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EU invests €1.5m in wildlife conservation in Cross River

The European Union (EU) has invested 1.5 million euros for the preservation of Cross River’s wildlife, an official has said.

Ms Samuela Isopi, EU’s Ambassador to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States, said this during a meeting with Gov. Bassey Otu at the Government House in Calabar on Saturday.

Isopi said the delegation was in Cross River as part of the union’s activities to support wildlife conservation in the state by inaugurating new infrastructures and interventions, valued at 1.5 million euros.

She said that while the visit was unique, being the first in over 10 years, the EU was proud to partner in the conservation of wildlife in Cross River and was willing to commit an additional 3.5 million euros to the project.

The ambassador said the additional resources would  prevent illegal logging, poaching and support to communities even outside gaming reserves.

“This initiative is geared towards sensitising local communities on the protection of wildlife, promoting climate sustainability and biodiversity,” she said.

Responding, Otu described the visit as historic given that it was the first time in over a decade.

He commended the union for the collaboration and support to the state, especially in the areas of biodiversity and climate sustainability.

According to the governor, Cross River and the EU have a shared vision in terms of green economy.

He said that the state offers a conducive environment for sustainable economic investment.

He assured his guest of improved security, highlighting the state’s potential in agriculture, mining, biodiversity and education.

He affirmed his administration’s commitment to carbon reduction and a climate-friendly state with the floating of a Green Bond in Luxembourg in a few weeks’ time.

“While I commend your being here, let me assure you that the state is ready for partnership and investment, such as those the EU is bringing.

“We share a common vision in supporting and preserving the rich biodiversity that our state is known for as well as committed to climate change initiatives.

“To demonstrate our seriousness here, we will be floating a Green Bond in Luxembourg in a few weeks’ time,” Otu said

He urged the ambassador to take the message back that Cross River was building a sustainable sub-national, giving its strategic location around the Gulf of Guinea.

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