Expert urges Environment Ministry to establish Biodiversity Conservation Centre

By Emma Okereh

An expert on Biodiversity and Nigeria’s CBD Country Representative, Voluntary Peer Review (VPR), Mrs Edel-Quin Ijeoma Agbaegbu has tasked the federal ministry of environment on the need to mainstream biodiversity conservation in the country.

 Mrs Agbaebu spoke when she paid a courtesy visit on the former Minister of Environment (now Agric), Dr Muhammed Mahmoud Abubakar in his office on Monday, August 31st, 2021.

Mrs Agbaegbu also presented the final report of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Voluntary Peer Review (VPR) and implementation of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan 2015 – 2025 (NBSAP11) of Uganda to the minister.

At the presentation ceremony, Mrs Agbaegbu who is also the Chief Executive Officer of EWHC, urged the minister to establish National Biodiversity Conservation Centre (NBCC) as it will showcase the country as one that is serius with biodiversity issues.

She listed the merits of establishing such a body.

‘’The Honourable Minister Sir, you are invited to note here, that mainstreaming Biodiversity Conservation in Nigeria through NBSAP Review and Implementationin areas such as; National Development Frameworks (NDFs), National Development Plans (NDPs) and Sector Development Plans (SDPs) shall encourage evidence-based biodiversity conservation, budgeting and financing; and streamline agreements to attract investments for improved Gross Domestic Product (GDP). I am convinced that achieving this great purpose under your effective leadership, shall enhance our aim of living in harmony with nature and significantly enrich your score-card.

‘’Therefore, I wish to suggest that the Review of Nigeria’s NBSAP should be considered very urgently. It will serve enormously as a major policy tool to; enhance the budget performance of biodiversity conservation, increase the proportion of the national and sector budgets for biodiversity financing and demonstrate the actual expenditures and results. This is not about business-as-usual scenario, in planning and budgeting; rather, an evidence-based and result-oriented biodiversity conservation strategy, for a sustainable environment and a healthy ecosystem for nature and people.

‘’It shall also revive our national commitment towards achieving the global target and effective NBSAP implementation. Given that only four years remain to implement the NBSAP, it may be worthwhile to consider giving more focus to selected themes of work that can trigger further fundamental transformation in the way biodiversity is addressed’’, she stressed.

In his remarks, the minister expressed satisfaction with her detailed report, enthusiasm and expertise and promised to study the report extensively with a view to adopting the recommendations since it is capable of impacting positively to the industry.

He also expressed willingness to partner with her as the ministry has been partnering with other Nigerians that can make meaningful contributions to the development of the sector.

It will be recalled that Mrs Agbaegbu made her presentation on Monday , August 31        , 2021 and the minister was redeployed from the ministry of Environment to that of Agriculture the following day, Tuesday.

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