By Bukar Bolori
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment has launched the Stockholm +50 national consultation meetings in Nigeria, to address nature, promote clean recovery from COVID-19 and proffer solutions to environmental challenges.
The meeting is aimed at providing in-person and virtual platforms for ideas, insights, and innovation that aligns with national priorities ahead of the high-level meeting in Stockholm later in the year.
Speaking at the launch on Thursday, the UNDP’s Deputy Resident Representative Programmes, Mr. Lealem Dinku, disclosed that habitats, and ecosystems such as forests and grasslands are being converted at very high rates for natural resource extraction which must be addressed all over the country.
He said: “By destroying nature, we are destroying the web of life that supports our existence on Earth. We must stop undermining our own future and be more responsible for a sustainable and healthy planet.
50 years is a good time to take stock of our actions on, for and against humankind’s survival.”
Dinku said to get involved in tackling the climate and biodiversity crisis, “collective and individual action must respond with urgency to the rapidly closing window to adapt to a changing environment and secure a healthy planet and prosperity for all.”
He added that: “Business-as-usual poses severe threats to our well-being, prosperity, and future. On this note, I will like to call on all major stakeholder groups, including Government, women, youth, older persons, academia, persons with disabilities, indigenous people, school children and local communities, as well as other representatives from civil society and the private sector to engage and contribute to the discussions at the national levels which will contribute to a global approach at addressing environmental challenges when the world meets in June at Stockholm, Sweden.”
Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, said the dialogue was apt due to the environmental challenges experienced on the continent.
She said: “As you may be aware the objective of this national consultation is to stimulate on inclusive whole society and, whole of government dialogue on the main themes of Stockholm +50 as they relate to our country. The National dialogue will no doubt provide us with a platform where shared global vision, on how to achieve a healthy planet and prosperity for all of while accelerating progress on the Sustainable Development Goals and Multilateral Environment Agreements through an inclusive green recovery are achieved”.
Ikeazor, however called on UNDP for more support, noting that UNDP’s activities in the Environment Sector in Nigeria is a classical definition of the good balance needed to get the sector working effectively towards supporting the development aspiration of the country for the wellbeing of all and the generation unborn.
She said: “Just like the iconic Oliver Twist who is always asking for more, the Ministry will further be looking to UNDP to support an elaborate process of developing a National Environmental Action Plan for an integrated and holistic approach to the management of the country’s environmental challenges, a process that will include a comprehensive update of all environmental policies in the country.