From Felix Ikem, Nsukka

The Resource and Environmental Policy Research Centre, Environment for Development (REPRC-EfD Nigeria) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the National Assembly for passing and signing the Climate Change Bill into law.

The president had last week signed the bill which was earlier passed by the national assembly, making it to become part of the law of the federation.

Dr Nnaemeka Chukwuone, Director, REPRC-EfD Nigeria in a statement he signed in Nsukka on Thursday described the signing of the Climate Change Act by the president as a concrete step towards environmental sustainability and Low-Carbon Climate-Resilient Development.

The statement which was made available to Daily Sun read in part, “we noted with delight the signing of the Climate Change Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCON, on Thursday, November 18, 2021, to give Nigeria an enabling law for the management of its climate crisis.

‘This makes Nigeria one of the few countries in Africa with such Acts, and we commend the President and the National Assembly for walking the talk on cutting Nigerian carbon emissions to net-zero by 2060.

‘There is no better time to have a Climate Change Act than now, given the increasing need for environmental sustainability, low-carbon climate-resilient development, ecosystem conservation and the adoption of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) in the country’s budgeting and national planning,’ he said.

The director noted further that “the Act has come at a crucial time that the Federal Ministry of Environment, in partnership with the REPRC-EfD Nigeria, and Natural Eco Capital and with support from World Bank, has already taken the initiative aimed at helping Nigeria mainstream natural capital into its system of national accounts.

‘The partnership has done remarkable work on developing pilot Natural Capital Accounts (NCA) and natural capital accounting roadmap for Nigeria. Pilot NCA for land cover, ecosystem extent, mangroves, and greenhouse gas was produced under the “Towards Natural Capital Accounts for Nigeria” project, supported by the World Bank, he said.

The statement added that REPRC-ED is confident that the newly signed Climate Change Act, which has given legal backing for the development of NCA for the country, will help fast track the production of NCAs and mainstream them into national policies and plans.

‘We also hope that the provisions of the Climate Change Act will be domesticated at the state levels for maximum impact.

‘Preserving our environment and ecosystem is a collective responsibility that requires a healthy partnership among relevant stakeholders.

‘As a research Centre domiciled in the University of Nigeria, the REPRC-EfD Nigeria is always ready to provide evidence-based advice and technical support to realise the government’s agenda on environmental sustainability.

‘Based on our research findings, we have been engaging with relevant stakeholders on the need to review Nigeria’s marine and fishery policies. It is our hope that very soon, marine and inland fisheries in Nigeria will have an updated law and policy that will favour the sustainable exploitation of aquatic resources in Nigeria waters.

‘All of us at the REPRC-EfD Nigeria is delighted with the signing of the Climate Change Act by Mr President and look forward to its effective enforcement to drive Nigeria in the path of climate-resilient sustainable development,’ he said.

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