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UNODC protecting the Nigerian environment

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By Mercy Kelani

Development of the National Strategy by the ministry is a huge achievement.

The United Nations Office of Drug Crimes (UNODC) in Nigeria will not stop fighting against forest crime, providing the required assistance to Nigeria in its National strategy. Mr. Oliver Stolpe, the Country representative of the agency, guaranteed this assistance at a courtesy visit to Dr. Iziaq Salako, the minister of State for Environment, which was held in Abuja. He declared that for some years now there has been collaboration between the UNODC and the ministry, including relevant stakeholders in the environmental sector.

He said that it is a delight to congratulate the minister on his appointment and commence discussions on ways through which the UNODC can fashion a strategic plan to actualize the goal. Different projects have been embarked on due to immense support from the European Union (EU) and the government of Germany to help stakeholders, including the Ministry to build the National Strategy, which is the first of its kind, to fight forest and wildlife criminal acts in the country. Mr. Stolpe said that this strategy is a huge achievement for the ministry.

Protection of the environment is prioritized by current administration.

Stolpe stated that there is a collaboration between the Nigeria Custom Service, National Park service and the UNODC to achieve this National strategy. He also emphasized the commitment between Nigeria and UNODC to ensure safety in the Nigerian environment. Dr. Iziaq Salako, Minister of State for Environment in Nigeria, declared his readiness to partner with relevant stakeholders to promote Biodiversity in Nigeria. According to Salako, protection of the environment is prioritized by his administration and is a core mandate.

Salako explained that it is a general responsibility of non-living things, plants, animals, and man to protect the environment, which are natural gifts from God. Most importantly, man, as the head of the environment, has a primary responsibility to ensure a safe, harmonious and cordial relationship between all members that dwell in the environment. It is the mandatory obligation of all humans to protect animals and plants in ensuring that the planet earth remains a coexistent and harmonious place for all things (living or non-living) to enjoy the gift of God. Creation of awareness on related issues will likewise be done by the Ministry.

Energy Transition plan will address issues of climate change.

Continuing on, Salako reiterated that his office is ready to collaborate to address the issue and create awareness. This is owing to the discipline and policy of the Ministry to deploy their mandate. He also appealed to the UNODC for partnership and support to ensure the safety of the National parks in the country from wildlife crime. Dr. Salako added that there is a plan to introduce technology in the maintenance of security across the National parks. There are challenges of security maintenance, but the Ministry is considering the introduction of technology to assure and guarantee security in Nigerian National parks.

Without solutions, the issues of insecurity will drive away and discourage tourists and visitors. Also, the lives of the animals are not safe due to the state of insecurity, which might lead to unlawful trading and taking of the animals. Dr. George Nwangu, the Director General of the Africa Climate Forum, was received by the Minister as he emphasized the commitment made by the government to guarantee achievement of the energy transition initiative in Nigeria. Also, the Energy Transition plan will address issues of climate change.

A major issue in the world is energy transition & climate change.

Dr. George Nwangu, the Director General of the Africa Climate Forum, stated that the forum is to gather stakeholders in the private sector to device appropriate methods to address the issues of climate change. Nwangu stated that the visitation was to ensure partnership from the ministry. One of the most pressing issues across the globe, and most especially in Nigeria is Energy Transition and Climate change. Significantly, the collaboration between private sectors and government stakeholders is the major aim of the Forum, to address the issues of climate change and suggest a solution.

Related Link

UNODC:   Website

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