• LAGOS ADVOCATES HIGHER INVESTMENT BY EVERYONE IN CLIMATE ACTION REALISATION

    As State hosts 9th Climate Change Summit 

    Lagos State Government on Tuesday convened the 9th edition of the Climate Change Summit, advocating higher investment by everyone in the realization of the Climate Action Plan.

    This position was espoused by the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu who spoke through his Deputy, Dr Kadri Obafemi Hamzat at the Continental Hotel, VI, said the State Action Plan launched last year has started reaping great and impactful rewards, saying that Government, has instituted several adaptation programmes to ensure that citizens are shielded from the effects of Climate Change.

    Permanent Secretary Office of Drainage Services and Water Resources, Engr. Lekan Shodeinde, his counterpart in Office of Environmental Services, Omobola Gaji, former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Prince Abiodun Ogunleye, First Lady of Lagos State, Dr. Mrs, Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, representative of Lagos State Governor and Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat Honourable Commissioner for The Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello, Chairman (APC) Lagos State, Pastor Cornelius Ojelabi, Special Adviser on Drainage and Water Resources Engr. Joe Igbokwe and Vice Chancellor, Lagos State University (LASU) Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, at the Lagos State, 9th International Climate Change Summit opening ceremony held on 2nd of August 2022, at Lagos Continental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

    “In just a year, the Lagos Climate Action Plan has started to reap great rewards, an example of such is the recently awarded grant to Lagos State Waterways Authority to improve the State’s ferry services to provide a multi-model transport network for Lagos thereby reducing commuters and greenhouse gas emissions associated with on-road transportation” he emphasized.

    Sanwo-Olu said the State understands the symbiosis between the effects of climate change and the persistence of violence against women and as such has identified several adaptation initiatives to address gender-specific impacts.

    “We are in constant discussion with our development partners and donor organizations to find solutions and ways to better adapt to climate impacts especially as it affects women, children, and people with disabilities in terms of provision of water; food security; energy and healthcare services,” he said.

    He added that the collaboration cannot go far without the engagement and tangible actions of the private sector because they are critical players in the climate action space, saying the two parties can mobilize public and private sector finance to drive the net-zero transition.

    The Governor implored participants to look critically into sectors such as Waste, Transportation, Energy, Housing and Food systems for the proper economic dimension, meeting global environmental and social standards and ecosystem restoration targets.

    According to him: “Global climate change is not a future problem. It is affecting every country in every continent. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives, costing people, communities and countries dearly”.

    He cited the example of the United Kingdom which has been experiencing increased temperature, resulting into wildfires across the country with attendant loss of several farmlands, homes and livelihood of individuals, adding that wildfires in California, the United States of America and other terrible natural disasters happening in China, India, Turkey and Australia, are indications that climate change impact knows no boundaries.

    He reiterated that Lagos being a littoral state is often inundated by flash floods due to an increase in sea level rise but soon disappears after few hours as compared to other affected States in the Nation.

    He reaffirmed that both the public and private sectors in Lagos must adopt the Lagos Climate Action Plan with the aim of incorporating plan, programme and actions that will set Lagos on a pathway for carbon neutrality and increased adaptation for her populace.

    He said that Climate action and sustainability have to be integrated at the heart of growth strategies, investment plans and institutional structures to facilitate the flow of public and private finance.

    “As a frontline State, we are always looking at making things better. That is why my government will be supporting the Youth also to drive this Change. The Youth have a central role of driving innovative climate technologies to adapt to the impacts of climate change” he noted.

    He revealed that this year’s event is featuring for the first time a Poster Competition for innovate solutions to tackle the impacts of Climate Change adding that come year 2023 at the 10th Lagos International Climate Change Summit, there is expectation that we will celebrate several grand innovative solutions to adapt to climate impacts.

    According to him, The times ahead requires accelerating investments in sustainable infrastructure, supported by clear strategies and programme, this will be the central driver of the new growth approach.

    Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resoures, Tunji Bello in his welcome address said this event over the years has served as a conveyor of opinions and suggestions on how to manage our planet against the deadly impact of Climate Change with special attention to our dear Lagos.

    He said it has become more expedient for all parties, government, leaders of thought, organized private sector, and individuals to embark on deliberate and consistent efforts to combat the Climate Change crisis.

    “There is a need for accelerated development and adoption of innovative climate technologies, likewise business models and financial mechanisms to support green economic growth,” he said.

