Technocrat Media, Abuja
Yemi Osinbajo, the vice president says Nigeria is donating a sum of $550,000 to the building of the Great Green Wall secretariat.
The vice president said during the eighth ordinary session of the council of ministers of the Pan-African Agency of the Great Green Wall (PAGGW) on Thursday in Abuja, according to TheCable.
The Great Green Wall initiative in Africa for the planting of trees across the stretch of the Sahel to address land degradation and desertification. The project also boosts food security and supports communities to adapt to climate change in sub-Saharan Africa.
According to Mr Osinbajo, Nigeria has fulfilled the outstanding payment of $653,291 as of its contribution to the project and stressed the need for other countries to do the same.
He said the commitment of African nations under the GGW project will go a long way in helping the continent combat climate change and poverty challenges as well as enabling Africa to meet the deadline of the decade on ecosystem restoration.
“I have, in my capacity as the President of the conference of heads of states and government of member states, directed the minister of finance of Nigeria to lead the initiative to access the funds pledged by our partners under the Great Green Wall Accelerator,” Mr Osinbajo said.
“The minister will take appropriate steps in line with the understanding we had at the Abidjan side meeting held on May 9.
“Having also fulfilled the payment of our outstanding contribution of about 654, 291 dollars, I am also glad to pledge the sum of 550,000 dollars as our contribution to the building of the Great Green Wall Secretariat.
“I call on other member countries to follow suit by contributing towards the building of a befitting office for the PAGGW.”
Mr Osinbajo noted that Africa must be mindful of the importance of mitigation and adaptation for climate change because the continent is confronted with twin challenges which are “the ravages of climate change, but perhaps, more importantly, the existential problem of extreme poverty”.
“We must take every opportunity and especially at meetings like this, to remind ourselves as African leaders and our development friends, of what the Great Green wall Initiative is and what it is not,” he said.
He also said the GGW project has moved beyond tree planting, which was the original vision, to a more ambitious variety of sustainable land-use practices designed to combat climate change, desertification, food insecurity, and poverty.
The vice president launched the national tree planting campaign at the conference and called for adequate financing to provide alternative energy sources and help preserve African rainforests which according to him absorb not less than 1.5 billion tons of CO2 annually.
“This is more than the Amazon or any other region’s rainforests. Financing is needed to help preserve these vital carbon sinks. Because without viable alternative energy sources, much of the local population still depends on burning firewood for cooking and heating,” he said.
“So, there is a need to provide sustainable energy alternatives – and to compensate regional governments who in the interest of maintaining these carbon sinks for us all have to forgo deforestation for agriculture or industrialisation.”
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