By ‘Seyifunmi Adebote, Lagos
A group of young players in the environmental sector have told a visiting Polish minister that gas flaring, poor waste management are part of the challenges they want addressed in the sector in Nigeria.
The visiting Polish Minister and Secretary of State in the Ministry of Environment
Michał Tadeusz Kurtyka, at the start of dialogue in Lagos last week asked participants, “If you had to identify one environmental challenge as a priority, what would be the most important message that you think I should take to the UN Climate Summit from the youths in Lagos, Nigeria”
Gas Flaring, Oil Spillage, Poor Waste Management, Non-renewable Energy Sources, Deforestation, Weak Government Policies and absence of Environmental Education were listed as the major challenges that bedevil Nigeria’s environmental sector and contributes to Climate impact in the country.
Following the success of 2018 Conference of Party (COP) 24 hosted by Poland in Katowice;, Kurtyka, who served as President of COP24 was in Lagos to engage the young actors in the environmental sector.
The Environmental Dialogue held on Sunday, March 17th, 2019 at Civic Hive, Yaba, Lagos and focused on solutions to address Climate Change in Nigeria and possible options to build Climate resilience among Nigerians.
Speaking at the dialogue, Mr. Kurtyka said: “After COP24 which brought together thousands of delegates from 196 countries with different interests and priorities, we have adopted the Katowice Rulebook to guide the implementation of the Paris agreement. In September, I will be representing COP24 at the UN Climate Summit in New York and my work is to be your voice so I want to hear from you.”
Responding to comments from the young players, Ms. Ilona Korchut, Poland’s Deputy Head of Mission in Nigeria said, “As an embassy, we will try to facilitate you with organizations in Poland dealing with the same issues to improve your capacity and organize training that would scale up what you are doing in Nigeria. I am sure some of our companies in Poland will be interested in some of what you doing and that can open up collaborations for huge positive impact, here in Nigeria.”
Ms. Ilona also encouraged those whose works are in line with the Polish Embassy’s priority to access the yearly small grant project.