Nigeria had so far received 23 million dollars in four years from Global Environmental Facility (GEF) to implement climate change, biodiversity and land degradation projects.
GEF’s Desk Officer, in the Federal Ministry of Environment, Mrs Halima Mohammed, made this known recently at a two-day National Steering Committee Meeting in Abuja.
Mohammed, who presented an Overview of the GEF, said the allocation was under the 5th replenishment circle, covering July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2014.
According to her, the allocation is under the System for Transparent Allocation of Resources (STAR), which allows GEF to allocate funds to countries to implement projects in specific focal areas.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the purpose of the meeting was to review the progress of GEF’s activities in Nigeria and to update stakeholders on the ongoing projects.
The meeting was also aimed at streamlining projects proposal for GEF-6 cycle and to harmonise ideas on exhibition being planned by Nigeria at the fifth GEF Assembly in Cancun, Mexico, among others.
Mohammed said Nigeria had implemented all its projects under the fifth cycle with the exception of two awaiting approval from the GEF council.
She listed ongoing GEF projects in the country to include Conservation and Sustainable Management of Niger Delta Biodiversity; Sustainable Urban Transportation; and Setting up Mini- Grids based on Photo Voltaic (PV), Hydro and Biomass Sources.
Others are Promoting Energy Efficiency in Public and Residential Sectors; Less Burnt for a Clean Earth: Minimisation of Dioxin Emission from Open Burning Sources and Small Grant Programme for Civil Society Organisations.
On Fadama III, she mentioned Scaling up of Sustainable Land Management; Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) containing equipment management and disposal; and Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management (NEWMAP): Component of Great Green Wall Initiative.
Also listed were Lake Chad Regional and Natural Resources Conservation and Regional Project on Equatorial Africa Deposition Network.
She said that GEF had three funding windows, namely the full size, the medium size and the small grants.
According to her, small grants component of GEF is a grant below 50,000 dollars, medium size is between 500,000 and two million dollars, while the full size is from two million dollars and above.
Mohammed, Assistant Director in the Federal Ministry of Environment, said Nigeria could benefit more from GEF by building the capacity of its staff.
In addition, she suggested that project proponents should forward well-articulated concept to the GEF Operational Focal Point for Endorsement.
“The project proponent, in collaboration with the operational focal point, should ensure that prompt comments on the proposals are made by relevant offices of the GEF focal areas.
“The comments should be reverted to the project proponent for incorporation and further development.
“Project proponents should also explore the opportunity offered through the Implementing Agencies’’, she added.
The implementing agencies, she said, were UNDP, World Bank, FAO, UNIDO, ADB, UNEP and IFAD, among others. (NAN)
NAN recalls that GEF was established to promote global environment protection and sustainable development by providing grants to developing countries to address related problems.
It has five focal areas of Biodiversity, Climate Change, Land Degradation, Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and International Waters.
Nigeria joined GEF in 1994 and the country had been benefiting immensely from the grants to implement environmental initiatives.
GEF has 183 member countries in partnership with international, civil society organisations and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives. (NAN)