Over 100 participants from Nigeria including representatives of federal and state governments, civil society groups, non-governmental organisations and international development partners, took part in the virtual ‘Nigeria for Nature’ dialogue, hosted recently by the British High Commission in Nigeria, in collaboration with Wilton Park.
The 2-day event with the theme: ‘Re-imagining nature-based solutions in Nigeria’ was hosted as part of efforts to sensitise the general public on the benefits of a healthy ecosystems, which underpins global food and nutrition security, and can directly improve livelihoods for millions in Nigeria, including citizens that are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
Discussions centred on the relevance of nature-based solutions for building resilience to climate change from different perspectives.
The major challenges around the implementation, governance and financing of nature-based solutions and how to overcome them. It also examined how various stakeholders can work together for successful, sustainable nature-based solutions in Nigeria.
Highlights of the event included: the need for better monitoring of protected areas; critical role of traditional leaders and women’s groups in ecosystem restoration; expansion of clean cooking to reduce deforestation; scaling-up education and sensitisation on the environment; private-sector engagement for sustainable management of nature; explicitly linking Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and nature; and the centrality of sustainable livelihoods to nature-based solutions.
Nigeria has been very forward leaning on nature-based solutions to climate change joining the Global Ocean Alliance and the Commonwealth Clean Ocean Alliance in 2019 and signing the Leaders Pledge for Nature in 2020.
President Buhari made a statement of high ambition at the Biodiversity Summit in September 2020, setting out a range of measures he wished to introduce, such as the establishment of two Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).