The Federal Government on Thursday called on the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to support Nigeria on effective implementation of the National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP) policy for environmental sustainability of the country.
The Minister of Environment, Alhaji Mohammed Abdullahi, made the call at a Launch of National Consultation Leadership Dialogue for the Stockholm +50, in Abuja.
The minister was represented by Mr Stanley Jonah, Director, Planning, Research and Statistics of the ministry.
Abdullahi said that the support would help in the implementation of other programmes in the sector.
He said that just like the iconic Oliver Twist who was always asking for more, the ministry was looking further for UNDP’s support on the implementation of the policy.
“The support will bring an elaborate process of developing AEAP, for a holistic approach to the management of the country’s environmental policies”, he said.
The minister also urged all the relevant stakeholders and Nigerians at large to halt any activities involving negative trends in the environment.
According to him, the launch is designed to engage stakeholders on consultative meeting to mark the 50th years of convening the UN Conference on the human environment in Stockholm, Sweden.
He said that the objective was for the government at all levels to dialogue with relevant stakeholders on effective ways to adress environmetal challenges in the country.
“The dialogue will no doubt provide us with platform where we can share global vision on how to achieve a healthy planet and prosperity for all.
“The dialogue will also help to accelerate progress on the sustainable development goals as well as multilateral agreement through which inclusive green recovery are achieved.
“I,therefore, urge us all to bring out the best towards this dialogue meeting for environmental sustainability of our country,” he said.
Abdullahi, however, appreciated the UNDP for supporting the ministry in ensuring a healthy environment in the country.
Prof. Emmanuel Oladipo, National Coordinator for the Leadership Dialogue, said that the essence of the meeting was to let the world know the importance of environment and take the issue seriously for its sustainability.
He said that 50 years ago, the first global conference on environment in Stockholm, Sweden, which had about 113 countries, was aimed at what the environment was doing to us or what we are doing to environment and the need to adress the challenges effectively.
“The conference was made to take decisions on the foundation for the world to take every environmental matters seriously and as part of our development process.
“Such process, which started in 1972 cumulated into series of global conventions, such as climate change, biodiversity, drought and desertification conventions.
“All of these conventions, including the Paris agreement in 2015, are made to address effectively the global environmental challenges,” he said.
The coordinator said that the aim of the dialogue was to discuss with relevant stakeholders from various sectors on how the environment was 50 years ago and what it is today.
According to him, the meeting will also help to bring ideas and knowledge from the stakeholders to improve and support a healthy environment.
The UNDP Resident Programme, Nigeria, Mr Lealem BerhanuDinku, said that 50 years ago, the environment was healthy because human activities were managed.
“The environment has damaged today because of various activities by individuals.
“Such can be controlled through collaborative efforts by relevant stakeholders both nationally and globally,” BeehanuDinku said.
He said that the UNDP would continue to support Nigeria in ensuring that environmental challenges were tackled effectively.
Mrs Linda Pedersen, First Secretary, Head of Administration, Sweden Embassy, urged Nigerians to take environment challenges as their responsibility.
Pederson added that in celebrating Stockholm 50 +, the world should try to add speedy action to deliver a healthy environment.
“As we cherish our environment together, we much as well check it together.
“What happened 50 years ago in our environment must continue for a healthy and sustainable environment,” Pedersen said. (NAN)