking to launch a regional coordination process for the designation of new protected areas.

He said that the vision of Nigeria and the rest of Africa is to ensure that the World truly unites and responds as one to issues relating to the environment and biodiversity loss.

The Nigerian leader further noted that Nigeria is doing its utmost best to promote transformation actions that are commensurate with the scale of the biodiversity crisis.

“This is evident in the massive representation of the ECOWAS countries within the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, the Global Ocean Alliance, and the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature that our sub-region has launched.

“The ECOWAS appeal for an ambitious global response to the biodiversity crisis and call on the rest of the world to go even further than what these Coalitions are seeking, and to be bolder in its response.

“I am very pleased that this event intends to channel global attention towards transformation of the global biodiversity ambition to action. Today we are facing a planetary emergency and our response needs to be commensurate with the scale and urgency of this emergency.

“We are exerting these efforts within our own country in addition to supporting countries in our Sub-region to increase their capacity in this regard”, he stated.

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