By: AgroNature Admin
OVER 100 participants from Nigeria including from Federal and State Governments, Civil Society Groups, Non-Governmental Organisations and International development partners, took part in a virtual ‘Nigeria for Nature’ dialogue hosted by the British High Commission in Nigeria, in collaboration with Wilton Park.
The 2-day event themed: ‘Re-imagining nature-based solutions in Nigeria’ was hosted as part of efforts to sensitise the general public on the benefits of healthy ecosystems, which underpins global food and nutrition security, and can directly improve livelihoods for millions in Nigeria, including citizens that are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
Discussions centred on the relevance of nature-based solutions for building resilience to climate change from different perspectives. The major challenges around the implementation, governance and financing of nature-based solutions and how to overcome them were also discussed. It examined how various stakeholders can work together for successful, sustainable nature-based solutions in Nigeria.
In her remarks, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing described 2021 as a pivotal year for addressing the interlinked climate and biodiversity crisis.
She said the upcoming Convention of Biodiversity (CBD15) on 17-30 May 2021, and Conference of the Parties (COP26) on 1-12 November 2021 would be, “seminal moments in the fight against climate change and protecting our natural heritage.”
“These are global efforts but we must all do more at the national, state and local level to promote nature. And by doing that we protect livelihoods, our health, ourselves,” she added.
The Minister of State for Environment, Dr Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar also restated Nigeria’s commitment to implementing nature-based solutions at all levels to address environmental challenges in the country.
He said the situation had threatened the well-being and resilience of the citizenry.
However, he said the nature-based solutions would sustain and improve livelihoods, thus, brightening the prospect of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty over a ten-year period, as promised by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“This, no doubt, resonates robustly with our strategic stakeholders and should continue to attract elevated endorsement in the lead up to COP 26 in November 2021 and afterwards,” he noted.
In a statement issued by Ndidiamaka Eze, Press and Public Affairs Officer, British Deputy High Commission, key takeaways from the dialogue includes the need for better monitoring of protected areas; the critical role of traditional leaders and women’s groups in ecosystem restoration; expansion of clean cooking to reduce deforestation; scaling-up education and sensitisation on the environment.
Others are private-sector engagement for sustainable management of nature; explicitly linking Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and nature, and the centrality of sustainable livelihoods to nature-based solutions.
“Nigeria has been very forward-leaning on nature-based solutions to climate change joining the Global Ocean Alliance and the Commonwealth Clean Ocean Alliance in 2019 and signing the Leaders Pledge for Nature in 2020,” it reads in part.
Recall that Buhari made a statement of high ambition at the Biodiversity Summit in September 2020, setting out a range of measures he wished to introduce such as the establishment of two Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
However, more innovation and cooperation are required in transitioning to sustainable agriculture and land-use, improving ocean resilience and coastal sustainability, and scaling-up other existing initiatives and mechanisms, including those recognised under the Paris Agreement.
According to the statement, the ambition of the conference was to explore how to take actions to the next level.