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UNDP restates commitment to addressing Nigeria’s environmental degradation

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) on Wednesday, August 29, 2018 in Abuja restated its continued support to address environmental degradation in Nigeria.

GEF-UNDP

L-R: Dr Reuben Bamidele of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO); Ahmed Auwal Maidabino, Director, Planning, Research & Statistics, GEF-OFP, Federal Ministry of Environment; Dr Peter Tarfa, Director, Department of Climate Change in the Federal Ministry of Environment; Faris Khader, UNDP Regional Technical Advisor, Climate Change Mitigation and Energy; and Dr John Fonweban, Forest Officer, REDD+ Programme Forest Policy & Resources Division

Mr Faris Khader, UNDP Regional Technical Advisor, Climate Change Mitigation and Energy, said this at a two-day 11th Global Environment Facility (GEF) National Steering Committee Meeting in the federal capital city.

The GEF is a global fund provider to address the issues of environment such as biodiversity, climate change, ozone layer, international waters and pollution.

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Khader, who said UNDP was part of the implementing agencies of GEF projects, commended the Federal Government for its active participation in the implementation of GEF projects in the country.

“I will like to congratulate the Honourable Minister for Environment for his dynamic leadership, as evidenced by his recent active participation in GEF Assembly in Vietnam.

“I wish to therefore, assure him of UNDP’s continuing support, especially with developing responsive interventions that are fully aligned with Government’s Change Agenda and national priorities,” he said.

According to him, people live in an incredibly complex and interconnected environment, which is a life supporting system for human survival.

“While a properly managed environment can be geared towards productive requirements, a poorly managed one can easily threaten human survival.

“This underpins the critical role that GEF investments play in the scaling up sustainable local solutions for global benefits,” Khader said.

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His words: “As we all know, we live in an incredibly complex and interconnected environment, which is a life supporting system for human survival. While a properly managed environment can be geared towards productive requirements, a poorly managed one could easily threaten human survival. This underpins the critical role that GEF investments play in the scaling up sustainable local solutions for global benefits.

“Noteworthy, is the inclusion of State actors and local communities in this two-day consultation. A recognition of the significant roles they play in designing of sustainable programmatic interventions and harnessing grassroots solutions and innovations that will sustainably address the key drivers of environmental degradation in Nigeria, while maximizing the benefits of GEF at all levels.

“The longstanding UNDP-Federal Ministry of Environment is of significant value. Together, our current GEF programming covers biodiversity and climate change, with the overall vision of delivering value to the poor and marginalized (especially women and youths), empowering policy makers and unlocking private sector investments for nature-based solutions. We at UNDP look with excitement into the future filled with limitless possibilities of working with the Government of Nigeria in their quest to build a sustainable and prosperous future for its people.”

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The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Alhaji Sheu Ahmed, who declared the meeting open, thanked the UNDP for its efforts in assisting Nigeria in its task at ensuring a desirable environment.

Ahmed, who was represented by the Director, Department of Climate Change in the ministry, Dr Peter Tarfa, said that the federal government was working to upscale the Nigerian environment.

He said that the ministry was implementing programmes and projects to eradicate plastic pollution that posed threats to lives and aquatic lives and causing depletion to the ozone layer, an incidence very harmful to human existence.

The permanent secretary expressed the federal government’s determination to maximize benefits accruable from the opportunities available in terms of getting more funds into the nation’s system through GEF-funded projects.

By Deji Abdulwahab

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