Zarma: We Launched Programmes, Developed Policies to Check Environmental Degradation




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The Federal Ministry of Environment has already prepared a National Policy on Erosion and Flood Control, issued the Nigerian Sovereign Green Bonds, succeeded in conserving resources through combating illegal wildlife trade, embarked on great green renewal, enhanced recreational services at National Parks and successfully launched the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), in order to check environmental degradation, maintain the ecosystem and preserve Nigeria’s biodiversity, Suleiman Hassan Zarma, has said.

Hassan Zarma, who is the out-going Minister of Environment, made the disclosure at his valedictory press conference on Tuesday, in Abuja. He added that the upgrading of 12 Mini Parks to National Parks has already been initiated.

Zarma, observed that since the advent of this administration, the ministry has taken significant steps to ensure effective coordination and better management of the environment.

He said the National Forestry Trust Fund (NFTF) has been set up via gazette and has since commenced work, adding that the National Forest Investment Programme (NFIP) 2019 – 2023 has also been developed.

He said: “In the area of Climate finance, Nigeria during the life of this administration became the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to issue a Sovereign Green Bonds to finance afforestation, Desertification and Renewable energy projects to the tune of 10.45 billion naira.”

Hassan Zarma, added that the National Action Plan (NAP) to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought was reviewed and aligned with the 2015 – 2025 strategy to enhance the implementation of the United Nations (UN) Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

At the National Press Centre of Radio House, venue of the event, the out-going Minister, said the Erosion and Flood Control policy is what now guides the implementation of Erosion/Flood Control Projects in the country.

“Nigeria is championing the fight against illegal wildlife trade in the West African region, which has led to the development of a West African Strategy on Combating Wildlife Crimes (WASSCWS). We have also completed the land degradation neutrality target,” he disclosed.

Zarma, said the Ministry introduced the Flood Early Warning System (FEWS) Programme, for effective environmental governance and adequate nationwide flood forecasting and monitoring.

He noted that FEWS will also help to provide flood warning in advance to reduce flood disaster impact and ensure prompt response to impending flood, disclosing that remediation work has since commenced in 16 sites across four LGAs in Ogoni land.

In her welcome address, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, said Surv. Zarma profoundly built on the foundation laid by his predecessors in office.

She added that the outgoing Minister also initiated various policies and key programmes so as to permanently address the issue of environmental pollution, land degradation, and biodiversity loss, among others.

“The Honourable Minister’s milestone in the area of addressing various ecological problems facing different parts of the country, as well as his commitment towards ensuring the establishment of shelterbelts across the country, to guard against desert encroachment and desertification is indelible,” Mrs. Odusote said.

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