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UNN Centre: Climate Change Act, a step towards environmental sustainability

Director of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka-based Resource and Environmental Policy Research Centre – Environment for Development (REPRC-EfD Nigeria), Dr Nnaemeka Chukwuone, describes the signing of the Climate Change Act as a concrete step towards environmental sustainability as well as low-carbon climate-resilient development

Dr Nnaemeka Chukwuone
Dr Nnaemeka Chukwuone

We noted with delight the signing of the Climate Change Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, on Thursday, November 18, 2021, to give Nigeria an enabling law for the management of its climate crisis. This makes Nigeria one of the few countries in Africa with such Acts, and we commend the President and the National Assembly for walking the talk on cutting Nigerian carbon emissions to net-zero by 2060.

There is no better time to have a Climate Change Act than now, given the increasing need for environmental sustainability, low-carbon climate-resilient development, ecosystem conservation and the adoption of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) in the country’s budgeting and national planning.

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The Act has come at a crucial time that the Federal Ministry of Environment, in partnership with the Resource and Environmental Policy Research Centre, Environment for Development (REPRC-EfD Nigeria), and Natural Eco Capital and with support from World Bank, has already taken the initiative aimed at helping Nigeria mainstream natural capital into its system of national accounts.

The partnership has done remarkable work on developing pilot Natural Capital Accounts (NCA) and natural capital accounting roadmap for Nigeria. Pilot NCA for land cover, ecosystem extent, mangroves, and greenhouse gas were produced under the “Towards Natural Capital Accounts for Nigeria” project, supported by the World Bank.

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REPRC-EfD is confident that the newly signed Climate Change Act, which has given legal backing for the development of NCA for the country, will help fast track the production of NCAs and mainstream them into national policies and plans. We also hope that the provisions of the Climate Change Act will be domesticated at the state levels for maximum impact.

Preserving our environment and ecosystem is a collective responsibility that requires a healthy partnership among relevant stakeholders. As a research Centre domiciled in the University of Nigeria, the REPRC-EfD Nigeria is always ready to provide evidence-based advice and technical support to realise the government’s agenda on environmental sustainability.

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Based on our research findings, we have been engaging with relevant stakeholders on the need to review Nigeria’s marine and fishery policies. It is our hope that very soon, marine and inland fisheries in Nigeria will have an updated law and policy that will favour the sustainable exploitation of aquatic resources in Nigeria waters.

All of us at the REPRC-EfD Nigeria is delighted with the signing of the Climate Change Act by Mr President and look forward to its effective enforcement to drive Nigeria in the path of climate-resilient sustainable development.

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