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Government committed to protecting environment, says minister

Minister of Environment, Mrs Amina Mohammed, has restated Federal Government’s commitment to empower Nigerians and to take actions to protect the environment to achieve sustainable development.

Protecting Environment -Nigeria's Environment Minister, Mrs Amina Mohammed

Nigeria’s Environment Minister, Mrs Amina Mohammed. Photo credit: i.vimeocdn.com

Mohammed said this in Abuja on Friday, December 16, 2016 at an event to mark her one year in office.

She said: “Empowering people, taking climate action and protecting the environment are at the heart of changing the new narrative and putting Federal Ministry of Environment firmly on the path to sustainable development.’’

She recalled that, after Nigeria signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the ministry embarked on nationwide tour to assess the gravity of environmental challenges and interact with the concerned communities.

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“At the end of the tour, we were gaining first-hand experience of the ecological challenges facing Nigeria.

“The tour took us to states such as Lagos South West on issues of coastal erosion and urban slums, Imo and Anambra States on erosion watershed.

“We also visited Rivers State on Niger Delta Clean up, Kano/Jigawa in North West on industrial pollution and Yobe and Borno states in North East on issues of desertification.”

The minister said that the touring team investigated issues on recharging of Lake Chad and insecurity caused by environmental degradation in North East.

According to her, these critical national environmental issues formed the main focus of government’s efforts.

She noted that the ministry was working toward framing new narrative and redefining environmental governance.

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She said: “Having been empowered and inspired by the outcome of the nationwide tour of environmentally impacted sites, the Federal Ministry of Environment set out to redefine Nigeria’s environmental governance.

“It is also creating a new narrative that sees the interconnection within the ministry dedicated to laying a solid foundation for environmental protection in a modern era of change.”

She said the new narrative put the ministry on a path of creating opportunities that grow a prosperous nation through an empowered people, capable of taking action and contributing to the protection of our planet.

According to her, this is at the core of the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari’s Change Agenda.

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“Environment as one of the six core Pillar is reflective of the Government’s new understanding of the Environment as a basis for Sustainable Development.

“In line with the President’s Change Agenda, the environment has become an entry point for addressing issues of Security, inclusive and green economy and improved governance through accountability and transparency.’’

The minister identified environmental degradation as the root cause of insecurity and conflicts such as Boko Haram insurgency, militancy and the conflict between our herdsmen and farmers where people, mostly women are caught at the center.

“Therefore, to improve security, the environment must be taken into account in the development agenda,’’ she said.

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