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The Minister of Environment, Malam Ibrahim Jibril, on Friday called on wood and allied dealers to protect the wild flora and fauna in the country, for a sustainable environment.

Jibril made the call during the Two-Day Interactive Workshop for Sensitisation and Awareness Creation On Wood Export Procedure and CITES Implementation In Nigeria in Lagos.

He said that wild flora and fauna were renewable natural resources endowment of every society and they provide sustenance of livelihoods at various levels of economic development.

The Minister said that forests and forest resources contributed significantly to the economic development of advanced countries like the US, Canada and Finland.

According to him, in developing countries like Nigeria, they underpin people’s livelihoods and economic development in areas such as furniture, construction, housing, food security, medicare and environmental services.

“Illegal trade on wild flora and fauna resources must, therefore, be stopped.

“It threatens the environment, deprives communities of their livelihoods, decreases revenues for governments, for businesses and increases the probability of conflicts and insecurity, in addition to jeopardising the survival of species.

“Government is aware of these socio-economic aspects of forest operations, particularly in creating rural employment, generating income, support livelihoods and enhance poverty reduction.

“These socio-economic aspects of forest operations are all in line with the Economic Growth Recovery Plan (EGPR), seeking for benefits from various ways of economic diversification from non-oil exports.

“Government is also aware of the results of large trade volumes between nations and the effects on the economy,’’ he said.

Jibril said that the consumption of flora and fauna products and services were expected to be compatible with economic development, social benefits and environmental sustainability.

He said that one of the most pressing issues, therefore, was ensuring a balance between both ends.

According to him, sustainable utilisation of these resources calls for monitoring of market and trade patterns.

“It also calls for ensuring compliance with regulations, standards, procedures and process for access and ensuring the rights of generations yet unborn to the enjoyment of same, as secured,’’ he said.

The Minister said that the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was an international treaty to control, and regulate the use of species of plants and animals that were threatened, endangered or are at the verge of being extinct.

He said that the convention was domesticated in Nigeria through the National Wildlife Protection Act 2016, which sought to protect specific flora and fauna species that were indigenous to the country from going extinct.

According to him, under these two regulations, the plants and animals and their derivatives, listed under Schedule/Appendix l, are not to be traded at international markets.

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“Government has identified low level of sensitisation and awareness creation as one of the factors responsible for non-compliance with standards in trade in timber and species of wildlife.

“The sad incidence where a colony of chimpanzees was killed by local hunters in delta state recently is evidence of ignorance and insufficient information on the need to protect our endangered species.

“This particular animal is an endangered specie that is protected both by international and national regulations.

“Chimpanzees as we all know have some common features with man and lots of research results from them are useful in the treatment of many ailments in man. We surely need these animals to support our survival.

“The same goes for trees such as timber species that are becoming extinct like Iroko, Apa, Mahogany, Obeche, Ebony, Mansonia Rhizophora. These are not permitted to be traded at the international market.

“Government, in conjunction with stakeholders and various NGOs, will continue to intensify campaign and sensitisation on the status of these plants and animals and the regulations guiding their conservation and protection from ignorant hunters and predators,’’ he said.

Jibril also said that actionable strategies to address issues of deforestation and forest degradation in the country had received the approval of the Federal Executive Council.

He said that efforts were ongoing toward the establishment of a National Forestry Trust Fund, among others, to advance forest development for both production and protective purposes.

The Director of Forestry, in the ministry, Mr Michael Osakuade, said that in the last two years, the ministry had continuously engaged, collaborated and dialogued with major players in the wood export business.

Osakuade said that the players were represented by the Processed Wood Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (PROWPMAN), Tropical Wood Exporters Association of Nigeria (TWEAN) and the enforcement agencies in the various aspects of the wood export and have evolved actionable strategies to address deforestation.

He said that the basic reason for the effort was to ensure sustainable use and legal trade in wood and other forest products.

According to him, the workshop was strategically designed to create awareness and increase understanding of the need for compliance with established standards, regulations and procedures for sustainable and labour trade.

“It focuses on the need to ensure that stakeholders in the wood and allied product trade are kept abreast of the regulations guiding the trade.

“We have the responsibility of balancing the environment. From tomorrow, if you are exporting Mahogany, Obeche and Rhizophora, you are a criminal and we will treat you as one.

“However, this species of wood can be traded locally, but not outside the country,’’ he added.