    He said the theme for this year’s summit “Integrating Climate Actions in Lagos State Development: Investment Opportunities and Trade-offs’’ demonstrates governments commitment to Climate Action and how new vistas of opportunities can be opened.

    He said Government recognizes the impact of the organized private sector on economic growth in Lagos and the commitment of the Government to mainstream climate action in the next phase of the developmental agenda of Lagos State saying, it is an affirmative action in support of the role of the private sector in mitigating the effects of climate change.

    He disclosed that, Lagos is the only State in the Country that has developed and commenced the implementation of her Climate Action Plan in Nigeria adding that the Plan highlighted 26 initiatives across adaptation and mitigation actions to advance a sustainable low carbon economy to achieve net zero by Year 2050.

    He also disclosed that the State Government through the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources has signed up to the £15m UKAID Climate Action Implementation Programme, which will support cities to accelerate the implementation from their Climate Action Plans (CAPs).

    He emphasized that Lagos State is at an advanced stage of completing work on the Lagos Climate Adaptation and Resilient Plan (CARP) as the State prepares for the forthcoming Conference of Parties 27 (COP 27) in Egypt in November.

    He added that this document will project the state’s need on the adaptation level and also serves as one of the bargaining documents for collaboration and support from International Donor Agencies and investors.

    He noted that Climate Actions require significant investments and it is also a known fact that the economic cost of Climate Change far exceeds the cost of action adding that the Ministry is forward-looking with her collaborative efforts with the private sector in order to maximise the inherent benefits of climate action.

    The 9th Lagos State Climate Change Summit which had in attendance Investors, Academia, Scientist, Environmental enthusiasts, Climate Change analysts, Students and other Stakeholders continues on Wednesday.

  • Poster Presentation on Innovative Climate Solutions for Lagos State.

    The Lagos State International Climate Change Summit Committee wishes to encourage young researchers and innovators to take part in its first Poster Presentation on Innovative Climate Solutions for Lagos State.

    We welcome presentations on practical climate solutions to move the agenda of the Lagos Climate Action Plan towards achieving the emission neutrality goal of Lagos by 2050.

    Guidelines for Submission:

    • Title: Maximum 20 words
    • Authors: Last Name with first and middle initial of applicable.
    • Affiliation: Institution/Company with author’s email.
    • Abstract: Maximum 300 words with spaces. A well represented small table or figure/image can be inserted but the abstract in total must not exceed one page.
    • We recommend designing posters in a standard 48” by 36” horizontal format.
    • Proposals will be evaluated based on the clarity of the abstract, (Content & Language), the relevance of the topic and its ingenuity.

    All entries should be submitted via email to: climatechangelagosstate@gmail.com on or before 27th July.

  • LAGOS SEEKS PRIVATE SECTOR PARTNERSHIP ON CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

    Lagos State Government on Thursday convened the first edition of Lagos Climate Change Business Meeting with the organised private sector, sharing her vision in advancing Climate Action in the State.

    Speaking at the roundtable talk held at Ebony Life Place, Victoria Island, the State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello said government as an enabler is keen on partnering with the private sector to confront climate change.

    He added that the several mitigation and Adaptation measures adopted by government could be embraced by the private to improve their productivity, profit and make the state more liveable.

    Represented by the Permanent Secretary Office of Environmental Services, Gaji Omobolaji, he said the State Government has deemed it necessary to begin to have conversations to co-opt the private sector into the Lagos Climate Action initiative.

    He revealed that climate change is now more of a developmental issue which requires the collaborative effort of Government, The Organized Private Sector, Civil Society Organizations, The Academia and all relevant stakeholders.

    Bello said Government in year 2021 launched its Climate Action Plan which is expected to equip the State to take decisive and impact-oriented action to address the development challenges it faces in the pursuit of sustainable low-carbon and climate-resilient socio-economic development.

    “In as much as we are aware of the threat climate change poses to the environment, the economy and livelihoods, we also need to begin to view climate change through the prism of the opportunities it presents in the areas of job creation, attraction of direct investments, healthcare improvements, waste to energy initiatives, sustainable infrastructure development, and renewable energy investments” he adviced.

    Bello gave an example of the result from the Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory conducted by the Ministry which revealed that the energy sector contributes the highest emission, while Lagos receives less than12,000MWh daily from the National grid which is about 6.25%.

