The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Operational Focal Point, Federal Ministry of Environment, Alhaji Auwal Maidabino, has said that GEF has allocated $20.65 million to address the nation’s environmental challenges.
Maidabino, who is also the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics in the ministry, said this at the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) national dialogue meeting in Abuja.
“Nigeria could benefit from the various impact programmes of GEF as well as other projects based on the country needs, covered by the Star allocation of 20.65 million dollars allocated to Nigeria,” he said.
According to him, GEF National Dialogue Meeting is organised to facilitate the conceptualisation of projects for implementation in the GEF-7 cycle for GEF CEO’s endorsement.
Maidabino said that the meeting also marked the beginning of Nigeria’s implementation of the GEF-7 cycle which star allocation stood at 20.65 million dollars.
“This will afford us the opportunity to articulate our environmental challenges for remediation within the ambit of three focal areas approved for Nigeria.
“The three focal areas are climate change, land degradation and biodiversity,” Maidabino said.
The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs Ibukun Odusote, said the ministry would do its best to provide effective and efficient environmental framework to sustain the nation’s focus on sustainable development in the environmental sector.
Odusote said that the ministry would soon release its documents on the state of environment report and the reviewed National Policy on Environment.
“Over the years, the issue of environmental statistics has not been placed on the National Bureau of Statistics data base which has become a fundamental issue that must be critically addressed.
“Hence, discussions have been held to mainstream environmental statistics into National Planning for Developmental purposes,” Odusote said.
National Coordinator, Global Environmental Facility-Small Grant Programme (GEF-SGP), Mrs Ibironke Olubamise, said that over $5 million was spent under the programme on 141 environmental related projects in 27 states in the last 10 years.
“The total number of projects supported by GEF-SGP since 2009 was 141 in about 200 communities in 27 states,’’ she said, adding that the grant was used to fund projects on biodiversity, climate change, land degradation, persistent organic pollutants and international waters.
“GEF-SGP provides grant, technical and coordination support to poor, marginalised and vulnerable communities.
“This is through non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and corporate body organisations (CBOs) to implement local environmental initiatives.
“Funded by the GEF, SGP is implemented by UN Development Programme (UNDP), on behalf of the GEF partnership and is executed by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS),’’ she said. The coordinator said the GEF-SGP also supported alternative livelihood activities that helped to reduce pressure on the environment and enhanced the quality of lives of the target communities, including widows and the aged.