Source: https://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2018/02/23/minister-tasks-wood-dealers-environmental-protection/

Niger delta meeting

Management of contaminated environments in Nigeria for sustainable development was the thrust of discourse at a one-day National Summit on the Niger Delta Clean-up held in Abuja recently. Funke Olaode, who was at the summit, reports

The Niger Delta Region produces the oil wealth and account for over 90 per cent of Nigeria’s foreign earning. While the States in the region bear the crude oil that is the mainstay of the Nigerian economy, the government remains legalistic in addressing the negative effects of oil exploration in the region.

Figures from the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) indicate that between 1997 and 2001, Nigeria recorded a total number 2,097 oil spills incidences amounting to 1,947,600 barrels of crude oil while thousands of barrels of oil have been spilt into the environment through pipeline and tanks in the country. While this is going on, enforcement of environmental regulations is still poor as industries continue to discharge untreated waste water into the environment and the degradation of the environment of the Niger Delta following the exploratory activities of multi-national oil companies has continued unabated.

The people of the area have continued to complain bitterly about mass poverty, hunger, disease, environmental degradation and loss of their traditional means of livelihood. With these scourges ravaging the land, the cries from all and sundry for the region became imperative to get rid of contaminated soil.
It was against this backdrop that a one-day National Summit on Niger Delta was convened by the Civil Society Legislative Center (CISLAC) in collaboration with African Center for Leadership, Strategy and Development with the support of Cordaid.

The well attended Summit held at Bolton Hotel Abuja was graced by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jubril; executive director of CISLAC, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani; Dr. Otiove Igbuzor, representatives from embassies, Ogoni traditional rulers led by His Royal Highness Baridam, Akinwunmi Oke, Modi Esasa, MOSOP President, Pyagbara Lergborsi and Comrade Jaye Gaskia amongst others.
In his short remarks, the convener, Rafsanjani, said the summit was convened to remind the government of its promise to clean up the Niger Delta. Rafsanjani said the call was imperative to discuss the prevalent issues affecting the Niger Delta region in terms of environmental tragedy as people still drink water laced with contaminated soil.

“The clean-up of Niger Delta is an agitation that has been going on for some time now. I remember a committee was drafted to the implementation process. Unfortunately, the last administration did nothing to implement the clean-up. At this stage, the process must not be politicised or regionalised but must be seen as a national issue looking at the magnitude of pollution in the region.

Corroborating Rafsanjani on the need for the federal government to see the clean-up as an emergency exercise, executive director of the African Center for Leadership, Strategy and Development Center, Dr. Otive Igbuzor, going down memory lane said Nigeria is West Africa’s biggest producer of petroleum and the seventh largest producer in the world. The current capacity of crude oil in the Niger Delta stands at 2 Million barrels per day while a 2012 data showed that 38 billion barrels of crude oil still reside beneath the delta. The nonchalant attitude of government to the damage caused the region through oil exploration, he claimed was the cause of restiveness in the Niger delta.

“Over the past decades, the Niger Delta terrain has been overrun through deliberate over-exploitation carried out in total disregard of the basic principles of sustainable environmental management. At the center of the environmental degradation, loss of livelihood and deprivation, and the general lack of development in the region had led to various conflicts and violence in which the youths in the region have taken their destiny in their own hands.

“Of course, the continued militancy in the region directly impacts both the revenue of government as well as the operation of the multinational companies.

The result, he pointed out, was that oil production was brought to as low as a little over a million barrels in 2015 and 2016. The intervention of the present government through the launch of the Clean-up of Ogoniland by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, in June 2016 gave credence to government commitment to the social and environmental challenges facing the Niger Delta.”

Igbuzor urged all the stakeholders to be open and frank in their contributions to this laudable course so that collectively, they could come up with robust strategies that could catalyze the processes leading to the proper clean-up of the Niger Delta.

In his address read by Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jubril, Osinbajo commended the conveners of the Summit, saying it was quite apt considering the agitation of the public on this topical issue and the efforts being made by the federal government to deliver on the promise of implementing the recommendations in the UNEP report on Ogoniland and the clean-up of contamination in the Niger Delta as a whole.
On the effort made so far after the submission of the UNEP report in 2011, he said the federal government in August 2012 set up the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP) under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, as a vehicle to implement the UNEP report on the clean-up of the contaminated sites in Ogoniland.

