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GEF-SGP Spends $5m On Environmental Projects In Nigeria

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More than five million dollars has been spent under the Global Environmental Facility-Small Grant Programme (GEF-SGP) on 141 environmental related projects in 27 states in the last 10 years, National Coordinator of the programme, Mrs Ibironke Olubamise, has said.
Olubamise made the disclosure at the GEF National Dialogue Meeting in Abuja, organised to facilitate the conceptualisation of projects for implementation in the GEF-7 cycle, for GEF CEO’s endorsement.
She explained that the grant was an additional fund to complement environmental projects in about 200 communities.
“GEF operates in phases. Nigeria joined GEF-SGP during Operational Phase 4 (OP4) in 2009; presently, GEF is in OP6.
“The total number of projects supported by GEF-SGP since 2009 was 141 in about 200 communities in 27 states,” the national coordinator said.
She said the grant was used to fund projects on biodiversity, climate change, land degradation, persistent organic pollutants and international waters.
“GEF-SGP provides grant, technical and coordination support to poor, marginalised and vulnerable communities.
“This is through Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Corporate Body Organisations (CBOs) to implement local environmental initiatives.
“Funded by the GEF, SGP is implemented by UN Development Programme (UNDP), on behalf of the GEF partnership and is executed by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS),” she said.
The coordinator said the GEF-SGP also supported alternative livelihood activities that helped to reduce pressure on the environment and enhanced the quality of lives of the target communities, including widows and the aged.
According to her, 800,000 poor rural dwellers, 65 per cent women and 35 per cent men, have benefitted directly from the projects.
“60 per cent of communities have either never experienced or benefitted from any development support or participated in such a way as allowed by SGP.
“GEF-SGP also demonstrates collaborative effort between NGO, community and private sector to address pollution; many of SGP projects have been up-scaled/replicated.”
In addition, she said the programme supported over 40 climate change mitigation projects such as tree planting to regenerate forests, energy saving stoves to reduce consumption of fuel wood.
“GEF-SGP has supported projects in several states to address erosion and loss of farmlands to boost food production capacity with modern farming techniques.
“It assists in establishing skills acquisition centres to train beneficiaries especially women, widows and youth on alternative livelihood activities to discourage unsustainable land exploitation.
“It also supports the awareness creation and teaching simple techniques such as rain water harvesting to reduce stress of water and impact of drought; pitcher irrigation technology to reduce stress of irrigation on farmlands,” she said.
According to Olubamise, the grant also addressed the issue of biodiversity and that over 500 indigenous plant species are currently being conserved.
She further said it supported the establishment of the Community Forest Management Committees and capacity building for forest protection.
The coordinator added that it helped to enhance indigenous knowledge of biodiversity and revived interest in traditional medicinal values of plants species.
Others include “In-situ conservation of the critically endangered Sclatter’s Guenon monkey (Cercopithecus sclaterri) that is endemic to southern Nigeria.
“The animal is internationally rated No. 4 in the 2006 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) global Red Data list of endangered species of fauna.”
Olubamise said the grant also supported the protection and restoration of over 1.2 million hectares of land in Nigeria.
She stressed that effective monitoring and evaluation of the projects were responsible for the successes GEF recorded between 2009 and 2017.
“GEF in collaboration with NGOs/CBOs conducts pre-monitoring and evaluation of these projects, carry out the evaluation during and after the implantation of the projects,” she said.

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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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