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Date Published: 06/28/10

Nigeria calls for easy access to Climate Funds By Rotimi Ajayi

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Financial pledges made by the industrialized nations towards tackling the problem of Climate Change and its impact on developing nations would only be meaningful when the latter could easily access the funds.

Nigeria’s Minister of Environment, John Odey who gave this suggestion at the weekend when he met with United States Officials led by the Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change, Dr Jonathan Pershing at the sidelines of the 13th Session of the African Ministerial Conference on Environment in Bamako.

According to him, facilitation of easy access to the climate Funds by the vulnerable nations would further enhance the integrity of international collaborations and negotiations on Climate Change.

The Minister noted that the difficulty in accessing the various Funds meant had become source of worry for the African nations.

He urged the United States to focus on the development and promotion of Forestry through the Reduced Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), which he said would serve as beautiful opportunity for Nigeria and other African Countries to grow Forest in a sustainable manner.

The US Envoy disclosed that the US Government was the second largest contributor to Forest development globally with over $3billion.

He added that US President Barak Obama had scaled up finances in respect of climate change by over 200% of 2009 level.

The Copenhagen Accord reached last year December at the end of the session of the members of parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change had established a $30 billion as Green Climate Fund over the next three years.

Speaking at the plenary of the 13th Session, the Minister called on African nations to rev up awareness among the people on Environmental problems as a way of drawing global attention to the peculiar circumstance of the Continent in respect of issues of Climate Change, Bio-Diversity loss and Hazardous Waste Management.

“Nigeria believes in proper action plan to develop environmental education and technology-driven learning. Events like the Africa Environment Day which we are encouraging should contribute to enhancing environmental education in our continent. 

“Therefore issues about the Africa Environment Day celebration with respect to channeling of resources and participation should be properly articulated so that our peculiar circumstances in the continent will receive attention. “

He pointed out that institutionalization of the African Environment Day could eventually lead to the development of the national atlases on the environment by respective nationals.

He noted that the natural resource base had continued to dwindle leading to huge environmental problems and ecosystem imbalance. 

“This is further manifested in the vicious cycle of poverty, worsening the gains being made to address the Millennium Development Goals, with the adverse effects of climate change having the potential to exacerbate the situation. We therefore need to remain steadfast in our approach to addressing our common problems because it is only then that we can  achieve the development objectives of African continent

 Rotimi Ajayi

 SA( Media)

 June 27, 2010             

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