Gbajabiamila urges capacity building to protect environment

[FILES] Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila. Photo: TWITTER/FEMIGBAJA

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, has called for concerted efforts towards addressing the problems associated with climate change and environmental degradation in the country.

Speaking during the launch of the Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE) Advancing REDD+ and Natural Capital Governance towards delivery of the 2030 Agenda at the National Assembly complex yesterday, he observed that lack of technical know-how hindered effective implementation of policies.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) facilitated the project with GLOBE.

He stressed the need for a concrete strategy to address issues of climate change and environmental degradation in the country.

“I am convinced by the scientific evidence before us, and the lived experience of many of our citizens across the country, that developing and implementing a robust strategy to holistically address the challenges of climate change and environmental degradation, to build a sustainable future for our country, is one of the most important responsibilities we hold as leaders and legislators at this moment in our history.

“This is a concern that we share in the executive and legislature, and it is the reason we are determined to make coordinated and sustained efforts to develop policies, pass legislations and implement plans and projects expressly intended to protect our environment and achieve sustainable economic growth and national development,” Gbajabiamila noted.

In his welcome remarks, Vice President (Africa), GLOBE international and president of GLOBE Nigeria, Samuel Onuigbo (PDP, Imo), disclosed that the project, which is co-implemented by Senegal and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was aimed at reducing emissions from degradation, deforestation and conservation, while pushing for awareness and legislations that promote natural capital accounting in national development plans.

Meanwhile, the Federal Ministry of Environment, at a programme it organised for environmentalists across the North East states, yesterday, advocated aggressive tree planting to mitigate the danger of climate change in the region.

Environmental experts from the region also mulled the construction of water harvesting structures and increased afforestation programmes to address climate change threatening the zone.

Deputy Executive Director, Women Environmental Programme (WEP), Mr. John Baaki, urged the stakeholders in the region to ensure that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of their states mainstream gender issues in their climate change action plan to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Experts from Bauchi, Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Taraba and Adamawa states attended the programme, which focused on public awareness campaign in schools and communities by relevant federal ministries to mitigate the hazards of climate change.

One of the participants from Bauchi, Hauwa Abdullahi of the Development Exchange Centre (DEC), urged states in the zone to train communities on how to engage in raising of tree seedlings to check desertification and rejuvenate the weak soil that had suffered years of being overused.

Also, David Ayodele of Water Sanitation and Hygiene Media Network urged civil society organisations (CSOs) to challenge government at all levels to account for billions of naira budgeted and released to address ecological challenge.

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