The Minister of State for Environment, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor has advocated renewed global action to fight COVID-19
The Minister made the call as Nigeria joins the rest of the World to mark the 2020 World Earth Day amid the novel Covid-19 pandemic.
She said there was need to scale up efforts to preserve and restore natural ecosystems, enhance waste management and mitigate climate change.
The World Earth Day is celebrated 22 April annually, and this year’s commemoration marks 50 years of the modern environmental movement started in 1970 that gave a voice to an emerging public consciousness about the state of the planet.
To this end, Mrs Ikeazor noted that “it is a day that stimulates worldwide awareness of climate change and enhance stronger government political commitment with massive public action to address all environmental issues, including Covid-19 pandemic.”
According to her, climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable.
According to the Minister, “This year 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 organizing a webinar to present National climate action, 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 people in Nigeria and beyond with our message’’.
She expressed optimism of a growing recognition that give affordable, scalable solutions to enable advancement to cleaner, more resilient societies and turning the challenges of climate action into opportunities.
She said 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 through the ratification of the Paris Agreement by President Mohammadu Buhari, strengthening existing institutional framework to ensure effective coordination of climate change activities and other actions.
According to the Minister of State, the Environment Ministry, through the Department of Climate Change, in fulfillment of the Paris Agreement has developed a draft Sectoral Action Plan (SAP) for the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).
She said, there was a sustained effort to sensitize the citizenry to adopt clean technologies to meet Nigeria’s emission reduction target; even as the country developed the National Forest Reference Emission Factor Level (FREL) and submitted it to the UNFCCC.
Mrs. Ikeazor further revealed that the Ministry also developed a Climate Change Resilience Action Plan for the Lake Chad Basin, and then incorporated climate change components into the Disaster Risk Reduction Policy for Nigeria, in conjunction with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), among other actions taken.