FG, EU Collaborate to Reduce Environmental Waste in Nigeria

Michael Olugbode in Abuja

The European Union (EU) has announced that it is collaborating with the federal government to reduce environmental waste in Nigeria.

This year, the EU is joining the Federal Ministry of Environment, including other stakeholders around the globe to mark the International Zero Waste Day in Nigeria.

This is the first time that the Day is being marked following its proclamation by the United Nations General Assembly last December.

Speaking during an event in Abuja to commemorate this year’s International Zero Waste Day with the theme: “Beat Waste,” Deputy Ambassador, European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Zissimos Vergos, said this year’s event prioritises the need to reduce waste

“This year’s theme ‘Beat Waste’ underscores the top priority to prevent waste from being created in the first place. The International Day of Zero Waste highlights both the importance of bolstering waste management globally, and the need to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns.

“Every year humanity generates between 2.1 billion and 2.3 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste. However, global waste management services are ill equipped to handle this, with 2.7 billion people lacking access to solid waste collection and only around 60 per cent of municipal solid waste being managed in controlled facilities,” he said.

Vergos explained that waste pollution does not only significantly threaten human wellbeing and economic prosperity, but that it is part of the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution.

He decried that without urgent action, annual municipal solid waste generation will hit 3.8 billion tonnes by 2050.

He said: “Recognising this major challenge, the European Union initiated the Global Alliance on Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency (GACERE), spearheaded by the EU and UNIDO, with support from the United Nations Environment Programme, and also joined by Nigeria. The initiative fosters international collaboration to address plastic pollution, including in the marine environments.

“It is in that vein that we partner with the Federal Ministry of Environment, currently co-chairing the Nigeria Circular Economy Working Group together with UNIDO.”

“The group brings together all strategic stakeholders to boost the implementation of circular economy policies and practices at national and sub-national levels, with a view to an inclusive and green growth of the Nigerian economy.

“Our other contributions and achievements include the work on the National Policy on Waste Battery Management of 2021, support to NESREA on the National Environmental (Plastic Waste Control) Regulations of 2023, and last but not least the National Circular Economy Roadmap to be unveiled today.”

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