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Tinubu’s Ministers Unveil Climate Change Actions for Nigeria 

By Obiabin Onukwugha

Nigeria’s Minister of Environment, Balarabe Abbas, has emphasised the need for global effort towards rediction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.


According to the minister, there is global need to explore technologies that will drastically reduce GHG emissions especially in the transport sector and other domestic appliances.

Abbas noted that international cooperation and partnerships must be strengthened to address trans-boundary environmental challenges and share best practices.


“We must endeavour to mainstream climate change adaptation and resilience-building measures into our national development plans and policies. This includes promoting climate-smart agriculture, and providing support to vulnerable communities to adapt to changing environmental conditions,”he said.


The minister stated that Nigeria will continue to collaborate with neighbouring countries in the Sahel region to implement the Great Green Wall project as well as harness the expertise and resources of international organizations and donors in combating climate change impacts.


The minister spoke at an event to mark this year’s World Environment Day in Abuja.

He noted that the World Environment Day, celebrated every June 5, which is dedicated to fostering global awareness and action for the protection of our environment serves as a vital reminder of our collective responsibility to safeguard our planet.


He said this year’s theme “Land Restoration, Desertification and Drought Resilience” emphasizes not only the importance of protecting what we have but also the need to restore and rejuvenate our agricultural landscape in order to ensure food security and sustain a heathy ecosystem for our future generation.

“This call to action resonates deeply with this administration’s Renewed Hope Agenda aimed at sustainable development and environmental stewardship.


“Nigeria, like many other countries around the world, is facing significant environmental challenges, our land resources are under immense pressure from a variety of factors ranging from deforestation, unsustainable land management practices and the adverse impacts of climate change. These challenges not only threaten the health and well-being of our people but also jeopardize the sustainability of our ecosystems and the prosperity of future generations.


“Our Semi-Arid and Sahel regions are characterized by land degradation, drought, and desertification and in turn exacerbate poverty and food insecurity within the society. These factors also contribute to joblessness, social unrest and conflict in these areas. Therefore, we must collectively take decisive actions capable of reversing these trends and build a more sustainable future before it becomes too late,” he said.


Abbas revealed that despite the challenges, Nigeria is making significant progress in addressing land degradation and desertification through initiatives such as the Great Green Wall Project (GGW), Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) and Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscape (ACResal).

He further stated that the fight against climate change and global warming needs concerted efforts amd collaboration from all stakeholders.


He added: “Measures have been implemented through this programmes and projects to restore degraded landscapes, promote sustainable land management practices and enhance the resilience of communities to drought and desertification.  We have strengthened partnerships with local communities, civil society organizations, and international partners to mobilize resources and expertise towards reviving our lands, ecosystem and the environment in general.


“Even though a lot has been done towards restoration of our environment, much work still needs to be done. As we commemorate the World Environment Day today, let us recommit ourselves to the goal of accelerating land restoration, enhancing drought resilience, and combating desertification.


“This requires concerted efforts of all stakeholders, including Government Agencies, Private Sector, Academia, and Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s). Air, water and soil pollution poses severe threats to public health and the environment. To attain environmental sustainability, we must strengthen pollution control measures and promote sustainable waste management practices. Our efforts to reduce plastic waste and encourage recycling must be intensified at all levels.


“At this juncture, I would like to urge all stakeholders to join the Ministry of Environment and other Agencies in our efforts to strengthen the enforcement of existing environmental laws and regulations with a view to preventing further degradation of our land resources.


“This includes promoting sustainable land use practices, enforcing land tenure rights and cracking down on illegal logging, deforestation, poaching and all other acts capable of destroying our natural environment. We must invest in the rehabilitation and restoration of degraded landscapes through afforestation, reforestation, and sustainable land management techniques that would enhance ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and water filtration.

“Finally, let us always keep in mind that our environment is what we are, it simply returns back what we offer to it. A well natured and sustained environment is directly proportional to the benefits it provides to humanity.


“I would like to call on each and everyone to seize the opportunity presented by the World Environment Day to redouble our efforts in accelerating land restoration, enhancing drought resilience, and combating desertification. By working together, we can build a more sustainable and resilient future for Nigeria and the world.”


On his part, the Minister of State for Environment, Dr. Iziaq Salako, emphasised the adoption of Nature-based solutions to address environmental challenges in a way that protects the wellbeing of all creatures on planet earth and conserves our biodiversity.

He said: “Nature-based solutions (NBS) are gaining prominence and relevance, a sort of going back to the basics as NBS is nothing new, but a better appreciation of the importance of living in harmony with nature. NBS are interventions that use nature and the natural functions of healthy ecosystems to tackle some of the most pressing challenges of our time.


“They address key societal challenges through the protection, sustainable management and restoration of both natural and modified ecosystems, benefiting biodiversity and wellbeing. NBS is a vital tool for tackling climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, pollution and waste. It is a cost-effective pathway to our drive for generations restoration.”

He added that a key driver of the NBS concept is The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KMGBF), adopted at Montreal, Canada in 2022 by 196 countries during the 15th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.


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