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Nigeria to donate $550k for Great Green Wall secretariat

Nigeria to donate $550k for Great Green Wall secretariat
June 17
10:29 2022

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says Nigeria will donate the sum of $550,000 to the building of the Great Green Wall secretariat.

Osinbajo said this on Thursday, in Abuja, during the eighth ordinary session of the council of ministers of the Pan-African Agency of the Great Green Wall (PAGGW).

The Great Green Wall initiative in Africa aims to address land degradation and desertification through the planting of trees in the entire stretch of the Sahel. It will also boost food security and support communities to adapt to climate change in sub-Saharan Africa.

Osinbajo said Nigeria has fulfilled the outstanding payment of $653,291 as its contribution to the project, and therefore encourages other countries to do the same.

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He said the commitment of nations under the project will go a long way in helping Africa combat the challenges of climate change and poverty as well as enabling the continent 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,” he said.

“The minister will take appropriate steps in line with the understanding we had at the Abidjan side meeting held on May 9.

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“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.”

He said 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.

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The vice-president said the Great Green Wall 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.

Osinbajo, who launched the national tree planting campaign at the conference, called for 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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This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.

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