The Federal Ministry of Environment has called for increased efforts to restore and preserve natural ecosystem as the world marks 50th anniversary of the World Earth Day.
Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, the Minister of State for environment made the call in a statement by Mr Saghir el Mohammed, the Director, Press of the ministry on Tuesday in Abuja.
Ikeazor said that the call became imperative as Nigeria joins the rest of the world to mark this year’s world earth day amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
She also called for a concerted global action to end COVID-19.
Ikeazor said that Nigeria was on the right track in addressing coronavirus disease as well as other life threatening diseases such as Lassa fever and the like.
The World Earth Day is celebrated on April 22, every year and this year’s commemoration marks 50 years of the modern environmental movement.
The world earth day that started in 1970, gave a voice to an emerging public consciousness about the state of the planet.
This year’s theme is: “Climate Action, and see the opportunities it presents’’.
The minister also called for concerted enhanced waste management systems and climate change mitigation.
Ikeazor said that the earth day stimulates worldwide awareness of climate change and the environment.
“And it should enhance stronger government political commitment and massive public action to address all environmental issues including the pandemic.”
“Climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and life support systems that make our world habitable.
“To mark this year’s event in Nigeria, we would focus on inspiring, sensitising and enlightening Nigerians to take action to mitigate climate change in line with this year’s theme.
“This year’s event will be the first digital earth day largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In light of this, the Federal Ministry of Environment in collaboration with the British High Commission in Nigeria will be organising a webinar to present National Climate Action.
“To discuss the relationship between climate change and health, as well as sustainable recovery from COVID-19.
“It is the first of its kind and we are taking advantage of technology to reach out to people in Nigeria and beyond with our message.
“Climate change is a reality that is having disproportionate negative impacts on especially the poor in developing countries, and mostly felt in our local communities here in Nigeria.
” I am optimistic that there is a growing recognition that is affordable and scalable solutions that are available now to enable us to advance to cleaner, resilient societies and economies, turning the challenges of climate action into opportunities,” she said.
She said that the Federal Government had scaled up its commitment to mitigate, adapt and promote the capacity for resilience to the impacts of climate change in the country.
According to her, the ministry, through the Department of Climate Change, in fulfilment of the Paris Agreement has developed a draft Sectoral Action Plan (SAP) for the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).
“We are currently reviewing the National Policy on Climate Change for more effectiveness with readiness for Nigeria’s National Adaptation Plan Framework for Climate Change (NAPs-Framework).
“Also, there is a sustained effort to sensitise the citizenry to adopt clean technologies to meet Nigeria’s emission reduction target; even as we have developed the National Forest Reference Emission Factor Level (FREL) and submitted to the UNFCCC.
“We are thinking ahead because we want the environment to be a priority as we recover from COVID-19 to enable cus build a healthier and more sustainable future.”