ENVIRONMENT experts has recently a two- day Nigeria’s National Consultative Meeting on Draft Additional protocols to the Abidjan Convention as a way of fine-tuning the additional instruments of intervention which will enable National Action Plans to be developed and implemented at the country level. The National consultative meeting is a platform for regional cooperation for the protection, management and development of the marine and coastal environment of the West, East and southern African Region.
Declaring the meeting open in Abuja, the Minister of Environment, Mrs. Amina Mohammed pointed out that coastal and marine environment play many different roles in relation to public health, food security, economic and social benefits, cultural values and traditional livelihoods. She said due to high dependence on natural recourses, tremendous pressure has placed on ecosystems which increasingly compromise their sustainable use. “ environmental stress as a result of the intensification of human activities along the coast have included declining fisheries, water quality degradation, physical alteration and destruction of habitats, and coastal erosion which have been identified as significant transboundary problems,” she explained The minister said the Nigerian coastal and marine environment accounts for over 50% of Nigeria’s economy, adding that it has enhanced the country’s socio economic development in many ways such as revenue generation, food production, employment creation and others. Mohammed revealed that ecosystem is faced with many problems such as coastal erosion and depletion of natural resources, pollution, global climate change and sea level rise. According to her, for the past three years, additional instruments of intervention were developed and they include: Environmental Norms and Standards; Sustainable management of Mangrove; and Integrated Coastal Zone Management. She expressed hope that the protocols will be much needed instruments that will enable sustainably manage country’s marine and coastal ecosystems towards enhancing food security, reduce poverty and enhance the overall socio-economic growth.