Financing, Catalyst For Sustainable Environmental Protection – FG

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A cross section of dignitaries during the National Council of Environment in Abuja.

The Minister of Environment, Balarabe Lawal has reiterated the crucial role of environment financing in generating resources for effective environmental protection and conservation efforts.

Speaking at the 17th meeting of the National Council of Environment in Abuja, organised by the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, Lawal emphasised the need to mobilise more financial inflows to support environmental sustainability.

The theme of the meeting, “Environment Financing: Need to mobilise more financial inflows for generating adequate resources in support of environmental sustainability efforts,” underscores the importance of allocating resources towards projects aimed at protecting and preserving the environment.

Lawal highlighted the capital-intensive nature of environment financing and called for the adoption of innovative mechanisms such as green bonds, carbon pricing and public-private partnerships to generate the necessary resources. These mechanisms, he emphasised, are essential for funding effective environmental protection and conservation initiatives.

Addressing global challenges ranging from climate change to biodiversity loss, Lawal emphasised the urgent need for bold and decisive actions to mitigate their adverse effects. He stressed the role of innovation and collaboration in confronting these challenges and urged stakeholders to intensify the exploration and implementation of financing mechanisms.

Lawal urged stakeholders to redouble their efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, embrace renewable energy solutions, and foster sustainable practices across all sectors. He emphasised the importance of leveraging technology, fostering partnerships, and engaging diverse stakeholders to forge a path towards a more resilient and sustainable future.

As custodians of biodiversity, Lawal emphasised the importance of safeguarding precious ecosystems from degradation and exploitation. He underscored the moral obligation to preserve the rich tapestry of life on Earth and called for the enforcement of environmental justice to ensure equitable distribution of benefits.

Highlighting the need for government support, Lawal stressed the importance of protecting forests and addressing environmental crimes. He called for collaborative efforts to evaluate and address challenges facing the environment.

In his remarks, the Minister of State for Environment, Dr. Iziaq Salako emphasised the central role of the environment in human existence. He underscored the urgency of addressing climate emergencies and called for ambitious actions to tackle environmental degradation and its associated challenges.

Salako highlighted the importance of innovative financing mechanisms such as the issuance of Green Bonds to drive private sector funding into environmental initiatives. He urged state governments to explore opportunities for climate financing through the issuance of their green bonds.

Emphasising the need to mobilise funding for climate and environmental actions, Salako stressed the importance of presenting Nigeria’s areas of comparative advantage to the global community. He advocated for nature-based solutions and highlighted Nigeria’s role in promoting ambition on biodiversity finance.

Salako urged participants to remain dedicated to environmental sustainability, emphasizing that collective efforts can pave the way for a healthier and cleaner planet. He called for collaboration and concerted action to address environmental challenges and ensure a sustainable future.

In his remarks, the representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, Koffy Dominque highlighted the increasing pressure on the environment from climate change, deforestation and pollution. He stressed the need to mobilise more financial inflows to support environmental sustainability efforts and underscored FAO’s commitment to supporting government initiatives in this regard.

Addressing climate change mitigation efforts in the south-south region, the project coordinator of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), Prof. Nenibarini Zabby highlighted HYPREP’s role in implementing recommendations for environmental remediation in the Ogoni community. He emphasised the importance of clean-up efforts and restoration projects in contributing to environmental well-being and human health.

Zabby emphasised the need for a review process to ensure that remediation efforts meet the objectives of providing job opportunities and restoring degraded lands. He highlighted HYPREP’s efforts in cleaning up oil-impacted lands and restoring mangroves in the Ogoni community.

The meeting underscored the critical importance of environment financing in addressing global environmental challenges. It emphasised the need for innovative financing mechanisms and collaborative efforts to mobilise resources for effective environmental protection and conservation. As stakeholders continue to work towards environmental sustainability, collective action and commitment are essential to ensure a healthier and cleaner planet for future generations.

Oluchi Okorafor
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