Nigeria hosts 33rd UNESCO summit to enhance biodiversity conservation
By Gistflash News
Sept 13, 2021
Nigeria on Monday hosted the 33rd UN Education, Scientific and Culture Organisation (UNESCO) summit in Abuja to review progress, define priorities and coordinate international cooperation in support of biodiversity and ecological sciences.
Ms Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General of UNESCO, while making a remark at the UNESCO 33rd session of the MAB-ICC Programme, said it was the first time such a summit was held in Africa.
Azoulay said that the International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB-ICC) provided an opportunity for the council to review proposals for new biosphere reserves.
UNESCO, a custodian of knowledge and know-how concerning biodiversity, has been developing concrete solutions to environmental challenges for over 50 years through the MAB programme and its network of protected sites, covering nearly six per cent of the planet.
With 714 biosphere reserves in 129 countries, including transboundary sites, UNESCO seeks to reconcile humans and nature and demonstrate that it is possible to use biodiversity sustainably while fostering its conservation.
The director-general expressed concern that biodiversity was collapsing, at an unprecedented speed globally.
She said that the collapse was from the treetops to the ocean depths and from vertebrates to invertebrates, adding that no species was spared.
“This is the spirit driving UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme. It is what makes it so pioneering, and so valuable.
“We all have to stand on the earth itself and go with her at her pace. With this impending collapse, not only is human survival at risk, but also the beauty, the diversity of the world.
“But this collapse is not inevitable: there is still time to make peace with the planet,” she said.
According to her, there is the conviction that we can re-forge our relationship with nature, that we can reconcile development and environmental protection.
“We must harness the power of education to rebuild our relationship with nature. UNESCO is fully mobilised to ensure that the environment becomes a key curriculum component by 2025.
“This is in line with the commitment made by the 80th governments we gathered at the Berlin conference last May.
The director-general thanked President, Muhammadu Buhari, for making the meeting a huge success.
The Minister of State for Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor, said that the MAB programme presented a unique platform for cooperation on research and development, ecological restoration, capacity-building and networking to share information, knowledge and experience.
Ikeazor said that the MAB programme was on three interlinked issues such as biodiversity loss, climate change and sustainable development, adding that the world was facing planetary crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.
According to her, this global loss of biodiversity is threatening the security of the world’s food supplies and the livelihoods of millions of people including indigenous people and local communities, especially in the African region.
“The good news is that it is not too late to reverse the current trends if conservation efforts are scaled up and protected areas are expanded.
“This is the first time that MAB-ICC is being held on the African continent since its inception and I am proud that Nigeria has taken the lead by hosting this event today,’’ she said.
Also, the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, called on all relevant organisations both global and national to rise up and take responsibility to restore human nature for a healthy environment.
Kallon said that the UN system was implementing a number of activities geared towards protecting the ecosystem and biodiversity of Nigeria, as well as addressing the consequences orchestrated by Covid-19 and climate change amongst others.
“The activities include, reducing the incidence of out of school children to help Nigeria build its human capital.
“Also, engaging youths for long-lasting peacebuilding efforts, and to create solutions for COVID-19’s worst impacts,’’ he said.
Kallon commended the effort of UNESCO in establishing the Man and the Biosphere Programme, which connected all governments of its member states.
Prof. Adeshola Adepoju, Chair of MAB-ICC and Director-General of Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), said that MAB programme provided a unique platform for cooperation on research and development.
Adepoju said that MAB programme was launched by UNESCO in 1971, adding that it was aimed at establishing a scientific basis and dedicated to the relationship between humans and the environment to sustainable use of natural resources.
“The MAB programme contributes not only to better understanding of the environment but also promotes greater involvement of science and scientists in policy development concerning the wise use of biological diversity,’’ he said.
He appreciated the President, Mohammadu Buhari, the UNESCO, UN, the Ministry of Environment and other dignitaries for making the summit a huge success.
FG commences rebuilding of schools in Yobe
By Gistflash News
Sept 11, 2021
The Federal Government through the North East Development Commission (NEDC) has commenced the building of more schools in Yobe and other parts of the North-East.
NEDC is a department of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
The Yobe government had provided land for the building of new primary and secondary schools in Potsdam, Buni Yadi (Gujba) and Gahsua (Bade) Local Government Areas.
The commission’s Managing Director, Mohammed Alkali, who made the disclosure on Saturday in Gasua, said that the initiative was meant to address the current problem of insufficient classrooms.
According to him, the problem in primary and secondary schools in the North-East region is due to activities of insurgents.
Akali said that insurgency and other factors had made the region highest on the poverty index and lowest in literacy rate and highest in poverty.
The managing director added that the destruction of schools by the insurgents had disrupted primary and secondary education in the region.
“Widespread poverty coupled with insecurity, has rendered an estimated 600,000 young people unable to go beyond the primary or secondary school levels.
“As such, millions of the out of school children in the Region remain uneducated, justifying the need for massive intervention in the development of school infrastructure.
“Consequently, the commission resolved to construct three composite mega schools or upgrading of existing ones in each states of the region, thus making 18, one in each of the Senatorial District.
“We are also going to complement the physical structure with soft support like teachers’ training, curriculum and upgrade.,” he said.
In his remarks, Gov. Mai Mala Buni, commended the commission’s gesture, adding that it was “timely and desirable” and was in line with his government’s policy on education.
Represented by his Chief of Staff Alhaji Abdullahi Yusuf, Buni appealed to members of the community, local government authorities and the emirate council to take ownership of the projects .
Abraham Chukwudi Nneji Foundation holds scholarship exam for indigent students in Enugu
A non-governmental organisation, Dr. Abraham Chukwudi Nneji Foundation has announced scholarship opportunity for indigent students in Enugu
to study in any higher institution of their choice.
A statement issued by the foundation indicates that the offer comes with full scholarship.
According to the Foundation, beneficiaries will be selected after a screening test which will be conducted online through https://cedinitiative.org/apply/.
The statement disclosed that the examination will hold from the 1st to 8th of October 2021.
According to the statement, over 10,000 secondary school students have already been provided with resources for the scholarship examination and will be joined by other interested secondary school leavers in the online examination which will be hosted by CED Initiative and will last for 45 minutes.
Dr. Abraham Chukwudi Nneji Foundation advised interested indigent students who wish to participate in the scholarship examination to download the study materials from https://cedinitiative.org/careerguide/
Interested participants are equally directed to contact 09023353080 in case of any inquiries.
The statement reads;
“Dr. Abraham Chukwudi Nneji Foundation will be offering indigent but bright children of Enugu State the opportunity to study in the university/ polytechnic with a full scholarship. The over 10,000 secondary school pupils who have been provided with resources for the scholarship exam will be joined by other interested secondary school leavers in an online exam that will be hosted by CEDInitiative”.
Date: 1st – 8th October, 2021
“Please note that the study material for the scholarship is available for free download by clicking on the link: https://cedinitiative.org/careerguide/”
For further inquiries, contact 09023353080
Signed: Dr. Abraham Chukwudi Nneji Foundation.
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