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Ministry To Focus On Deforestation, Green Industry

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The Federal Ministry of
Environment has said it would focus more on the issues of deforestation, green growth and green industry in 2015.
The Minister of Environment, Mrs Laurentia Mallam, who led other officials of the ministry, disclosed this at the Reviving the Climate Change Donor Group meeting held in Abuja.
Mallam solicited more support from the development partners, saying that the ministry needed their support to address environmental challenges facing the country.
“We want you to join hands with us, collaborate with us and help us to build a healthy Nigeria,’’ she said.
The minister told the meeting that the Federal Executive Council had approved some policies that would help to address the impact of climate change in the country.
Mrs Nana Mede, the Permanent Secretary, said the ministry would prioritise the issues of deforestation to create awareness on the dangers of trees felling.
Mede said that President Goodluck Jonathan had recently inaugurated the Great Green Wall (GGW) Project aimed at tackling deforestation in the 11 frontline states.
She said the 11 frontlines states were Kebbi, Zamfara, Gombe, Yobe, Jigawa, Adamawa, Bauchi, Katsina, Borno, Sokoto and Kano states.
“The minister will be in Katsina on Wednesday to inaugurate the GGW project, which will make people aware of the dangers of felling trees, burning of bushes and the need to plant trees.
“We also want to focus on the green growth and green industry.
“To this end, we realise we have to collaborate with other agencies; I want to inform you that we have started talking with the other key line ministries to achieve our focus.
“We have started talking with the ministry of water resources – in terms of developing irrigation infrastructure; ministries of trade and investment, health and power.
“We are collaborating with the ministry of power because the issue of renewable energy is critical; so there is already a committee set up at ministerial level to look at some of these issues,’’ she said.
The permanent secretary added that the ministry had also developed a plan on the involvement of the private sector, saying “this is where we need awareness, advocacy and campaign.
“We have designed a plan, which we intend to present at the next meeting; the kind of campaign we need on the electronic media, print, bill board and other media.
“We also need to sensitise Nigerians on how their activities can contribute to climate change; we hope to increase awareness on these issues,’’ she said.
Mede solicited the support of the development partners to contribute to the 21st Conference of Parties (COP) on climate change coming up in Paris, France later in the year.
She said that Nigeria wanted to shine at the conference and represent Africa very well, adding that work had already started in that direction.
She explained that, however, technical support from development partners was needed to achieve that goal.
Also speaking, Ms Francoise Marie-Nelly, the World Bank Country Director, said the organisation had in 2014 conducted two important studies in Nigeria on climate change.
The two studies, according to her, are on Climate Resilient Development and Assessing Low-Carbon Development in Nigeria.
Marie-Nelly called for effective collaboration with other key line ministries in addressing climate change and other environmental challenges in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that meeting reviewed the achievements and challenges in the sector in 2014.
There were also discussions on methodology to capture and track donor programmes and to agree on the priorities areas for 2015.

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Environment

Edo Community Drags Abattoir Owner To Court Over Environmental Pollution

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Ikpoba Slope Community in Ikpoba Okha Local Government area of Edo State has dragged Mrs Sarah Uwaifor, owner of an abattoir located at Ohen-Ore in the community to a Benin Chief Magistrate Court over alleged environmental pollution in the community.
In a suit number MOGB/56/2021, Mr Ken Omusi and Mr Kenneth Imafidon, on behalf of Ikpoba Youth Development Association and other inhabitants of the community claimed that the cow dungs and waste excreta from the defendant’s abattoir were dumped in the community as well as burning of cow hair and skin constitute nuisance in the area.
They alleged that the community had tried to persuade her to abate the nuisance but she did not listen to them.
The plaintiff is seeking a declaration of the court that allowing the burning of cow hair, roasting of cow head and dump of cow excreta and dungs in the community constitute health hazards to the inhabitants of the community.
They also prayed for perpetual injunction restraining the defendant, her servants, agents, or workers at the abattoir from dumping cow excreta, roasting cow head and dumping cow dung along the street of the community.
The community are also seeking N5 million general damages from the defendant for the nuisance she has been and still constituting in the area.
The defendant after listening to charges in court pleaded not guilty while the counsel of the plaintiff and defendant Chief Abayomi Thomas and E I. Otabor respectively asked the court to fix a date for hearing.
Chief Magistrate Prince Mutairu Oarhe, consequently, adjourned the case to January 11, 2022, for hearing.

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Oyo Tribunal Fines 60 Persons For Allegedly Violating Environmental Laws

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Oyo State Environmental Tribunal court has fined no fever than 60 persons over various sanitation infractions.
The Tide source reports that 60 people were fined for allegedly flouting the state’s environmental sanitation laws during sanitation on Saturday.
The Tide reports that the violators were fined at Bodija, Iwo-road, Beere, Sapati, Elewi-Odo, Ojoo, Gate, Oke-bola and other locations in Ibadan.
Magistrate, Mr. Raheem Wasiu in his judgment, said the offenders were caught dumping refuse in unauthorised areas and are guilty of violating the environmental sanitation and waste management laws.
He charged the violators a fine of between ¦ 5,000 and ¦ 25,000 for their offences.
Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Mr. Abiodun Oni, in his remarks, commended the Magistrate for his professionalism.
He added that the present administration in the state, will not leave any stone unturned towards regaining the environmental sanity in the state.
“No matter how we take care of our environment, it usually has an impact on every stakeholder’s health and as soon as we enforce the law, it goes a long way in making the state a healthy one.
“Oyo State is a pacesetter state, a state we should be proud of and strive in making it safe and healthy for all and sundry”.

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Environment

Revive Forest Reserves, Expert Urges RSG

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Worried over the depleting natural resources caused by land prospectors and poachers, Professor of Biodiversity in the Rivers State University, Geofrey Akaniwor has made an appeal to the state government to revive forest conservation.
Akaniwor in an interview with The Tide stated that over five forest reserves in the state are endangered as they have been abandoned over the years.
Among the forest reserves now endangered include  Lower Orashi in Abua/Odual Local Government Area and parts of Kalabari; Upper Orashi in Abua/Odual, Sombreiro Reserve located in parts of Ikwerre and Ahoada Local Government Areas, Otamiri Reserve sited in  Ikwerre and Etche Local Government Areas.
Others are Upper Imo River Reserve in Etche and Daen or Lower Imo River Reserve in Khana Local Government Area.
He also urged that the Andoni Forest Reserve which harbours the remaining forest elephants and hippos in the state should be given attention as well.
The university teacher said forest reserves help promote biodiversity and resource protection warning that endangered species play huge role in sustaining life and stability of the environment.
Besides, he was of the view that conservation can help provide jobs and tourism as government can employ rangers who will be trained to guard those forests from being encroached upon.
Meanwhile, Prof. Akaniwor has recommended that the Port Harcourt Zoological Garden(Zoo) be relocated to more expansive and serene location.
He said the site where the zoo is now has been overtaken by urbanisation and that safety of animals are not safe in such environment
Akaniwor suggested that the zoo can be relocated to either Oyibo Local Government Area by the fringes of Imo River or to Etche where there more expansive land for such facility.

By: Kevin Nengia & Excellent Omehoma

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