NewsWest AfricaNigeria: A cross between environment and poverty


Posted on Wednesday, 07 November 2012 12:05

Nigeria: A cross between environment and poverty

By Konye Obaji Ori

Nigeria's environmental challenges include the flooding that recently affected some parts of country/Photo©ReutersThe United Nations has urged Nigeria to address environmental challenges as a way of tackling poverty.


Special Advisor to UN Secretary General on Millennium Development Goals, Jeffrey D. Sachs said the world body's commitment to poverty eradication by 2030 was linked to environmental sustainability.

Sachs made the comments after meeting with the chairman of Nigeria's Senate committee on Millenium Development Goals Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume.

The delegates discussed the connection between environmental sustainability and poverty.

"The poverty alleviation and environment will be given full prioritisation because each one is so much affected by the other, and the priorities that you have identified such as desertification, deforestation, flooding, draught, erosion need to be emphasized," Sachs told reporters

"The MDGs had MDGs serving environmental sustainability but I can tell you there was never enough focus on that to really address the scale of the challenge."

He said the UN was committed to tackle poverty through ensuring environmental sustainability.

"So, the world has recognised that in the sense that when 2015 comes there is likely to be a new set of goals, as the successor goals, that put a lot more emphasis on the environmental challenges," Sachs said

Nigeria's environmental challenges include the flooding that recently affected some parts of country.

Flooding has submerged many communities, rendered many homeless, killed many and property worth millions of dollars destroyed.

However, Sachs called on the universities in Nigeria to play a role in finding solutions to the devastating challenges posed by environmental problems.

"The universities in this country could and should play a larger role in brainstorming and analysing exactly the questions raised because each state has a federal university if I understand correctly, and each state has local academic and scientific knowledge that it could tap into," he said.

The UN has already started providing a sustainable development solutions network that would address environmental challenges in issues of flooding, draught, deforestation, and desertification.

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