By Funmi Olasupo with agency report
Abuja – Global Environment Facility, GEF received a boost at the 46th meeting of the GEF Council following the pledge of USD 4.43 billion by 31 donor countries to the organization.
In her remark at Cancun, Mexico, the GEF Chairperson/ CEO, Dr. Naoko Ishii, described the GEF replenishment of USD 4.43 billion pledged by the donor countries as a significant success.
Ishii also noted that GEF 2020 strategy stipulates how the GEF can play a significant role of solving some of the world critical environmental issues in future.
Nigerian Minister of Environment Mrs. Laurentia Mallam, led the Nigerian delegates made up of Mrs. Rabi Jimeta, the Permanent Secretary, Mr. D. M. Dauda, Director PRS/GEF Operational Focal Point, and delegates from the Ministry of Environment and Finance.
At the Assembly meeting, the Nigerian delegation had bilateral meetings with the Executive Secretary of the United Nation Conservation to Combat Desertification UNCCD, Ms. Monique Barbut, former GEF CEO, Assistant Secretary General UNEP, Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw, Director General, Mr. Li Yong, United Nations Industrial Development Organization UNIDO and the Great Green Wall Project Countries.
Some of the issues deliberated during the bilateral meeting with Nigeria delegates include: the need for countries to look more at the issues of drought being the highest human killer than any other crisis in the world as issues of land degradation and security.
Also, the need for African countries to consider issues of land degradation as it affects climate change, biodiversity, pollution and how to promote sustainable land management, SLM through good land stewardship to achieve quick result and how UNCCD will assist Nigeria in tackling her environmental degradation being the biggest country and legitimate voice in Africa.
It also considered the need for African countries to come up with some concrete projects on land degradation management and environmental degradation, proper management of land instead of reclamation which is more expensive and in turn has negative effect on food security, and the need to promote green growth in industries.
Similarly, the projects would include how GEF-Nigeria and UNIDO will work together in these areas under GEF-6 to support sustainable industrial development. Lastly there was deliberation on the need for Nigeria to work with UNEP on food security under the GEF-6 and how Nigeria should seek for soft loan to form part co-financing.