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Consultant Scores Nigeria High On Ema Implementation

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A Kaduna-based environmental legal consultant, Mr Caleb Mutfwang, has ranked Nigeria high in the implementation of environmental multilateral agreements signed by the country.
Mutfwang told newsmen  in Abuja recently that Nigeria had achieved a lot in the process of implementing those agreements.
The Tide reports that Nigeria has so far ratified 12 of the 14 international environmental conventions, protocols and treaties.
He said that Nigeria had made appreciable progress in implementing the Basel Convention, Stockholm Convention, Montreal Protocol and Rotterdam Convention, among others.
Basel Convention  deals  with trans-boundary movement and disposal of toxic and hazardous waste while Stockholm Convention is on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) with Rotterdam Convention talking about promotion of shared responsibilities in relation to the importation of hazardous chemicals.
The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer through the phasing out of the production of numerous substances believed to be responsible for the layer ozone depletion.
The consultant said that Nigeria had achieved a lot in the implementation of the Montreal Protocol through the support of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).
“ I do know that many factories were given incentives to change their gas filling processes and also UNIDO was able to give them incentives to fully implement that programme.
“You also remember the Federal Government banned the importation of second-hand fridges and air conditioners and people did not understand that they were buying poison.
“All they felt was that the policy was against the poor man but it was actually to save the poor man in the long run, because he was buying something that could kill him.
“ So, I think most of those fridges that brought in poisonous gases, ozone depleting gases have stop coming into the country, but I don’t have the statistics to confirm that but I think a lot of progress has been made,’’ he said.
He said that stakeholders had held series of meetings to come up with strategies to implement the Rotterdam Convention on hazardous chemicals.
Mufwang said that Nigeria hosts a research centre on Basel Convention in Africa located in Ibadan, and aimed at fast-tracking the implementation of the convention in the region.
He said a lot of research had been going on, on how to recycle waste in the centre, noting that a research was ongoing on how to recycle batteries as well.
On Stockholm Convention which deals with chemicals that had been banned, he said, that Nigeria had improved its information system following the implementation of that convention.
“We have been able to upgrade our information profile to that level when we know that at the international level, these chemicals have been banned, so our own officials are also well informed.
“ A cross cutting committee is in place that deals with different agencies of government, so from time to time, they are able to give you a list of chemicals that should not be imported, chemicals that would be imported under certain conditions and so on.
“ So to that extent, I think we are making tremendous progress in implementing most of the multilateral agreements,’’ he said.
The expert, however, urged NGOs to increase their advocacy on environmental challenges problems.
He noted that NGOs had a very critical role to play in the environment sector in the area of creating awareness on the dangers of environmental problems.
“I must give credit to a lot of NGOs that we have in the sector; a lot of them have also been in the forefront trying to access information in the global arena that impact on Nigeria.

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Environment

Group Plans Tree Planting Campaign In Rivers

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The Cleanup Nigeria campaigns group has promised massive tree planting programme across Rivers State.
River State team leader of the group, Mr Kingdom Nwanyanwu said this on the sidelines of the just concluded World Environment Day celebration in Port Harcourt
Nwanyanwu who decried the continous cutting down of trees said time has come for the habit to be discouraged.
He said people should be advised to plant more trees rather than cut them down, adding that trees not only provide fruits but also help in reducing the quantity of carbondioxide.
Nwanyanwu also stressed the need for members of the society to cultivate the habit of waste separation.
“We should be able to separate our waste cellophane bags, plastics and bottles take hundreds of years before it can decay. They should be separated and properly disposed off”.
“The term leader also condemned the indiscriminate refuse disposal in the state.
He stressed the need for the government to setup a mobile court that check the activities of people who go against the sanitation laws of the state.
“The government should setup a mobile court to apprehend people who also violate the law”, he said.
Nwanyanwu said the cleanup campaign has done a lot of work in areas of cleanliness around markets in Port Harcourt, schools and other public places.

