By Edel-Quinn Agbaegbu
From Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country come a new appointment which is bound to serve as a boost for sustainable development in the country and the wider world. Edel-Quinn Agbaegbu, renowned civil society advocate and Biodiversity campaigner from Imo State, South East of Nigeria, has been appointed to join UNEP CBD Peer review team heading for in-country visit to Uganda, in October, 2019.
Founder/Executive Director of Every Woman Hope Centre; (EWHC), a Nigeria registered Non-Governmental Organization, with strength in advocacy on gender & health, food security, biodiversity sustainability and good governance, Mrs Agbaegbu, is currently, Nigeria’s Country Representative in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Voluntary Peer Review (VPR) Process, of National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP), a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) framework.
Agbaegbu’s current status and elevation generated excitement when the broke out a few weeks ago and it received good reportage by the media, especially, Verbatim Magazine, a popular medium, in its September 2019 edition.
In the publication, Verbatim magazine quoted Mrs Agbaegbu to have said: ‘’Yes, I can confirm to you that I will be heading for an in-country visit to Uganda in October this year as part of a team to review Uganda. I have received a formal notification letter from the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, United Nations Environment Programme in Montreal, Canada. It will be a wonderful experience to cherish’’.
Giving greater insight on the upcoming meeting in Uganda, Mrs Agbaegbu explained that she was selected in her capacity as Nigeria’s VPR Country Representative and that the assignment is to be undertaken by four Countries which include; Philippine, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and Nigeria with a three-man support team from the UNEP CBD Secretariat, Montreal, Canada.
She further stated that the four counties will be represented by one person each, together with the three representatives from the Secretariat of the Convention to make up the 7-man Ugandan team. ‘’The assignment is already in progress with the desk study review of the country which shall be preceded by the in-country visit hopefully in October, 2019 ’’, She said.
The overall objective of the CBD voluntary peer review process is to help Parties (countries) to improve their individual and collective capacities to more effectively implement the Convention. The specific objective is to access the development and implementation of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) in the context of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and produce specific recommendations for the Parties under review. It also provides opportunities for peer learning for Parties directly involved and other parties.
Since her appointment as Nigeria’s Country Representative in April 2019, Mrs Agbaegbu has participated in some CBD activities such as the 2019 International Day for Biological Diversity in May, with the theme; ‘‘Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health” and the Open-Ended online discussion on Post-2020 BiodiversityImplementation Plan, in July 2019.
The excitement in Nigeria which Agbaegbu’s recent elevation is generating is anchored on the realisation it has great potential of positively affecting biodiversity in the country. It is of public knowledge that biodiversity contributes to sustainability in many ways.
Indeed, the mathematical equation of the symbiotic relationship of the two terminologies is captured in this popular dictum: higher/more biodiversity=more sustainability. Conversely, lower/less biodiversity=less sustainability.
Edel-Quinn Agbaegbu is a Microbiology graduate, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN). She also holds a post-graduate training Certificate in ”Livelihoods and Markets” from Coady Institute, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Canada and a Certificate on Strategic Communications and Legal Dimensions of Biotechnology Access” from Cornell Alliance for Science, Cornell University Ithaca, New York USA. Edel-Quinn was one of the Nigerian delegates to the ‘‘2018 United Nations ‘‘Biodiversity, Convention”, COP14 at Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.She is a strong voice in biodiversity based economy for future.
Edel-Quinn Agbaegbu, Nigeria Country Representative, VPR Process, CBD, UNEP
News of New Appointment
(Contribution for ISDRS Newsletter)