As Nigeria joins the rest of the World to mark the 2021 World Earth Day, the Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, has called for the use of natural resources as a panacea for environmental sustainability aimed at scaling up efforts in preservation and restoration of the natural ecosystems to mitigate climate change.
The World Earth Day is celebrated every April 22 annually, and this year’s commemoration marks 50 years of the modern environmental movement started in 1970 that gave a voice to an emerging public consciousness about the state of our planet.
To this end, Sharon Ikeazor noted that “it is a day that stimulates worldwide awareness of climate change and the environment and should therefore enhance stronger government political commitment and massive public action to address all environmental issues.”
According to the Minister, climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable.
She disclosed that, to mark the event in Nigeria, the ministry like last year amidst the Covid-19 pandemic would continue to focus on issues that enhance sustainable environment.
“We will focus on inspiring, sensitising and enlightening Nigerians to take action to mitigate on climate change in line with this year’s Earth Day themed – “Restore our Earth.”
Against the backdrop that COVID-19 has been reported to be a zoonotic disease that passed from animal to human, Ikeazor opined that this is the time to re-evaluate our interaction with nature and adopt the one world, one health approach.
She said the Federal Government has scaled up its commitment to taking action to mitigate, adapt and promote the capacity for resilience to the impacts of climate change in the country through the ratification of the Paris Agreement by Mr. President, strengthening existing institutional framework to ensure effective coordination of climate change activities and other actions.
According to her, the Nigerian government, in fulfillment of the Paris Agreement, has developed a draft Sectorial Action Plan (SAP) for the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).
She said: “We are currently reviewing the National Policy on Climate Change for more effectiveness with readiness for Nigeria’s National Adaptation Plan Framework for Climate Change (NAPs – Framework).
“Also, there is a sustained effort to sensitise the citizenry to adopt clean technologies to meet Nigeria’s emission reduction target; even as we have developed the National Forest Reference Emission Factor Level (FREL) and submitted it to the UNFCCC.
“As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, now is the time to place priority on environmental sustainability to enable us build a healthier, more sustainable future,” she stated.