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Report on Nigeria’s progress since Earth Summit underway

Report on Nigeria’s progress since Earth Summit underway
By Ugonma Cokey, Lagos

Mrs Hadiza Mailafia

A comprehensive report that will detail Nigeria’s progress made in the implementation of the outcomes of previous Earth Summits is underway.

The Minister of Environment, Mrs Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafia stated this at a forum in Lagos, to seek input from relevant stakeholders on specific issues in line with the overall objectives and focus of the earth summit scheduled for June.

Mrs Mailafia said that Nigeria has since commenced preparation for the Rio +20 Earth summit with a Multi-stakeholders preparatory meeting for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s), media, academia and MDA’s on the Rio+20 organised by the Federal Ministry of Environment.

She said that Nigeria in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) country office also organised a forum held in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, to discuss the ZERO DRAFT DOCUMENT being negotiated.

Rationale for report

It is expected that every country produce a national report that will take stock of the progress made in the implementation of the outcomes of the previous summits, identify gaps and challenges and propose action plans to advance sustainable development, particularly in the context of green economy.

The report Mrs Mailafia said , would identify gaps, challenges and propose action plans to advance sustainable development in terms of green economy to be presented at the Rio+20 summit.

To this end, presentations, views from various sectors on how to effectively identify challenges, opportunities and map out the way forward that will be synthesized into the national report are being collated.” The Minister said.

Nigeria since Rio

According to the Minister, since the 1992 Rio summit, Nigeria with its huge environmental challenges of  flooding, desertification, deforestation, pollution, loss of biodiversity has been committed to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and the Rio+20 process and actively participated in the preparatory processes leading to the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992.

She said that Nigeria hosted the first African regional post-Rio Workshop on the implementation of Agenda 21 in 1993 and the West African sub-regional preparatory meeting for the WSSD in Abuja, June 2001 and also participated at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in Johannesburg in 2002 (Rio 10).

Nigeria she also said has been participating in all the sessions on the CSD framework and has put in place a number of measures and initiatives in the various thematic areas and cross‐cutting issues.

Preparatory sessions by Nigeria

She listed the preparatory sessions Nigeria has participated in to include:
•Preparatory sessions of the United Nations Conference for Sustainable Development.
• Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting (IPM) of the CSD 19, New York, 28 February – 4 March, 2011
• Africa Regional Meeting held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 21 to15 October, 2011.
• Second Intercessional Meeting, New York, 15-16 December, 2011.
• UNCSD Informal Consultations, New York, 16-18 January, 2012.
• 12th Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum, which us the most resent, held in Nairobi, Kenya, 20-22 February, 2012.
Rio + 20

The preparations for Rio+20 highlighted seven areas which need priority attention, these include: Decent Jobs, Energy, Sustainable Cities, Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture, Water, Oceans and Disaster Readiness.

Other Areas

The Minister said that the Federal Ministry of Environment has been working assiduously towards environmental sustainability and is committed through her mandate in the pursuit of development that is equitable and socially inclusive for a prosperous, secure and sustainable future for the citizens and planet.

This commitment she said was “evident in the implementation and mainstreaming of relevant national policies, action plans, strategies, programmes and projects over the past twenty years.  Some of the instruments put in place by Nigeria.
“They include: Nigeria Vision 20: 20‐20 – National Agenda 20, Nigeria’s Economic Transformation Blueprint, National Policy on the Environment,” She said.

National Policies

According to the Environment Minister, ”other Government Economic Policies such as policies on Petroleum Pricing; Economic incentives for Gas Production and Utilization, policy on sourcing and granting of loans to small scale producers; Export Promotion Policy etc. have been formulated to enhance green economy, sustainable consumption and production patterns.”

Mrs Mailafia said that “through individual commitments with concrete and time based actions to green our economy and improve the quality of life of our people, we will achieve a “bottom‐ up approach” for effective coverage in our quest to protecting this One Planet – MOTHER EARTH!”

The Forum organised to mark the 2012 Earth Day Program, had its Theme as “ROAD TO RIO+20: THE FUTURE WE WANT!”.   It provided a platform to heighten awareness on specific issues on the upcoming Rio+20 events through Stakeholders’ Dialogue Forum.

Earth Day is marked annually to create awareness on best strategies to protect the Planet.

Background

The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Rio Summit, Rio Conference, Earth Summit (Portuguese: Eco ’92) was a major United Nations conference held in Rio de Janeiro from  June 3 to June 14  1992.

About 172 governments, 2,400 representatives of non-governmental organizations, and 17,000 people at the parallel NGO “Global Forum participated, with 108 sending their heads of state or government.

Twenty years after the historic summit, the world will come together once again in a global conference,  at the three-day United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCED) popularly known as Rio+ 20 summit holding in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil between June 20 and June 22 further chart the course on sustainable development.

Objectives of Rio+ 20

Part of the objectives of   the summit is to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess progress to date and remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development and to address new emerging challenges.

The summit will focus on: Green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, Institutional framework for sustainable development and, emerging issues- climate change and development, biodiversity, and land policy initiative among others.

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A Journalist with passion for the environment.

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