    “Even if we compare generator cost of N130/ KWh with a grid cost of N50/ KWh , the cost associated with burning fossil fuel by residents and businesses in the State for energy generation daily is estimated at a staggering sum of 14.4 Billion Naira daily and N5.3 Trillion annually . This value currently spent on non-renewable energy sources can be channeled into renewable energy sources with potential savings made” he revealed.

    He said this is a decade of action and it is important to collectively begin to mobilize necessary support and resources to embark on transformative actions on Climate Change adding that this will enable a shift towards green economic growth, develop our adaptive capacity towards climate change and also achieve emission neutrality.

    He however express optimism that with the initiation of the meeting, collaboration on Climate Action will be established and sustained to effectively deliver on the goals of the Lagos Climate Action Plan in the Energy, Waste and Transport Sectors.

    Speaking at the event, the Head and General Manager Sustenability at Dangote Cement, Igazeuma Okoroba commended the initiative of the State Government on the parley, promising Dangote coy’s commitment to its sustenance.

    She said when Government shares its vision as an enabler, the private will be more to participate actively in such venture just like Dangote Cement did with the 8th Lagos Climate Change Summit last year.

    The meeting also had in attendance reresentatives from Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance(FBRA), banks, multinational companies and agencies of the State Government.

    Kunle Adeshina
    Director Public Affairs
    June 16, 2022

  • LAGOS LAUNCHES SANITATION HYGIENE IMPROVEMENT PROJECT

    The Lagos State Government on Wednesday launched a Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement Project to improve good hygiene behaviors amongst the vulnerable in the state.

    The Permanent Secretary Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Office of Drainage Services, Engr. Nurudeen Shodeinde during the launching at the Amber Residence GRA, Ikeja said that the program is aimed to educate the residents of two selected LCDA Ikorodu North and Ojodu LCDAs on good hygiene.

    Speaking through the Director, Drainage Enforcement and Compliance, Engr. Manmood Adegbite said the project entails disseminating knowledge and understanding of hygiene practices as well as their associated health hazards to low-income populations.

    He added that the goal of the project is also to raise hygiene awareness among people in the target communities, with a focus on hygiene education for women and girls.

    He said that the Government of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu will continue to fund other important projects aimed toward the revitalization of the Water Sanitation and Hygiene sector in the State.

    “This is to formalize the structured and methodical approach to gaining universal adoption of handwashing and faecal sludge disposal, behaviours that are expected to reduce disease-causing micro-organisms and parasite transmission,” he said.

    He stated that the Government through Ministry has been in the campaign for public health before now and has also embarked on the review of WASH policy for the State in collaboration with stakeholders to achieve a proper Institutional arrangement capable of delivering the goal of access to potable water and sanitation to all in the State.

    He added that the Ministry has also embarked on sensitization of the populace on handwashing and hygiene practices stressing that this was backed up by the provision of handwashing facilities in schools, markets and correctional facilities across the State.

    He said if the State is to become a healthy and productive society capable of contributing to the nation’s long-term development, then everyone must understand that hygiene must not be taken for granted and appreciate
    why it is important.

    According to him, “our esteemed audience does not need convincing about the importance of hygiene instead, you are active Stakeholders with whom we can discuss ways to persuade others of the importance of hygiene, water supply, sanitation and public health. If sanitation and hygiene are vital, then stakeholders like you who fight to promote water supply, sanitation and hygiene are critical”.

    He explained that the government has not accomplished all these in isolation, but with the engagement of several partners which include Federal and Local Agencies, WaterAid Nigeria, stakeholders in the academia, development partners and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to accelerate the development of WASH sector in the State.

     

    He said the State Planning and Implementation committee (SPIC) would be inaugurated and its members drawn from different sectors to ensure the successful monitoring of the program while also carrying out advocacy at both the State and Local Government Area/Local Council Development Areas (LGA/LCDA).

    Earlier in his remarks, the representative of the Country Manager, WaterAid/ Kimberly Clark, Mr. Ukeme Essien said the project is aimed at achieving safe services in focused geographic areas to influence wider change and also priotize WASH across the health sector to improve public health.

    He said targeted beneficiaries in this project include 20, 000 mothers, pregnant and lactating women who would be provided with hygiene kits and context specific hygiene promotion activities.

    He emphasized that 5,000 secondary school girls would be reached with hygiene kits, hygiene promotion and menstrual hygiene education adding that 3,000 secondary schools students would benefit from rehabilitated sanitation facilities.

