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Diri’s Ex-Aide Wants Marine Reserves Establishment In Bayelsa

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Former Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, on Tourism and Chairman, Board of Trustees of BRACED Tourism Promotion and Development Initiative (BTPDI), Dr. Piriye Kiyaramo, has stressed the need for the government to designate areas with high marine species richness as “Marine Protected Areas” in Bayelsa State.
This, he said, was in line with the Governor’s desire to create a Ministry of Blue Economy in his second tenure.
Kiyaramo, who spoke with newsmen at the Ernest Ikoli Press Centre, Yenagoa, recently hinted that studies have indicated that three-quarter of coastal countries don’t have even one marine reserve, and that less than three percent of the global ocean is under some form of protection.
He reiterated that unsustainable practices and over exploitation of marine resources could lead to environmental degradation and negatively impact the long-term sustainability of the Blue Economy.
“The marine protected areas have been used as part of conservation measures for decades in advanced countries.
“The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) defines a protected area as a clearly defined geographical space, recognised, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values.
“Reserves protect the whole ecosystems, allowing them to return toward a more natural and balanced state.
“Monitoring studies from marine reserves have also shown that biomass, the size and density of organisms, and the richness or diversity of species all increase within marine reserves.
“Therefore, reserves can be an effective way to preserve biodiversity by protecting communities and providing refuge for rare organisms”, he said.
He noted that the blue economy is all about sustainable use of marine resources and the opportunities around oceans for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and job creation, while also making concerted efforts towards preserving marine health and coastal ecosystems.
“Blue Economy encompasses various economic sectors, including fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, marine, renewable energy, maritime transportation, security, and coastal infrastructure development, among others.
“According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the ocean economy contributed $1.5tn to the global economy in 2010 and is projected to double by 2030.
“Blue economy recognises the importance of oceans and their resources to the global economy and society”, he added.
The governor’s former aide lamented that while countries such as Norway, United States, Ireland, United Kingdom, Canada, Seychelles, Morocco, and Mauritania are maximising the use of their marine environment and blue economy, most African countries were not.
Kiyaramo urged the Bayelsa State Governor to take the lead in exploring the potential of the Blue Economy in the state, reiterating that an additional advantage of developing the Blue Economy is that it would always recognise the importance of addressing climate change, reducing marine pollution, and enhancing ocean resilience to protect marine ecosystems and ensure their sustainability through sustainable use of the ocean and the coastal waters.
“Several organisations and initiatives promote global blue economy, including the World Ocean Council, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14, which is “life below water”, and the European Union’s Blue Growth Strategy.
“These initiatives aim to promote the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, while protecting the environment and ensuring social equity. The European Commission defines Blue Economy as “all economic activities related to oceans, seas and coasts”, he stated

Ariwera Ibibo-Howells,
Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Diri Suspends Twin Kingdom Youth Election 

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has directed the immediate suspension of the election of a new executive of the twin clans of Epie-Atissa, popularly referred to as the Oguan Youth Congress (OYC).
The Tide learnt that the Governor’s directive was sequel to the factional crisis that has engulfed the kingdom’s youth body, resulting in tension in the state capital, Yenagoa.
A statement made available to newsmen by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Daniel Alabrah, on Wednesday, noted that the Oguan Kingdom comprises 29 Epie and Atissa communities in the Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state.
The statement added that the suspension was indefinite, pending the resolution of the impasse by the State Government.
Alabrah also said the Governor has directed the police and other security agencies to ensure there was no breakdown of law and order as a result of the feud.
Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
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Niger Delta

US Consulate Trains 25 Girls On STEM In Edo

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The U.S. Consulate says it is training 25 girls in underserved secondary schools in Edo State on STEM initiative (Science, Technology Engineering, and Mathematics).
The Tide’s source reports that the training is called the GirlLEAD STEM Talent Accelerator Programme, and was inaugurated recently.
Addressing the female students at the Benin City Window on America, in Benin, the Consul-General, US Consulate in Lagos, Will Steven, said  the programme was aimed at bridging the gender divide in STEM.
Stevens said:  “We want to see more of female founders in the tech space as well as doing well in STEM.
“Technology is one of the drivers of the Nigerian economy, and it holds a lot of opportunities for job creation.
“The job opportunities are there but not to be filled only by boys”.
According to him, the STEM programme prepares secondary school girls for possible scholarships in universities in the U.S. or for the students to continue in Nigeria universities or other universities in the world.
He also talked about the AI (Artificial Intelligence) conference to be organised in Lagos by the United States in collaboration with the Nigerian government.
He said the conference would encourage both countries to work together to talk about the framework as well as the safe environment for AI.
“We want to bring in AI training to the 27 American spaces across Nigeria”, he added.
Earlier, Dr. Georgina Erifeta, Director, Benin City Window on America, said the U.S. space had contributed to making the tech ecosystem in Edo to emerge as a major player in Nigeria’s tech landscape.
“By equipping young people with digital skills, we empower them to innovate, solve problems, and drive economic growth, fostering a brighter future for our community and beyond”, he said.
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Impeachment: Security Operatives Take-over C’River Assembly Complex

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Security personnel have taken over the Cross River State House of Assembly complex, following the impeachment of the Speaker, Mr Elvert Anyambem, recently.
The Tide’s source  reports that the Speaker’s removal almost resulted in a clash between his supporters and other members of house.
The State Commissioner of Police, Gyogon Grimah, was sighted in the midst of other security personnel around the Assembly Complex.
Analysts say the presence of the security personnel is to forestall breakdown of law and order around the complex.
It would be recalled that the Speaker was impeached on Wednesday on grounds of  gross misconduct, high-handedness and misappropriation of funds.
Anyambem’s impeachment was carried out at a sitting of the Assembly in which he was presiding.
The impeachment notice was singed by 17 out of the 25 members of the Assembly.
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