By Chioma Dibia
Nigeria has committed collaborate with other African Countries in a bid to making positive strides towards protecting the oceans and the enactment of the new international ocean treaty.
Nigeria’s Minister of State, Environment, Dr Iziaq Salako made this known in his address at the Monash University pavilion organised by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.
According to Salako, “There is no greater challenge confronting the global community today than that of climate change and perhaps, nowhere will the effects of climate change be put so profoundly as in our oceans”.
He noted that oceans as we see provides livelihoods for millions of people yet the livelihoods, human habitats, and diets that are only supported by healthy oceans are increasingly jeopardized as our climate changes.
Dr Salako further went ahead to stress that, at least “30% of the global ocean must be protected through a network of “highly” and “fully” protected marine areas by 2030 to maximize the health and resilience of the global ocean
He said Nigeria is also using the instrumentality of the ECOWAS chairmanship under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to mobilize the West African sub-region, adding that, “For Nigeria and indeed for ECOWAS, this is an essential and urgent step, and we call on all other regions and countries to join us and promptly ratify the treaty so that we can achieve 60 ratifications by June 2025”.
The Minister emphasized the need for unity to ensure that the call for ambition for the expansion of protected areas is matched with equal ambition on finance, on halting human-induced extinction of wild species on mutual accountability to halt forest loss and degradation on securing species recovery and the restoration of jeopardized ecosystems.