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Environment

Children Activists Champion Fight Against Climate Change In Nigeria

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Four children climate activists of the Royal Palm International College in Ilorin have inaugurated “Return the Green Club”, an initiative to bring awareness on the need to save the environment from depleting.
The Tide source reports that the Return the Green Club is part of the activities to mark the 2021 World Environment Day, themed: “Restoration of the ecosystem”.
The children are Aderinsola Adegboye, 10 years old; Adenrele Adegboye, 11; Mariam Abdulrazaq, 12; and Chibuzor Oseigbu, 16.
Adegboye, Founder of “Return the Green” initiative, observed that government from nations have agreed to limit global warming by reducing carbon emission in areas like energy and transportation.
She warned that globally, the world has started experiencing changes due to climate change.
Adegboye advised that to cope with the climate change that is taking its toll on the environment, drought resistant crops and trees should be planted.
She also advised Nigerians to build houses and roads above sea level and use of technology to be innovative about irrigation method.
Adegboye listed actions to reduce causes of climate change to include using renewable energy, cooking clean, and reduce re-use and recycle, among others.
Miss Chibuzor Oseigbu listed causes of climate change to include deforestation, burning of fossil fuel and agriculture as a major cause of source of greenhouse gases which contribute to the green house effect and climate change.
She also observed that sometimes natural climate change happened naturally through volcanic eruptions, ocean currents and earth orbital changes, among others.
Miss Mariam Abdulquadir, in her presentation, explained that World Environment Day is United Nation’s principal vehicle for encouraging children and adults, educated and uneducated, rural and urban dwellers, to be worldwide on the awareness and action for the environment.
On his part, Master Adenrele Adegboye, advised school children to fight climate change through provision of bird feeders to provide shelter for birds, use of snack paper bag, compost making and making short videos on climate change and posting.
Also speaking, Mr AbdulGaniyu Opeloyeru, the Executive Director of Ajike Foundation of the Kwara First Lady, Mrs Olufolake AbdulRazaq, commended the children for the initiative.
He observed that such initiative would promote awareness on dangers of ill treatment of the environment and the need to protect it.
Opeloyeru advocated taking such awareness to mosques, churches, opinion and community leaders so as to preach the importance of ecosystem.
Earlier in her address of welcome, Mrs Funmi Adefila-Osiegbu, founder of Bundies Care Support Initiative, noted that human relationship with nature is broken.
“These crises stemmed from the unhealthy practices we have adopted as occupants of our planet,” she said.
According to her, many have been lost to various diseases and infections, from the recent COVID-19 to Ebola, Lassa fever and Zika virus, among others.
Oseigbu expressed optimism that the Return the Green initiative would become national and global, adding that it is time to be action driven towards restoration and preservation of the environment.
On her part, Mrs Remilekun Bamigboye, the  state Commissioner for Environment, noted that climate change issues had been left unattended to and now threatening human existence.
She urged the younger generation to champion the cause of the environment so as to have a safe world to live in.

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Environment

No More Room For Illegal Wildlife Trade -FG

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The Conservator General, National Park Service, Dr Ibrahim Goni, says there is no more room for illegal wildlife trade in the country as offenders will be prosecuted.
Goni, made this known in Abuja when the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) handed over a confiscated parrot to the parks service for keeps and management.
He noted that the confiscation of the bird and its hand-over to the park’s management was a welcomed development, adding that Nigeria would continue to fight against wildlife trafficking.
Goni said Nigeria had been accused by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) as a transit root and source of illegal animal trafficking.
“This has given our country a bad name. We are here to redeem that image. Mr President in 2016 reviewed the CITES Act for this reason.
“Based on the Act, most agencies like the National Park Service, NAQS, National Environmental Standard and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA)  and the Department of Forestry in the Ministry of Environment were given additional powers.
“This has made us to work as a team and as a result led to the confiscation of the parrot,’’ he said.
he further said that in the convention Act, the parrot was clearly stated as an endangered bird and must be protected.
“Parrots are beneficial to man in several ways as they serve as stress buster due to their talking nature and help in guarding in homes.
“When well-trained, parrot would be able to pass information to the owner of the house especially if a trespasser comes around.
“A parrot can also tell time about one’s environment. It is highly trafficked because the feathers and inner organs serve as medicine,’’ he said.
Dr Vincent Isegbe, Director General, NAQS, also noted that one of his organisation’s  mandate was‘ to track the in and out of illegal animals’.
Isegbe, who was represented by Dr Yunisa Dakat of NAQS, said that the confiscated parrot was arrested and detained in Lagos for lack of document.
“If our officers discover you don’t have the right documents attached to the animal to travel with, they will confiscate the animal.
“This parrot was seized at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos. The people don’t have the document of the bird so we confiscated it and brought it to the parks for keeps,’’ he said.
Also, Yohanna Saidu, Wildlife Conservation Service, commended NAQS for doing its job and taking the pain to move the parrot from Lagos to Abuja for proper management.
According to him, such gesture and collaboration among relevant agencies would help Nigeria to redeem her image globally.
Dr Muhtari Aminu-Kano, Director-General, Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), said the gesture showed that government enforcement agencies were working.
“It sent a message to the would be perpetrators that they will be caught and prosecuted. It will reduce wildlife crime in the nation.
“CITES is an international treaty drawn up in 1973 to protect wildlife against over-exploitation.
“It also has the mandate to prevent international trade from threatening species with extinction. Endangered species is a species of animal or plant that is seriously at risk of extinction,” he said.

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