    Also in her welcome address, the Director of Water Resources, Engr. (Mrs.) Omolanke Taiwo said the event was significant because it is about promoting and educating residents of Ikorodu North and Ojodu LCDAs on behavioural change.

    She stated further that the goal of the project is to increase public awareness on good hygiene practices and the risk it poses to their health when not practice.

    She said it should be recalled that baseline survey was conducted at the LCDA level and involved data gathering on schools, Primary Health Care centres and Communities without access to toilets and handwashing facilities.

    Signed
    Kunle Adeshina
    Director Public Affairs
    MOE &WR
    June 15, 2022

  • SANWO-OLU TO LAGOSIANS: FOCUS ON LIVING SUSTAINABLY WITH NATURE.

    …Joins 2022 World Environment Day celebrations

    Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-olu on Sunday stated that there is an urgent need for everyone to focus on the need to live sustainably with nature for the benefit of mankind.

    He made this known during the year 2022 World Environment Day finale held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Secretariat, Alausa, adding that it has become necessary for shifting to a greener lifestyle through both policies and individual choices .

    He added that sustainability of the environment are among the most pressing issues in the world today out of which the Earth faces triple planetary emergencies namely; Climate change, loss of biodiversity and Environmental Pollution.

    The Governor who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Dr. Omolaji Gaji added that the impact of the aforementioned challenges have negatively made the achievements of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) less successful.

    It is pertinent to mention that this year’s theme “Only One Earth” was the slogan for the 1972 Stockholm Conference and 50 years on, this truth still holds as evidenced in the theme for World Environment Day 2022 being “ONLY ONE EARTH”.

    “With nature in emergency mode, the #OnlyOneEarth campaign for World Environment Day 2022, wants us to celebrate the planet through collective environmental action”, he said.

    He said the 1972 Stockholm Conference spurred the formation of environment Ministries around the world and kick-started a host of new global agreements to collectively protect the environment adding that it was also where the goals of poverty alleviation and environmental protection became linked, paving the way for the Sustainable Development Goals.

    He explained that around the world now, the planet is suffering a staggering rate of dramatic environmental change which is increasingly subjected to the negative effects of human population growth and the associated pollution problems.

    He added that Global environmental pollution has altered the earth’s natural system and is becoming an increasing concern for the well-being and survival of many species.

    Sanwo-Olu said time is running out and nature is in emergency mode, adding that without action, exposure to air pollution beyond safe guidelines will increase by 50 percent within the decade hence climate is heating up too quickly for people to survive and adapt to nature.

    He said it is important to note that no matter the economic status, everyone must be a part of Lagos State Development Agenda by getting involved adding, that it is an opportunity given to all to think about nature which offers supply, shelter and ecosystem restoration.

    He said Lagosians must admit the achievement of the State Government in the Greening and Restoration of Indigenous trees project towards curbing climate change effect and its efforts to end open defecation by 2025.

    According to him, while our individual consumption choices do make a difference, it is collective action that will create the transformative environmental change we need, so we can advance to a more sustainable and just Earth, where everyone can flourish.

    He urged everyone to be alive to their responsibilities on this issue of the environment and also to note that sustainable consumption, production drive economic development, mitigate climate change, environmental pollution would positively impact health and alleviate poverty.

    The Governor commended Corporate Organizations, Non-Governmental Institutions, Traditional Groups, Religious Groups and other notable bodies for ensuring that the persistent drive of the State’s policy towards entrusting legacy of greening and restoration of indigenous trees to the citizen is sustained.

    Earlier in address, Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello said the Government through Ministry of the Environment & Water Resources has implemented several programmes to mitigate these challenges through Tree planting, Climate change summit, Environmental bees clubs in schools, waste to wealth and ban on open defecation.

    Speaking through the Director of Sanitation Services Department, Dr. Hassan Sanuth, the PS said
    World Environment Day launched the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030, to prevent, halt and reserve the degradation of ecosystem on every continent and in every ocean.

    He added that government keyed into this call in 2021 by commencing the greening of Abraham Adesanya set back, together with restoration of some historical plants in specific locations like Agege, Idi-Mangoro where Mango trees were planted, Idi-Agbon in Ifako-Ijaiye where coconut trees were planted and in Lagos Island where breadfruit trees were planted at St. Paul Anglican Primary School, Breadfruit Lagos as part of this year’s celebration.

