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The Minister of Federal Ministry of Environment, Mallam Balarabe Abbas Lawal has charged National Council members to intensify efforts to explore innovative financing mechanisms at their disposal for sustainable environmental development.

The Minister made this call while declaring open the 17th Meeting of the National Council on Environment (NCE) with the theme, “Environment Financing: Need to mobilize more financial inflows for generating adequate resources in support of environmental sustainability efforts” in Abuja on Wednesday.

The 3-Day programme which started on Monday 22 April, 2024 was organised by the Federal Ministry of Environment in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United States (FAO).

Balarabe emphasized that mobilizing more financial inflow for environmental sustainability allows for the allocation of resources towards projects and initiatives aimed at protecting and preserving the environment.

“As we are all aware, Environment Financing is capital intensive, to mobilize more financial inflow for environmental sustainability there is the need to implore innovative financing mechanisms, such as Green Bonds, Carbon Pricing, and Public-Private Partnerships. This will help in generating the resources needed for effective environmental protection and conservation efforts. I therefore urge members of this Council to intensify exploration and implementation of financing mechanisms at their disposal”, he added.

Convening amidst pressing global challenges, from climate change to biodiversity loss, the Minister said the duty of the Council member as custodians of the environment has never been more paramount.

He said for every decision taking within these walls reverberates far beyond and shaping the health and sustainability of our planet for generations to come. “Our nation stands at a critical juncture, where the urgency to act boldly on environmental issues is undeniable”.

According to him, Climate change threatens ecosystems, livelihoods, and biodiversity, swift and decisive actions are needed to mitigate the
adverse effects of climate change, thus there’s need to redouble efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, embrace renewable energy solutions, and foster sustainable practices across all sectors.

“As guardians of biodiversity, we must safeguard our precious ecosystems from degradation and exploitation. Protecting our forests, wetlands, and marine habitats is not merely an environmental imperative but a moral obligation to preserve the rich tapestry of life on Earth.

Calling for action to forge a path towards a more resilient and sustainable future, the Minister asserted that in order to ensure investment on environmental protection is not wasted, environmental justice must be enforced and the benefits of conservation and sustainable development must be protected and equitably distributed among all segments of society.

Balarabe further emphasized, “Environmental degradation disproportionately impacts marginalized communities, exacerbating inequalities and perpetuating social injustices. We must strive for inclusive policies that empower all individuals to participate and benefit from environmental decision-making processes. Innovation and collaboration will be our greatest allies in confronting these challenges”.

In his goodwill message, the FAO representative in Nigeria and to ECOWAS, Mr.Koffy Kouacou Dominque, admitted that the environment is under increasing pressure from climate change, deforestation, pollution, and other threats that require urgent attention and collaborative action.

Mr. Dominque who was Represented by Tofiq Braimoh, Officer-in-Charge, said that once appropriate conditions are in place, it becomes lot easier to unlock investment opportunities that can contribute to emission reductions and conservation efforts. He said progress has been made but more actions need to be taken in institutionalizing transformational planning, promoting multi-sectoral integrated programming and investments which include leveraging the support of the private sector and ensuring policy coherence in addressing the drivers environmental challenges.

Commending NCE for their efforts in addressing key environmental issues and developing policies to safeguard the nation’s natural heritage, the FAO representative expressed the organization’s commitment to supporting government at all levels to enhance sustainable natural resources management which include support to implement, monitor and report climate communique outlined in the National Determined Contribution, with continuous support to accessing climate finance and partnership and technical support to mainstreaming agrifood systems to the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (NBSAPS), among others.

Highlight of the event was the unveiling of the National Clean Cooking Policy and tour round exhibition stands of Agencies under the Ministry.

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