The Federal Government of Nigeria on Saturday said it will continue to deal with the numerous challenges posed by environmental degradation and biodiversity loss resulting from deforestation, desertification, land and ecosystem degradation.
The Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, restated government’ s commitment to dealing with the problems, during the 2021 World Environment Day celebration in Osogbo.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Ecosystem Restoration: Resetting Our Relation with Nature.”
Abubakar said that government, being conscious of the alarming rate of deforestation standing at between 3.7 and 4.0 per cent, had continued to engage stakeholders locally and internationally on the issue.
The minister said this was in addition to the formulation of enabling policies and legislations aimed to bring the situation under control.
He said government had also begun execution of nature-based programmes and projects to address the challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss, in view of their multiple benefits.
He said: “Setting the pace, the Federal Government has made some efforts at all levels of governance to promote resilient environmental sustainability in the context of national development.
“At the just concluded National Council on Environment, the issue of Nature Based Solution was at the front burner.
“This came as a result of the renewed awareness on its cost effectiveness in the long-term management of ecosystem crises and its potential contribution to the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).
“It is also expected to facilitate the national and global targets, including the 2030 development agenda in which Nigeria is already making steady progress.
He said that the federal government submitted its NDC interim report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) few days ago.
According to him, the move was part of government’s practical demonstration of its commitment to the Paris Agreement on global action on climate crisis.
“This action underscores our determination to achieve the commitment we signed in 2015 to reduce Nigeria’s carbon emissions unconditionally by 20 per cent and 45 per cent conditionally with international support by 2030,” he stated.
Abubakar said the ministry had made tremendous efforts to enhance effective and far-reaching actions to tackle deforestation, drought, desertification, climate change and reduce their impacts on the citizenry.
The minister said this was done through development of policies and building of institutional and legislative capacity.
In his remarks, Gov. Gboyega Oyetola said the state would continue to complement the efforts of the federal government towards meeting the country’s environmental challenges.
He said the state would do this through safeguarding the environment and also establishing enabling laws that would be of great benefits to the citizenry.
Oyetola commended the federal government for its choice of Osun to celebrate this year’s World Environment Day.
Also, the Commissioner for Environment and Sanitation in the state, Mr Sola Oladejo , commended the federal government for its numerous environmental intervention programmes in the state.