“Since the inception of the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, and in line with the campaign promise, significant strides have been made towards realising the recommendation of the UNEP report.”
Shedding more light on various steps taken so far to ensure that the clean-up was carried out without delay, Osinbajo said in 2016, government revived and transferred HYPREP from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to the Federal Ministry of Environment through an inter-Ministerial Consultative Forum.

On August 4, 2016, a governing council and a board of trustees were inaugurated to ensure a transparent implementation of the project and engender financial probity while government has also established the project coordinating office of HYPREP in Port Harcourt, Rivers State with a project coordinator recruited and other key staff seconded from federal and state civil service, in accordance with the HYPREP Gazette.

To show how committed the federal government has been, he stressed that a dedicated Trust Fund Account has been opened, with a BoT to oversee and ensure access to funds for the implementation of the activities of the project.
“With the organisational structure well in place, HYOREP has been focusing on the implementation of the recommendations of the UNEP report, starting with suggested emergency measures. Some of the recommendations of the UNEP report geared towards restoring and promoting the socio-economic sustainability to ameliorate the suffering of the people of Ogoniland and the Niger Delta Region include provision of clean drinking water as reports revealed the existing water facilities contain high concentrations of hydrocarbon contaminants of major health concern.
With the reports of the assessment exercise showing that the existing water facilities are obsolete and they do not meet up with the WHO standards, HYDREP has advertised for expressions of interest from experts to design and implement Ogoniland Water Development and Reticulation Plan to the WHO Water Quality Standards.”
On pilot demonstration of clean-up and remediation technologies, Osinbajo noted that some of the firms have signified interest to demonstrate their various technologies to clean up and remediate the impacted sites at no cost to the government or the programme.

“There are various remediation technologies the world over and some of them are site specific, which implies that whatever technology that worked in some parts of the world may not necessarily be applicable in Ogoniland and other parts of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, hence the need for the government to shop for the best environmentally sound and economically feasible and locally adaptable technology in line with global best environmental practice”
One of the recommendations of the UNEP report, according to Osinbajo, is to restore the livelihood of the communities, adding that a consultative workshop on the various types of skill acquisitions has been held with the Ogoni women.

“HYPREP in partnership with United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is presently developing the content of the training while other global and local entrepreneurship institutions and bodies will come on board to promote critical infrastructure and mentorship for women. In order to develop capacity and involve the communities in the implementation of the project, HYPREP has also undertaken the training of graduates in environmental science as technical assistants in June 2017.”

While assuring the participants of government’s continued support to ensure that it is committed to this course, Osinbajo said the body (HYPREP) had also been engaged in various consultations with ex-artisanal refiners, while training is being conducted for them on the need to stop illegal bunkering and refining of crude oil, which is one of the major culprits in the hydrocarbon contamination.

Rounding up his speech, Osinbajo said the process of restoring the impacted sites of Ogoniland and the other Niger Delta Region to engender the socio-economic sustainability of the region is not all about cleaning up alone, but involves a “consortium” of processes. This, he said, is to avert recurrence of recontamination of old and new candidate sites.

Reiterating the determination of the administration to transform Nigeria into industrial, agricultural, economic and environmentally sustainable giant through the provision of enabling environment for all, Osinbajo pleaded passionately with the general public to follow the laid down plans systematically to avoid undue agitations and wrong information on the current efforts of the administration.

Source: http://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2018/02/25/healing-the-niger-delta/

Nigeria Green Bonds: Completing the Task of Issuance


green bonds

The Paris Agreement signed and ratified by President Muhammadu Buhari in March of 2017 has an often-overlooked yet critical provision. In article 2 it outlines the aims of the agreement, one of which is “Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development”. The Federal Ministry of Environment (FMEnv) under the leadership of the Hon Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jibril has significantly progressed a process that started in September of 2016 with a stakeholders forum that attracted key development partners, capital market operators and public sector institutions. The initiative has resulted in a plan to issue a program of N150 billion in green bonds over the next few months with a pilot issue of N12.384 billion in the 3rd quarter of 2017 and the balance over the course of the budget year. Collaboration between Ministry of Environment and Finance continues to pull together the institutional partners necessary to achieve what would be Nigeria and Africa’s first sovereign green bond and the worlds 3rd.

