Buhari pledges Nigeria’s support for global efforts to tackle marine plastic pollution – THISDAYLIVE

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Deji Elumoye in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged Nigeria’s commitment to an international legally binding instrument to reduce the threat of marine plastic pollution from land-based sources and activities.

The president gave the assurance over the weekend in a speech at the 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal’s capital.

Highlighting Nigeria’s efforts to ensure the health and sustainability of the oceans, seas and marine resources, the President represented by the Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor,

said that a National Policy on Plastic Pollution and Roadmap on Solid and Plastic Waste Management have been formulated and established.

The President, who commended the United Nations for leading the process of effective ocean governance, said Nigeria had mainstreamed ocean management into the economy, by forming a Presidential Committee on Sustainable Blue Economy.

He also announced that Nigeria had embarked on the creation of two marine protected areas.

President Buhari reaffirmed Nigeria’s commitment to participate constructively in the ongoing negotiations for various multilateral agreements, including on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

According to him, “The entire southern border of Nigeria is the Atlantic Ocean with a coastline of around 853 km being the longest in the West African region.

”It is endowed with enormous biodiversity resources such as freshwater forest and mangrove ecosystems with various species of fauna and flora.

”We recognize that a healthy ocean and coastal environment is key to sustainable development. We must therefore conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.

“The ocean is key to the global economy, with an estimated 40 million people expected to be employed by ocean industries by 2030.

“Our oceans and seas are repositories of immense wealth, in terms of natural capital, ecosystem services, living and non-living resources. We recognize that our marine and aquatic resources are critical to the livelihoods of our people.

“Hence our commitment to the African Union Agenda 2063 and the achievement of the United Nations SDG 14”.

The President also highlighted the need for more scientific partnerships and knowledge sharing to protect humanity’s common ocean heritage.

His words: ”Science tells us that to stop the downward spiral we are witnessing in the ocean, we must fully and strongly protect at least 30% of the global ocean by 2030, and significantly strengthen the management of human activities in the remaining 70%.

”This must be reflected in the text we are negotiating here as well as in the upcoming negotiations scheduled for December 2022 at the next Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Conference of the Parties (COP).

”Nigeria is a member of the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People and the Blue Leaders Campaign.

”The global community must agree to the effective protection of 30% of the global ocean by 2030 at the CBD COP in December, and a strong high seas treaty that does not just endorse the status quo, but one that ensures all nations manage their activities on the high seas to avoid significant effects on the ocean.

“These two steps will go a long way toward restoring the health and resilience of our oceans.”

Buhari pledges Nigeria’s support for global efforts to tackle marine plastic pollution

Deji Elumoye in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged Nigeria’s commitment to an international legally binding instrument to reduce the threat of marine plastic pollution from land-based sources and activities.

The president gave the assurance over the weekend in a speech at the 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal’s capital.

Highlighting Nigeria’s efforts to ensure the health and sustainability of the oceans, seas and marine resources, the President represented by the Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor,

said that a National Policy on Plastic Pollution and Roadmap on Solid and Plastic Waste Management have been formulated and established.

The President, who commended the United Nations for leading the process of effective ocean governance, said Nigeria had mainstreamed ocean management into the economy, by forming a Presidential Committee on Sustainable Blue Economy.

He also announced that Nigeria had embarked on the creation of two marine protected areas.

President Buhari reaffirmed Nigeria’s commitment to participate constructively in the ongoing negotiations for various multilateral agreements, including on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

According to him, “The entire southern border of Nigeria is the Atlantic Ocean with a coastline of around 853 km being the longest in the West African region.

”It is endowed with enormous biodiversity resources such as freshwater forest and mangrove ecosystems with various species of fauna and flora.

”We recognize that a healthy ocean and coastal environment is key to sustainable development. We must therefore conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.

“The ocean is key to the global economy, with an estimated 40 million people expected to be employed by ocean industries by 2030.

“Our oceans and seas are repositories of immense wealth, in terms of natural capital, ecosystem services, living and non-living resources. We recognize that our marine and aquatic resources are critical to the livelihoods of our people.

“Hence our commitment to the African Union Agenda 2063 and the achievement of the United Nations SDG 14”.

The President also highlighted the need for more scientific partnerships and knowledge sharing to protect humanity’s common ocean heritage.

His words: ”Science tells us that to stop the downward spiral we are witnessing in the ocean, we must fully and strongly protect at least 30% of the global ocean by 2030, and significantly strengthen the management of human activities in the remaining 70%.

”This must be reflected in the text we are negotiating here as well as in the upcoming negotiations scheduled for December 2022 at the next Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Conference of the Parties (COP).

”Nigeria is a member of the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People and the Blue Leaders Campaign.

”The global community must agree to the effective protection of 30% of the global ocean by 2030 at the CBD COP in December, and a strong high seas treaty that does not just endorse the status quo, but one that ensures all nations manage their activities on the high seas to avoid significant effects on the ocean.

“These two steps will go a long way toward restoring the health and resilience of our oceans.”

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