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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Prioritise competence in appointment of environment minister—CSOs tell Tinubu

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Civil Society Groups (CSOs) have urged the Federal Government to appoint somebody knowledgeable about environment and right channels for international financing as minister of environment for the country to mitigate climate change.

The CSOs made the call in Abuja on Friday during an event to mark the Climate Emergency Day celebrated annually on July 22.

Mr Michael David, Executive Secretary Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEF), said there was the need to have somebody that understands the sector to head the ministry of environment.

“We need the right people in the right offices and that is why we are advocating a capable minister of environment, someone with understanding and knowledge of financial flows.

“Someone that can attend to some of these global conferences and negotiations and get the right deals for the country.

“The country needs resources to build resilience to climate change. There are resources that can be mobilised,” he said.

According to him the country has less than five years to act on climate issues before the temperature goes beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“As was agreed at the Paris Conference scientifically it appears that the temperature is already going beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“If we don’t act within the short time we have, it means the temperature would go above two degrees and this would have impact on the global economy and our health.

“The whole world is seeing the impact of climate change and Nigeria is not immune to it, in 2022 Nigeria witnessed the impact of the flood had impact on our food security, our health, economy and education.

“In 2023 we are already witnessing flooding and other environmental issues. We have to wake up to the new reality of climate change and the need for us to take climate action,” David urged.

The Executive Secretary said that the solutions to climate change are global it is not limited to Nigeria alone.

“As a very vulnerable country that we are, what we need to do is to build resilience we need to invest more in adaptation as well as mitigation.

“We need to support our farmers with climate smart technology to ensure that we have food to eat all year round.

“We need to arrest this annual flooding that is ravaging the country and its huge impact on food security, the solution is to build some earth dams,” he advised.

Mr Joseph Ibrahim, West African Coordinator for the Climate Clock, urged the federal government to effectively implement climate change related policies and agreements.

“Basically we want a lot of commitment from government in terms of policies and these policies must reflect what is happening in the communities.

“We don’t want policies that only take care of the rich and the middle class.

“The policies must address vulnerable communities where they are most impacted with climate change especially in the area of food security’’, he said.

He urged the government to expedite interventions for farmers and support communities who live around the riverine areas. (NAN) 

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