Growth of the Global Green Bond Market

The global market for green bonds took off in 2005 with an issuance by the European Investment Bank (EIB), since then the market has grown significantly to an annual issuance market last year of USD80 billion. Green bonds are like regular bonds, with a slight difference – they can only be used to fund projects that have been identified to have environmental benefits and their contribution to emissions reduction clearly articulated. The global market for green bonds is expected to exceed last year’s amount and China remains a dominant participant in the market. Issuances to date have been largely by corporates and parastatals with the first sovereign issuance in November of last year for Eur750m by Poland and a follow on by France in January of 2017 for Eur7 billion. Commitments by signatory nations in the Paris agreement are expected to boost this market as resources are redirected toward development objectives that are sustainable from a climate perspective and contribute to global reduction in emissions.

Chart of Green Bond Market growth
greenbonds chart

Federal Ministry of Environment Preparation

The Ministry of Environment as custodian of the nations commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has provided considerable direction to the process of issuance to ensure that the key elements needed for identification of projects that will meet the green credentials are in place. In November of 2016 the Ministry issued its Green Bond Guidelines drawing from the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) Green Bond Principles (GBP). Working through the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change (ICCC), it engaged various Federal Government Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to identify projects with green credentials that will provide the foundation for issuance of the green bond. In agreement with the Minister of Finance (MOF), the projects are required to be included in the budget approved by the National Assembly and assented to by the President.

Inter Agency Participation

The Debt Management Office (DMO) as key issuer of FG debt is the key liaison with the Ministry of Environment. A Green Bond Account to hold the resources was recently created by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) after approval from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF). Frequent engagement between FMEnv and the Budget Office of the Federation (BOF) within the Ministry of Budget and National Planning (MOBNP), with the June 13th signing of the 2017 budget by the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo has affirmed the allocations to the identified projects. The projects are Energizing Education Program (EEP) for N9.5 billion, the Renewable Energy Micro Utility (REMU) for N475m and the FMEnv’s Afforestation Program for N2.3 billion for a total of N12.38 billion.

Green bonds process

greenbond process

The Green Bond Advisory Group

To enable the Federal government draw on a wide arrange of expertise in progressing and developing the issuance of the green bond, the Ministry of Environment and Finance established the Green Bond Advisory Group (GBAG). The GBAG is made up of development partners (World Bank, DfID, AfDB, & IFC), Capital Market Operators (Nigeria Stock Exchange, Capital Assets, Chapel Hill Denham & Stanbic IBTC) and Climate Bonds Initiative, London. The GBAG meets frequently with its first meeting in January of 2017 leading to a conference on green bonds in Lagos in February of 2017 at which the Acting President was a key note speaker. The GBAG remains the interface between the development partners and the capital market in ensuring the pilot issuance of the green bond happens in the 3rd quarter of 2017

Benefits to DMO Debt Strategy

The DMO has disclosed its strategy to be the restructuring of the Federal Government’s debt portfolio to replace short tenured bonds with long tenor and high rates with lower rates. This strategy includes the tapping of the international capital markets and a green bond issuance with the right framework will provide a credible platform to tap into the global market for green bonds. The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has indicated a willingness to participate in the green bond advisory group to provide necessary guidance to the FG to achieve this objective.

Benefits to the Economic Recovery & Growth Plan

The recent launch of the government’s Economic Recovery & Growth Plan (ERGP) has key objectives that are a catalyst for the issuance of the green. In addition to having as its objective the meeting of some of the goals in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it also has as an objective the issuance of a green bond to fund projects that have environmental benefits. Some of the objectives in the ERGP include; identification of revenue flows to government, job growth and creation. Population impact and improvement in livelihoods are articulated in the targets of the individual projects to be funded by the green bond.


To deliver on the Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) will require a fundamental re-orientation of financial flows within the economy. Capital will need to flow toward low-carbon, climate resilient opportunities and away from carbon intensive, polluting activities or those that exacerbate climate vulnerability leading to poverty, insecurity and reduced health quality. The issuance of the green bond will begin the process of green the federal budget and the capital market. It will also demonstrate to the global community Nigeria’s commitment to achieving its targets in the NDCs.

For the FGs debt portfolio it adds to the cocktail of capital products that are being explored in ensuring resources are available to fund the FG annual budget. On a strategy level it provides a platform for DMO to achieve the objective of extending tenor of the FG debt portfolio and also reduce interest cost. It would also establish a framework by which sub nationals and corporate can tap into the green bond market.

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Patience Oniha, the Director-General, Debt Management Office, DMO, says the federal government is planning to issue N10.6 billion green bonds to finance renewable energy projects to protect the environment.

Mrs. Oniha said this in Abuja on Thursday at the Nigeria Green Bond Investors Forum organised by the federal ministries of environment and finance, in collaboration with Green Bond Advisory Group.

