The Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences and the Assistant Director-General for Africa visit Nigeria
On 23rd February 2017, a high-level delegation of UNESCO composed of the assistant director-general for the natural science, the assistant director-general for Africa and the Directors of the Abuja Regional Office were received in the presence of H. Exc. Mrs. Mariam Y. KATAGUM Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, by the Nigerian Minister of State for Education and Minister of Water Resources respectively, H.E. Professor Anthony Anwukah and H.E. Mr. Suleiman Adamu
The visit began with an address delivered by Ms. Katagum to UNESCO delegation during which she mentioned her appreciation of the good collaboration of UNESCO and Nigeria and provided an overview of the Mission's background. She stressed the importance of the Lake Chad ecosystem; especially its humanitarian and socioeconomic importance to Nigeria and the adjourning countries. All this justify why Nigeria is requesting UNESCO assistance in mobilizing international support for tackling the many issue of the ecosystem. The ministers, following Mrs Katagum, referred the many issues and the seriousness of the problems of the Lake Chad eco support system, ranging from the shrinkage of the lake to loss of biodiversity that has in turn affected livelihoods and sustenance. They also expressed the fear of losing the entire lake in the next century and informed the delegation that one way to solve the problems was to propose a water transfer project from the Congo Basin to recharge Lake Chad. Finally, the Assistants Directors-General have been informed that due to the seriousness of the Lake Chad problem and the desire to use better and sustainable options to tackle the problems, Nigeria decided to internationalize the problems and thus draw a global attention and appreciation. It is for this reason that Nigeria wishes to organize the international conference of Lake Chad with the support of UNESCO.
The Assitant Directors-Generals appreciated the Honorable ministers and supported the idea of preventing the disappearance of the lake. The Assistant Director-General for Africa noted that noted that the subject matter of the International Conference on Lake Chad indeed promotes UNESCO role in achieving and maintaining peace in the region. On the other hand, the Assistant Director-General of natural sciences sector stated that it was necessary to adopt a compressive approach in organizing the international conference and to implement a technical meeting, which will allow setting of a technical plan, which will be shared at the international conference to be held on the Lake Chad issue.
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