    The guest lecturer, Dr. Ayo Tella while delivering his paper noted that Anthropogenic effects caused by human activities such as felling of trees have altered the earth’s natural systems and and survival of many species.

    Various categories of awards were presented to corporate organizations, Community Development Areas, and schools amongst others in recognition of contribution to sustainable environment

    Signed
    Kunle Adeshina
    Director Public Affairs
    MOE &WR
    June 5, 2022

  • LAGOS PLANTS HISTORICAL TREES TO KICKSTART WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY CELEBRATION

    2022 World Environment Day celebrations in Lagos kicked off on Thursday with planting of 10 historic breadfruit trees to ensure the sustenance of One planet earth.

    Speaking at the ceremony which took place at the St Paul’s Anglican Primary School, Breadfruit, Lagos, the Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Omobolaji Gaji said the task of regenerating the environment should not be left to the government alone.

    Highlighting the 2022 World Environment Day theme “Only One Earth” he said it is a campaign to ensure that the beautiful planet remains a comfortable home for humanity.

    He explained that this year’s celebration was a historic milestone for the global environmental community as it marks 50 years since the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, widely seen as the first international meeting on the environment.

    He said the World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated in different ways all over the world and these includes planting of trees, cleaning up local beaches, organizing meetings, joining online protests amongst others.

    He said part of the activities lined up for this year’s celebration by the Ministry includes planting of historical breadfruit trees, an Environmental Awareness Walk, a submition of a petition for the support of the Environment to Lagos House of Assembly with a climax of the 2022 celebrations on Sunday.

    He said individuals and civil society are pivotal advocates, adding that the more people raise their voices and emphasize on what needs to be done, the faster change will come.

    He added that the World Environment Day programme is globally embraced to draw people’s attention to the significance of living sustainably with nature.

    Earlier in a goodwill message, the representative of the Education Secretary, Lagos Island Education District, Mr. Rasheed Fashanu commended the State Government for replanting the historical tree in the school as the area in times past was named after the tree because of the large concentration of Breadfruit trees in the area.

    He added that in the past students in the education district have always been encouraged to plant trees and the trees planted as a result are the ones being seen around now.

    The Director, Sanitation Services Department, Dr. Hassan Sanuth explained that trees planted were indigenous trees and synonymous to certain areas adding that in previous years other trees like Mango was planted at the Mangoro area of the state as well as the Coconut Tree planted at the Idi-Agbon Area in Ifako Ijaiye.

     

    Signed
    Kunle Adeshina
    Director Public Affairs
    MOE &WR
    June 2, 2022

  • LASG SEEKS BUY-IN OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ON INCORPORATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT (EIA)

    Lagos State Government on Wednesday charged all Engineers at the Local Government levels to ensure the incorporation of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) into every project and policy before implementation.

    The Permanent Secretary Office of Environmental Services, Dr. Omobolaji Gaji stated this during a stakeholders engagement workshop for Council Managers and Engineers on mainstreaming of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) into a developmental initiative in Lagos State held at LCCI Event Centre, Ikeja.

    The Perm Sec maintained that Environmental Impact Assessment is a critical environmental management tool that must be embraced by all sectors across the state.

    He stated that the objective of the meeting was to discuss the critical role of (EIA) in various collective strides toward sustainable development in the State.

    “Dear participant, you will agree with me that it is no longer news that Lagos remains the preferred destination for many businesses operating within the various sectors of Nigeria’s economy. This is cheering news as it opens the State to economic prosperity, on the other hand, it comes with various types of environmental challenges” he said.

    He said the establishment of industries, creation of settlements, and construction of infrastructure, all come with huge adverse environmental impacts ranging from pollution to irreversible environmental degradation if not properly managed.

    He said it is for these reasons that the Government through the Ministry of the Environment & Water Resources adopted the application of the EIA process in ensure sustainable implementation of development projects in the State in line with global best practices.

    He stated that the cost of doing the right things is cheaper than the cost of correcting the consequences of refusal to do them stressing that was why the Ministry created awareness on the need for participation and compliance with the EIA process in the State.

    He reiterated that the Government cannot afford the huge cost of addressing environmental degradation and ecological challenges resulting from unwholesome project development activities

    He said it is worrisome that while the Government continues to see improvements in the level of compliance from the Private Sectors to the process, the same cannot be said of the Public Sectors adding that most Local Government & Local Council Development Areas have continued to execute projects without the EIA processes.

