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ECOWAS to implement plan on securing biodiversity protection

ECOWAS to implement plan on securing biodiversity protection
February 22
22:15 2024

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is set to implement a regional plan aimed at securing at least 30 percent of the planet by 2030.

NAN reports that Iziaq Salako, the minister of state for environment, spoke at the ECOWAS coordination meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.

Salako said the plan, known as 30 by 30, is designed to “preserve life-giving ecosystems and immediately halt human-induced extinction of wild species”.

The minister said the ECOWAS region is the only part of the world making efforts to halt biodiversity loss through a regional lens.

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Salako noted that the population of climate migrants and environmental displaced persons is rising in the region.

He urged Nigerians to secure the livelihoods of indigenous people and local communities who he described as “the best protectors of the world’s richest biodiversity gifted to our sub-region”.

“The healthier our region’s biodiversity is, the better it will be in withstanding future climate and biodiversity shocks and the more resilient to continue to deliver for the people,” he said.

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“It is clear that there is inequity in the ways countries are impacted by the biodiversity and climate crises.

“For us in West Africa, a lack of solutions means that our communities will become poorer, our food security jeopardised, and our rural populations forced to relocate as it is already happening in many of our countries.

“I want to trust that through your work in the coming days, ECOWAS will take the lead in ambition for biodiversity once again.

“I strongly believe that we are ready to act together to protect the lands and oceans that provide our generous ecosystem services.

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“Let me recommit Nigeria to continue to play her leadership role in mobilising and organising West Africa to protect our regional biodiversity, the hotspot of global biodiversity.

“We will work through the difficult technical aspects and conceive new paths forward, knowing that the eyes of the world are upon us.

“Our hard work to expand and strengthen our protected areas will serve not only as a sign of our commitment but also as a wake-up call to the rest of the world.

“Our appeal is for an ambitious and urgent global response to the biodiversity crisis and more financial support to ECOWAS collectively and individually to realise the 30 by 30 vision.”

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Massandje Toure-Litse, commissioner for economic affairs and agriculture of ECOWAS, was represented by Bernard Koffi, head of environment and climate change division, at the event. 

Toure-Litse said that it is expedient to ensure that the region is protected through a collective effort by member states.

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“ECOWAS countries have played a significant role in securing the adoption of global commitment to expand protected areas to 30 per cent of the planet by 2030,” she said. 

“We have a shared responsibility to act by expanding and strengthening our protected areas because degraded ecosystem threatens the physical, economic and food security of local communities and multinational businesses.”

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