By Zakaa Lazarus, Abuja.
Emir of Nasarawa and Former Minister of Environment His Royal Highness, Alhaji Ibrahim Usman Jibril, on Tuesday emphasized that environmental issues has become a top-Chart across the globe, saying strong commitment and determination is needed in addressing issues around climate change.
The Monarch made this known at a one day seminar organised by Development Agenda in collaboration with Environment Media Correspondent Association of Nigeria (EMCAN) in Abuja.
According to Alhaji Ibrahim Jibril, “environmental issues have become global challenges, Nigeria is not left out with the challenges facing the country, for instance, the diversification, land encroachment, and oil pollution among others.”
He also stressed on the issue of desert encroachment, the impact of pollution in Nigeria and flooding are challenges all over the country, he added that these are long term temperature, shifts in temperature and weather condition that has become Climate Change issues.
On his part, the Conservator, General, National Park Service, Dr Ibrahim Musa Goni said the emphasis on climate change is a phenomenon, and that it is real.
He thereby urged all stakeholders to support the effort of the government in trying to mitigate the challenges of climate change, noting that private individual should acquire lands and plant trees by doing so, wildlife can have a place to inhabit.
“It is a wake-up call for all of us, we should give them the social support they desire.
“Environmental sector needs to be reviewed, some laws are obsolete and the laws need to be reviewed, whether at local government level or state government.”
In his welcome address, Mr. Paddy Ezeala, the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Development Agenda Magazine said the occasion is important in profiling the issues of climate change in Nigeria.
“This is special as it relates to the upcoming 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) coming up in Dubai, UAE, later this month. By extension, it is also an opportunity for us to take stock of the state of our environment and evaluate our responses to the various challenges confronting us in that regards.
“The consequences of climate change are manifesting starkly in Nigeria and, in fact, across West Africa. We can no longer pretend that nothing is happening. We are all affected.
“The Sahel region of Northern Nigeria, especially the areas bordered by Niger and Chad, is under the severe menace of desertification.
“Fertile land areas from which the people derived sustenance through farming and other economic activities are speedily witnessing increasing loss of vegetation.
“They evoke the image of aridity, which is an apt metaphor for a state of wholesale degradation begging for remedial action. The situation of Lake Chad is emblematic of the extent of damage being wrought by climate change in Nigeria. .
“Any attempt not to address the environmental issues with the seriousness it deserves would spell disaster for the entire country. We are elated, however, by the Great Green Wall initiative aimed at wedging the incursion of the Sahara Desert into the country.”
The Deputy Chairman Committee on Environment, House of Representatives, Hon. Terseer Ugbor in his address also said the issues around climate change and Nigeria’s participation COP28, to be valuable at the conference, delegates must provide proposals approved at the conference commitment to environmental the sustainability and resilience and inclusive economic development especially for the nation experiencing rapid urbanization and industrial roads, intertwined with existing threats posed by climate change outcomes or poverty rates are not merely for policymakers but logical and for dictating the future trajectory of sustainable development in Nigeria.
“In navigating our current challenges of conflict. Last year during the anniversary of adopting the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, we focus on Cop standing in mitigating integrated climate catastrophe to prioritize accreditation loss damage and enhancing resilience for vulnerable populations.
“Less zero emissions are crucial, but energy security, resilience and affordability are vital. The private sector has learned through cross business cooperation that it is instrumental in speeding up decarbonization.
“We need substantial investments in green technologies from carbon capture and sustainable agriculture to address the imminent climate crisis. Both private and public sectors who aggressively invest in green energy.”
In his vote of thanks, EMCAN Chairman, Amechi Chuks Oyema urged members of the group to put in more effort in reporting the environmental challenges, especially climate change.
He said participation in COP28 will enable EMCAN members build more capacity on the job.
The seminar has the theme “Climate Change and COP28: The Way Forward For Nigeria.”