    He emphasized that the above situation portrays the Government as adopting double standards by insisting that the Private sectors comply with the process when Government Arms on their part are not.

    He said as a result of this, the Ministry developed a Citizens Guide on EIA to educate public and provided required information on EIA process in the State.

    He said the Ministry embarked on Stakeholders Engagement meetings to several Local Government Areas in the State with the latest held in Badagry LGA where the EIA Report of the Badagry Deep Seaport and Free Zone project was discussed adding that workshops for other LGAs and LCDAs would soon commence for the year.

    Earlier the Director of Environmental Assessment Department, Dr. Olasunkanmi Sojinu spoke on the EIA process in Lagos State saying parts of the process include submission of a letter of intent and terms of reference for the conduct of EIA for the proposed project.

    He added that others are a review of terms of reference, registration of the proposed project with the Ministry by obtaining project regulatory form, site verification for the assessment of nature; size and sensitivity of the size amongst others.

    Also the facilitator, Assistant Director, Environmental Assessment Department, Mr. Lasisi Adedoyin in his lecture titled “Mainstreaming Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) into developmental initiatives in Lagos State” explained that EIA should be put into consideration for projects development activities for environmental sustainability.

    He said oftentimes, environmental analysis is what people carried out before project development while referring to it as EIA.

    He advised that it has become important to incorporate greening, water project and proper drainage system in every projects being embarked upon.

    The stakeholders was attended by Council Managers, Engineers as well as Architect drawn from the 57 Local Government and LCDs in Lagos State.

    Signed

    Kunle Adeshina
    Director (Public Affairs)
    MOE &WR
    May 25, 2022

  • LAGOS TO STIMULATE ACTION FOR THE CONSERVATION OF BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

    Joins global celebration of Biodiversity Day – 

    Lagos State on Monday emphasized its readiness to stimulate action for the conservation of biological diversity through awareness and enlightenment as it joined the global celebration of Biodiversity Day

    In a statement signed by the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello, he added that the State will also consolidate on partnerships with reputable Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in this wide.

    Tunji Bello also said that biodiversity was an essential asset that must be sustainably managed, wisely utilized, and conserved for future generations.

    Highlighting the theme for the 2022 celebration “Building a shared future for all life” the Commissioner said the theme presupposes that nature must have a natural balance for the survival of all living and non-living things in the ecosystem.

    He described Biological Diversity as the variety of plants and animals that live in an ecosystem and highlighted the importance of biodiversity.

    “Biodiversity is the foundation upon which the natural ecosystem can build back better and massively scale up restoration effects that will breathe new life into our degraded ecosystems”, he stressed.

    He maintained that the 2022 theme aligns perfectly within the context of the ongoing United Nations Decade on Eco-Restoration which highlights that biodiversity is the answer to several challenges to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) especially, goal 14 (Life below Water) and goal 15 (Life on Land & Climate action).

    Bello said the greatest threats facing Biological Diversity today were numerous but pre-eminent amongst them were habitat destruction and over-exploitation adding that the quest by property developers to acquire land for housing projects has led to the wanton destruction of many wetlands and forest ecosystems.

    He said over-exploitation of wildlife was also a major contributor to the increasing decline in the population of several species of animals in the State at an alarming rate emphasizing that animals that are facing imminent threat of extinction were Pangolin, hooded vulture, sea turtle and manatee populations.

    The Commissioner said the State Government was aware of this development and has continuously taken various steps aimed at addressing them and has embarked on an Advocacy and Awareness Campaign on Wetlands Conservation to the three Senatorial Districts in the State.

    “Amongst these steps is the partnership with the Lekki Urban Forest and Animal Sanctuary Initiative (LUFASI) and the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) on the conservation of the hooded vulture, pangolin, and Ekki tree population in the State; these partnerships will help protect critically endangered species from extinction and serve as a springboard for their sustained population in the wild,” he said.

    He warned people who engage in the illicit trade and sales of wildlife especially in the wet markets across Lagos state to desist as the Ministry will soon commence State-wide surveillance and enforcement to curb the menace.

    Bello appealed to the world to continue to establish new protected areas and improve their management and also take action that implements the convention of biological diversity.

    Signed
    Kunle Adeshina
    Director (Public Affairs)
    MOE &WR