She said that the forum was to educate prospective investors in the Green Bond programme to know the benefits of investing in green bond projects.

The director-general said the federal government acted to borrow the N10.6 billion, in line with its borrowing agenda contained in the 2017 budget.

According to her, more funds will be allocated to finance green bond projects in the subsequent budgets.

Mrs. Oniha said that the bonds would be used to finance three renewable energy projects, which were Renewable Energy Micro-Utilities Programme, Re-energising Education Programme and Afforestation Programme.

Also speaking, Halimat Bwari, the Deputy Director, Department of Climate Change, Federal Ministry of Environment, said that N142 billion would be required to finance renewable energy projects in the country.

Ms. Bwari said that the ministry decided to issue the Green Bond as alternative source of funding because of the huge capital outlay required to finance the nation’s renewable energy projects. She noted that the bond would boost the nation’s economy and protect the environment.Besides, Ms. Bwari said, the ministry had inaugurated five low-carbon growth projects.

She listed the projects as the Rural Energy Access, the Great Green Wall Programme, the National Clean Stoves Scheme, the Clean Energy Transportation Scheme and the Nigerian Erosion and Watershed Management Project.

She said that the projects would go a long way to reduce carbon emissions in Nigeria, while facilitating the country’s efforts to meet its commitments in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that stakeholders that participated in the forum include Pension Funds Administrators (PFAs), Federal Ministry of Finance, Inter-ministerial Committee on Climate Change and Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Others are DMO, Central Bank of Nigeria, Securities and Exchange Commission, the World Bank and Chapel Hill Denham as well as representatives of private sector organisations.

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The President is attending the One Planet Summit which aims to mobilize the financing needed for developing countries to attain the goals and targets of the Paris Climate Agreement. The theme of the Summit is ‘Climate Change Financing’.

In Paris he will reiterate Nigeria’s commitment to realising the objectives of the Paris Agreement, as well as strengthen Nigeria’s partnerships with fellow governments, and other regional and global Climate Action partners and stakeholders. At the Summit the President will deliver a speech on behalf of Nigeria. He will also attend a lunch hosted by President Emmanuel Macron of France for visiting Heads of State and Government.

Nigeria joined several other countries around the world to sign the Paris Agreement in December 2015. President Buhari signed the Agreement on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on September 22, 2016, and followed this up with the signing of the Instrument of Ratification at the State House, Abuja, on March 28, 2017. This ratification made Nigeria the 146th party to the Paris Agreement. The Agreement became binding on Nigeria with effect from June 15, 2017, one month after the submission of the Ratification Instrument to the United Nations on May 16, 2017.

Under the Agreement Nigeria has committed (the so-called ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contributions – INDCs) to reducing carbon emissions 20% unconditionally and 45% with international support, by 2030. To achieve this Nigeria requires billions of dollars in funding and investment for energy, transport and agriculture projects that would reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change (manifesting as desertification, flooding, erosion, erratic rainfall, etc).

Nigeria has prioritized five sectors for the implementation of its INDCs, as follows:

  1. Oil and Gas (a new National Gas Policy that will reduce flaring, and also promote the use of gas instead of wood products)
  2. Agriculture and Land Use (Climate-smart agriculture)
  3. Transport (Shift from road transport to rail; also shift from transport powered by fossil fuels to renewable energy).
  4. Industrial Energy Efficiency
  5. Power (A new energy mix that increases the contribution of renewable energy sources; investment in solar and wind energy)

Financing is required not only for investment in the needed infrastructure but also for research and development aimed at advancing climate-friendly technologies.

Climate change is deeply connected to the Sustainable Goals Agenda of the United Nations. Goal 13 of the SDGs prescribes “urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.”

Government cannot singlehandedly fund the implementation of the INDC targets. An estimated 80% of the funding for climate action will need to come from the private sector. This is why the Government of Nigeria is launching, this month, a Green Bond, to raise domestic financing for low-carbon infrastructure projects across the country.

Partnerships are key to the success of the Paris Agreement. The Government of Nigeria is collaborating with subnational governments, regional and continental organisations, development finance institutions, the private sector and civil society groups, to ensure the success of its climate action efforts.

The One Planet Summit is being hosted by the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, and organised by the United Nations, the World Bank Group, the French Government and a coalition of NGOs/CSOs.

Follow updates using the hashtags: #PMBinParis, #ClimateActionNG and #CFD2017

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